Federation Focus: Bulgaria

19.04.2013

10 YEARS FIBA EUROPE

Basketball was first introduced in Bulgaria in 1916, becoming a popular sport among students. With the interest in the sport growing over the years, the first basketball courts were laid in Sofia in 1919. Atletik Sofia were the first major sport club to establish an own section for basketball. In the early years, basketball was regarded as a women's sport, with the first basketball teams being women's teams.

The popularity also picking up amongst men's sport clubs, a first basketball tournament was played in Sofia in 1924, featuring 11 women's teams and 10 men's teams. The first international game in the history of Bulgarian basketball was played 10 years later in May 1934, with Atletik - Slava 23 defeating the Students Sports Club from Bucharest 22-16.

In 1934, a first organizing body was formed, the Committee of Handball, leading to the foundation of the Basketball Federation of Bulgaria (Bulgarska Federazija po Basketbol/BFB) one year later. BFB affiliated with FIBA in 1935, with the men's national team debuting at the premier edition of the European Championship.

Final of the 1957 European Championship in Sofia between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union
Bulgaria were hosting the European Championship in 1957, clinching the silver medal

The men celebrated their biggest success in 1957 as hosts of the European Championship. Bulgaria stayed perfect throughout the Final Round, facing the also undefeated Soviet Union in the last and decisive game. Playing in the packed Vasil Levski stadium, the hosts went in front 23-19 at half-time but eventually fell to the Soviets, 57-60, and took the silver medal.

Bulgaria's men reached the podium three more times, clinching bronze at the European Championship 1961 and the U18 European Championships in 1980 and 1982, respectively. The only gold medal for Bulgaria came in 1958, when the women's senior team were crowned European champions with a perfect 5-0 record. The women's senior team collected a total of 14 medals, including a silver and a gold medal each from World Championships and Olympic Games.

On club level, Slavia Sofia won the first EuroLeague Women title in 1959, defeating Dynamo Moscow in the two-game home-and-away finals. Slavia made the final three more times, winning another title in 1963. Levski Spartak Sofia were the second Bulgarian team to clinch the prestigious title, winning the competition in 1984. The club were previously crowned back-to-back champions in the Ronchetti Cup in 1978 and 1979.

 

 

STATS & FACTS

Year of foundation: 1935
President: Georgi Glushkov
Secretary General: Eleonora Rangelova
Homepage: www.basketball.bg

Registered players:
- U18 Men: 900
- U18 Women: 550
- Senior Men: 322
- Senior Women: 188
Estimated non-registered players:
- Juniors: 7,000
- Seniors: 600
Registered clubs: 116
Registered coaches: 324

 

NATIONAL TEAM MEDALS & TITLES

1954 European Championship for Women in Belgrade (Yugoslavia): 3rd place
1957 European Championship for Men in Sofia (Bulgaria): 2nd place
1958 European Championship for Women in Lodz (Poland): 1st place
1959 World Championship for Women in Moscow (Soviet Union): 2nd place
1960 European Championship for Women in Sofia (Bulgaria): 2nd place
1961 European Championship for Men in Belgrade (Yugoslavia): 3rd place
1962 European Championship for Women in Mulhouse (France): 3rd place
1964 World Championship for Women in Lima (Peru): 3rd place
1964 European Championship for Women in Budapest (Hungary): 2nd place
1969 European Championship for Junior Women in Köln, Lünen, Essen, Hohenlimburg, Hagen (Germany): 2nd place
1971 European Championship for Junior Women in Backa Topola, Subotica (Yugoslavia): 3rd place
1972 European Championship for Women in Varna, Bourgas (Bulgaria): 2nd place
1976 European Championship for Cadettes in Szecsin (Poland): 3rd place
1976 Olympic Games: Tournament for Women in Montreal (Canada): 3rd place
1976 European Championship for Women in Moulins, Le Mont-Dore, Vichy, Clermont Ferrand (France): 3rd place
1978 European Championship for Cadettes in Cuenca (Spain): 3rd place
1980 European Championship for Junior Men in Celje (Yugoslavia): 3rd place
1980 Olympic Games: Tournament for Women in Moscow (Soviet Union): 2nd place
1980 European Championship for Cadettes in Zalaegerszeg, Pécs (Hungary): 3rd place
1981 European Championship for Junior Women in Eger, Kecskemét (Hungary): 3rd place
1982 European Championship for Junior Men in Dimitrovgrad, Haskovo (Bulgaria): 3rd place
1983 European Championship for Women in Miskolc, Zalaegerszeg, Budapest (Hungary): 2nd place
1984 European Championship for Cadettes in Perugia, Marsciano (Italy): 2nd place
1985 European Championship for Women in Vicenza, Treviso (Italy): 2nd place
1989 European Championship for Women in Varna (Bulgaria): 3rd place
1992 European Championship for Junior Women in Kalamata, Tripolis, Patra (Greece): 2nd place


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