Essay: Federation of International Basketball Associations

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  • Federation of International Basketball Associations
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The Federation of International Basketball Associations, also known as FIBA, is a “sports federation that governs international competition in basketball” (“FIBA,” n.d.). FIBA was established on June 18, 1932 in Geneva (One FIBA, n.d.).  Two years later after FIBA was established, it was then that the game of basketball was recognized by the International Olympic Committee, also known as the IOC (“FIBA,” n.d.).  In 1932, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland were the eight nations that founded FIBA (One FIBA, n.d.). During the 1936 Summer Olympics, FIBA announced James Naismith as the President (One FIBA, n.d.). In 1956, FIBA headquarters relocated to Munich, but then came back to Geneva in 2002 (“FIBA,” n.d.). In 1989, FIBA allowed NBA players to participate in the Olympics. The headquarters of FIBA, also known as the “House of Basketball”, is located in Mies, Switzerland on the coast of Lake Geneva (“FIBA,” n.d.).  FIBA determines the rules and regulations of international basketball, approves the required equipment and facilities, in charge of sending athletes to different teams across the country, and has authority of who referees the international games (Farlex, 2003).  There is a total of 213 national federations organized into five Regional Office.  The five Regional Offices are located in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania (“FIBA,” n.d.).

Mission/Vision Statement

Since FIBA was formed in 1932, the organization has overcome many obstacles and accomplished many goals, however, FIBA has realized it was time to take their federation to the next level.  In 2014, FIBA has set up a strategy with clear objectives and I clear guide for implementation to achieve these new goals through 2019 (“FIBA,” n.d.).  FIBA has defined the values that represents their core virtues of basketball, along with a clear vision for basketball.  FIBA’s mission is to make the game of basketball more enjoyable to people as they continue to change the game of basketball and to bring everyone in the community together as one.

(“FIBA,” n.d.).  The vision for the federation is for basketball to be the most popular sport in comparison with other sports and the most popular within the community (“FIBA,” n.d.).


FIBA is a democratic and federative organization (“FIBA,” n.d.). The Congress of FIBA controls the ins and outs of FIBA and is made up of members from the National Federation (FIBA General Satues, n.d.). Each member of the National Federations is given the same privileges to vote.  FIBA’s Congress functions on a four-year cycle.  “The four-year cycle starts with the FIBA Congress that is elected, then halfway through the cycle, a Mid-term FIBA Congress is held (FIBA General Statues, n.d.).” FIBA’s Elective Congress chooses the President for FIBA and approves the members of the Central Board.  The Elective FIBA Congress has the power to accept and change FIBA’s statues, review and approve all articles, allow the central board selections, decides on the terminations of members, and review and accept or decline motions by the Secretary General, the Central Board, and the National Member Federations (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).

Organization Structure: Central Board

The highest level of the executive branch in FIBA is the Central Board.  The Central Board’s duty is to oversee the game of basketball all over the world.  The Central Board consists of the FIBA’s President, Secretary General, and General and Treasurer.  The board is also composed of the President in the five regional zones, the 13 members appointed by Congress, and one representative of the National Basketball Association, also known as the NBA, and one player representative (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). The Central Board may also appoint up to six additional members to the Central Board for the vision, skills, and special expertise they will bring to the board.  The six additional members that are appointed will have full voting rights as well (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  There is a four-year term of office for the Central Board, which begins after the last day of each elective Congress. The Central Board reports to FIBA’s Congress (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).

Executive Committee

FIBA’s Executive Committee is made up of the President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, along with six members from different countries.  The Executive Committee has the power to develop policies for extending the reach of basketball, developing different relationships that will be most profitable to the organization, closely pay attention to how well the organization does with the goals that are set in place, assign host for events, along with many more responsibilities (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). Membership of the Executive Committee is private and delegations are not acceptable.  Members of the Executive Committee must act in a responsible and independent manner in representing FIBA (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d).


Horacio Muratore, is currently the 12th FIBA president (“FIBA,” n.d.).  The President of FIBA is elected by congress for one single four-year term of office.  FIBA’s President controls over the Congress, the Central Board, and the Executive Committee (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  The President has the right to vote in Congress, only in the event of a tied vote, and in the Central Board and Executive Committee (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  However, the President is not an employee of FIBA.  Each President that is appointed by FIBA comes from all over the world.

