Practice Drills: FIBA 3 v 3 by Chris Filos

practice drills

Written by Coach Peterman

I have coached at the NCAA Division 2 (Southwestern Oklahoma State University), NAIA (USAO), and JUCO Levels (Blinn College and Carl Albert State College) as well as high school. I just felt that fellow coaches especially young coaches need to constantly work on their “game”. Just like the basketball players that we coach. We as coaches need to improve ourselves. That is my story and why I do this blog.

May 20, 2020

Looking for a fun, fast-paced productive practice drills for practice or camp? FIBA 3 v 3 combines high paced, high activity, and high participation all in one drill/game. This is especially good for when you have high numbers of players. In a gym, you typically have 1 full court, 2 side full courts, and 6 baskets total (2 main & 4 side hoops). 

Imagine you have 40 kids…

If you play 5 v 5 full court (side courts), only 20 kids can play at one time. Only 2 basketballs. 30 kids sitting out. To get enough activity for the kids playing, the games will probably have to last 20 minutes. That’s a long time to just be sitting and waiting for the other 20 kids. 

If you play 3 v 3 (side hoops), 24 kids can be playing at once (32 if you give each team 1 sub). 4 basketballs in play. That means more kids are getting to touch the ball than if in 5 v 5 games where generally the best players control the ball the most. This also means fewer kids sitting out. Due to the higher level of activity in the small games, the games can now be shorter, so less sitting out time. You can build a schedule so that play just flows. If one game ends before another, teams sitting out immediately pop on that court. 

Here are some basic game rules [Idea for modified camp/practice rules in brackets]:


FIBA 3 v 3 Rules:


Teams: 3 v 3 with 1 sub each. 


Playing Time: 10 min or first to 21 points. [Play to whatever time/score you like]

Scoring: 1s and 2s. [If side baskets don’t have arc, make every basket worth 1]

Shot Clock: 12-second shot clock. [I would highly recommend using a shot clock if you have the ability to use one].


Following each successful field goal… 

  • A player from a non-scoring team shall resume the game by dribbling or passing the ball from inside the court directly underneath the basket to a place on the court behind the arc. 
  • The defensive player is not allowed to play for the ball in the “no-charge semi-circle area” underneath the basket, but may look to steal the ball outside of the “charge circle area.” 

Following each unsuccessful field goal… 

  • If the offensive player rebounds the ball, he may continue to attempt to score without returning the ball behind the arc. 
  • If the defensive player rebounds the ball, he must return the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling). 

If the defensive team steals or blocks the ball…it must return the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling). 

If the ball goes out of bounds…Possession of the ball given to either team following any dead ball situation shall start/resume with a check ball.

In the event of a jump ball situation…the game shall be resumed with a check-ball for the last defensive team. The shot clock shall be reset to 12 seconds.  


For the rules on fouls, I would refer you to the rules page online for the exact FIBA rules. For the purpose of practice or camp, I would modify the rules. For example, any non-shooting foul, check the ball up at the top. For all shooting fouls, reward offense with basket or reward basket after a certain number of fouls committed by the defense. 

For a cheat sheet summary of FIBA 3 v 3 rules


For a more detailed version of the rules


As with any practice drills, you can look to put your own spin/rules on the game to fit your team or what you want to accomplish. Here are just a few ideas for modifying the game:

  • Focus on weak hand-finishing- players can only score with a weak hand or get extra point for weak hand finish
  • Screening- must score off a screen or extra point for scoring off a screen
  • No dribbles
  • Every player must touch the ball before scoring
  • Attacking paint- can only score in the paint or can only score after paint touch
  • Playing through post- must have post touch before scoring

There are many different ideas. Make it your own. For me, FIBA 3 v 3 is as close to a perfect practice drills /game as it gets- high-level activity and flow.

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