3×3 has been a basketball format always played, albeit in a less formal way. The first large 3×3 competition was launched in 1989 by USA-based Hoop It Up, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2014. They state to have reached over 500,000 athletes in this period. Adidas launched its now-discontinued streetball competition in 1992. Since then, the number of 3×3 events and competitions has been steadily growing all around the world.
FIBA took the decision to first test 3×3 at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau. Further test events were held in April 2008 in the Dominican Republic and October 2008 in Indonesia. The international debut was at the 2009 Asian Youth Games: 19 teams in the boys‘ tournament and 16 teams in the girls‘ tournament. All games were held at Anglican High School, Singapore. Finally, 3×3 made its worldwide competitive debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. The competition featured 20 teams in both boy’s and girl’s categories. The competition was held at the Youth Space, Singapore. Since then World Championships in both open and U18 categories are held on a regular basis.
After the success in Singapore, FIBA launched a full programme to make 3×3 a stand-alone discipline with its own regular competitions with the long-term goal to create a professional competition and have 3×3 included in the Summer Olympic Games Programme.