Secretariat of FIBA

The Secretariat of FIBA consists of the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General (if appointed, and the staff of the Secretariat (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). Members of the Secretariat are employed under contract, and their contracts will be in agreement with the laws of Switzerland (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  The Secretary General is appointed by the Central Board and can be re-appointed once their contract is no longer valid.  The Secretary General manages the Secretariat of FIBA and assumes all responsibility (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  They are also the only legal representative of FIBA (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). The Secretary General is responsible for the study and implementation of measures of promotion, responsible for all international and Olympic competitions, evaluate the performance of Regional Offices, ensure compliance with the regulations established by the IOC and the World Anti-Doing Agency (WADA), and many more duties.  Patrick Baumann was appointed FIBA’s Secretary General in 2003 (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  A Deputy Secretary General may be selected by the Central Board, upon request by the Secretary General.  If selected, the Deputy Secretary General duties will be assigned to him by the Secretary General (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).

World Association of Basketball Coaches (WABC)

World Association of Basketball Coaches, also known as WABC, is involved with rating and developing a worldwide basketball coaches’ community (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).  The coaches’ community currently has thousands of top level coaches from all countries around the world (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). Two well-known US basketball coaches are Geno Auriemma, he coaches NCAA Women’s Basketball at the University of Connecticut, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University. The main goal of WABS is to improve the game through improving coaches teaching the game (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). The WABC Advisory Committee is composed of current and former National and Head Coaches who have had experience to international coaching or worked with players that competed internationally (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.).


FIBA has put in place the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which started taking place in 1950 along with the Women’s World Championship in 1953 (“FIBA,” n.d.). The World Cup and World Championship takes place every four years, which rotates with the Olympics (“FIBA,” n.d.). FIBA holds many championships and leagues that national teams compete in.  The biggest competition in FIBA is the Basketball World Cup.  The FIBA Basketball World Cup, is FIBA’s leading event and one of the most anticipated and respected sporting competition (“FIBA General Statues,” n.d.). The location of the World Cup is different each time.  In 2014, FIBA’s World Cup took place in six Spanish cities; Bilbao, Granada, Seville, Gran Canaria, and in Barcelona and Madrid (“FIBA,” n.d.). The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place in China in 2019 (“FIBA,” n.d.). FIBA’s World Cup is held during August-September.

Governance/Ethical Issues

Human rights has been an issues in International Basketball.  The issue highlights a conflict with discrimination against athletes of religious minorities (Simmons. 2014).  The principles of International sport and Human Rights Law, which “gives athletes the right to religious freedom is protected and diversity is valued” (Simmons, 2014).  There is an issue that the understanding of these rules are to prevent injury or prevent religion off the court (Simmons, 2014).

During a FIBA tournament, basketball officials required two Indian Sikh basketball players to remove their head-coverings prior to a game when they were competing in the FIBA Asian Cup (Simmons, 2014).  The officials reason for this action was because the players head-coverings violated FIBA’s Rule 4.4.2 which states, “Players shall not wear equipment, and/or objects, that may cause injury to other players.” The two Sikh players were not happy about this decision, mainly because the men’s team previously was allowed to compete in a FIBA competition with the same head-coverings (Simmons, 2014). On the contrary, this rule allows other accessories within the same category such as, head-coverings, mouth guards, glasses, and headbands (Simmons, 2014).  The debate is with head-coverings are considered as a religious symbol and not a protective gear.  Under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (Simmons, 2014).  With this article, the officials violated the basic principles of International Human Rights Law.

There are already policies that are in place to ensure everyone has human rights, even playing Internationally.  To help reduce this issue, game officials should undergo training to ensure they know all the rules and regulations with the sport they are officiating.  Furthermore, once the training is complete, officials should be required to take a test and include scenarios and officials have to choose the correct choice.  With sports becoming huge, especially Internationally, different countries are going to compete and have a diverse background, they should be able to represent their country playing the sport they love without any discrimination.

Another issue that has most recently occurred in FIBA is the ban of Japan’s Basketball Federation, also known as the JBA, from all FIBA activates (Bedard, 2015).  Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympics. However, Japan will not be allowed to take part in any international competition involving basketball.  Japan was banned in November 2014 after FIBA told Japan to bring their two professional leagues into the National Federation (Bedard, 2015).  Just like Japan, South Korea are now facing the same consequences with FIBA. South Korea has three different basketball organizations.  The first organization they have is the KBA, Korean Basketball Association.  The KBA handles with FIBA directly and has authority of the Korean International Teams (Bedard, 2015).  Secondly, the KBA League operates a professional basketball organization that only participates in South Korea (Bedard, 2015).  Lastly, the Women’s KBA League runs only the women’s league (Bedard, 2015).  The issue with this is that FIBA wants South Korea to combine all three of the organizations into one body.

FIBA’s goal is to unite all countries to come together and compete at a competitive level.  To resolve this issue, if a country has more than one organization, they should simply unite them into one.  Competing in the Olympics is a great honor, and if a country has the ability and privilege to compete, they should do whatever it takes to do so without compromising who they are as a country and what they believe in.

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