FIBA Europe Review 2005

23.12.2005

2005 has been an intensely busy period for FIBA Europe:

• 198 National Youth teams
• 39 National Men teams
• 33 National Women teams
• Total of 270 National teams from
• 48 countries which participated in
• 16 European Championships and played
• 934 official FIBA Europe games between July and September
• as well as:

Club Competitions

A total of 704 games were played in 2005 in FIBA Europe’s four club competitions.

Dynamo St. Petersburg coach David Blatt with his children and the FIBA Europe League trophy
Dynamo St. Petersburg coach David Blatt with his children and the FIBA Europe League trophy
The first official events of the year were the Final Fours of the FIBA Europe League, EuroLeague Women and the FIBA Europe Cups Men and Women.

The FIBA Europe Cup Men was won by Romanian side Ploiesti, the first time that a Romanian club has won any European silverware.

Phard Napoli triumphed in the FIBA Europe Cup Women, beating Turkish side Fenerbahce in the final and earning themselves a spot in the 2005/2006 EuroLeague Women.

Samara became the third out of four home sides to win on home soil as they hoisted the EuroLeague Women trophy. The win capped a remarkable achievement for the Russians who were undefeated for the whole season, completing an 18-0 record with victory over Gambrinus Brno for the title.

In the FIBA Europe League Men, Dynamo St Petersburg were on a similar mission to their female counterparts. The Russian side did not have the luxury of the homecourt advantage as the Final Four was hosted by Fenerbahce in Istanbul, Turkey.

Nonetheless, there was nothing stopping Dynamo from also going unbeaten for the entire season and the side led by Israeli coach David Blatt crowned their achievement with a win against BC Kyiv in the final.

Youth tournaments

A total of 14 youth tournaments in 13 countries were held in the summer.

For the first time, FIBA Europe’s new system of competition was employed at all events so that Division A and Division B tournaments were held for each age group (U20, U18 and U16).

A total of 198 national teams (2,376 players) registered for the competitions.

Over 200 national youth teams are already registered for 2006   

Highlights

Interest in the youth tournaments was very high. Fibaeurope.com attracted over 200,000 visitors per week during the summer period with a single day high of 52,000 visits.

Dragan Labovic (Serbia & Mont.)
Serbia & Montenegro's Dragan Labovic was MVP of the U18 European Championship

Every single game that took place in official FIBA Europe competition could be followed on live on fibaeurope.com via our online scoring package.

In addition, and for the second year in a row, video from selected games from the U18 and U20 European Championships Men were also available for download.

Serbia & Montenegro attracted crowds of over 7,000 for the quarter-final round onwards of the U18 European Championship in Belgrade.

All of Serbia & Montenegro’s games were broadcast on national television and the final attracted a television viewing audience of 600,000.

Over 50 journalists were accredited for the event.

The U20 European Championship Men in Chekov, Russia also attracted a lot of interest. Crowds of 5,000 watched the home side win the gold medal and all their games were broadcast on domestic television. Broadcasters in Lithuania and Israel also took the signal to follow their national teams.

U14

We continue to run our affiliation programme with existing tournaments across Europe for players U14 or younger. In order to receive official FIBA Europe status, the tournaments must have an international dimension, meaning at least one team from abroad participates.

In 2005 14 tournaments in 9 countries, featuring over 300 teams, were recognized by FIBA Europe.

In October, a conference was held in Vierumaki, Finland with representatives from over 30 national federations. The conference was held in co-operation with the Youth Commission and Finnish Basketball Federation and was a first step in discussing the future of the U14 category with those federation representatives who are directly responsible for youth basketball within their own countries.

EuroBasket  & EuroBasket Women

The main focus of 2005 was undoubtedly EuroBasket and EuroBasket Women held in Serbia & Montenegro and Turkey respectively.

Eva Nemcová (Czech Republic)
Eva Nemcová's last second 3-pointer gave Czech Republic victory at EuroBasket Women
From a sporting point of view, both events were tremendously successful.

EuroBasket Women was decided with a three-pointer two seconds from the end by the Czech Republic who beat Russia.

The tournament was very well organized by the Turkish Basketball Federation in 3 cities, Bursa, Izmir and Ankara.

150 international journalists were accredited for the event and crowds were up from 2003, thanks mainly to an impressive performance from the home side who confounded most expectations to reach the quarter-finals.

The EuroBasket Women was broadcast live in 10 European countries and had 12 million viewers.

The EuroBasket was similarly well organized in Serbia & Montenegro in the cities of Vrsac, Novi Sad, Podgorica and Belgrade.

EuroBasket Men was one of the most closely fought international competitions ever and featured at least 12 teams good enough to win a medal.

In terms of spectator numbers, the event was exceptionally well attended and nearly all tickets were sold out long before the first game.

Just over 327,000 people attended games, including an average of approximately 18,000 beginning with the quarter-final round at the Belgrade Arena.

The number of fans that visited games in the Belgrade Arena (over 185,000 in total) was particularly gratifying considering that host nation Serbia & Montenegro had been knocked out in the elimination round. However, fears that this would affect audience numbers proved to be unjustified.

Other Facts about EuroBasket

1,200 accredited international media members attended EuroBasket. A main goal for FIBA Europe was to ensure that the media had excellent working conditions.

An official media guide and FIBA Europe Register was produced by our Communications Department and proved to be a highly valuable resource for the media.

Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) - Top Scorer and MVP
EuroBasket 2005 MVP Dirk Nowitzki

We conducted a media survey after the event which will help us to assess the conditions in Belgrade and to plan for future major events.

Television rights for the event were sold extensively and the games were broadcasts in 120 countries worldwide.

For the first time ever, a deal was signed to cover live internet rights, and for all the territories where television rights had not been sold, games could be viewed online.

The event web site was a joint project between FIBA Europe and the LOC and attracted record numbers. We received 3.3 million visits in September, including an average of more than 217,000 visits per day during EuroBasket.

Two very interesting statistics are that visitors came from 150 countries worldwide and those visitors who came to view our live scoring stayed on average for 48 minutes.

Referees

2005 was another action packed year for FIBA Europe referees. Two clinics were held for international referee candidates as well as a refresher clinic for commissioners. In addition, a clinic for our most talented young referees as well as Instructors was held in June.

In 2003 we had a clinic for the referees nominated for EuroBasket & EuroBasket Women and this exercise was repeated again in 2005, hosted by the Hellenic basketball federation.

The referee web site continues to go from strength to strength.

A sign of its value is that FIFA has just signed an agreement with the University of Gran Canaria to use the same technology for their officials which was pioneered by our referee department.

FIBA Europe launched a new Referees Coaching program – five coaches have been appointed to take care of 72 potential referees (including 8 women referees).

In December we launched a new web site, this time for referee instructors, which is the next step in what is already a very comprehensive education structure for referees.

After extensive testing, the digital scoresheet project is ready to be implemented at all FIBA Europe events in 2006. The software was tested in Gran Canaria, at the U18 European Championship Men and at EuroBasket and proved to be a tremendous tool for referees.

Coaches

Michail Giannakidis and Coach Giannis Giannapoulos (Greece)
coaching will be a key issue for FIBA Europe in 2006
The success of our referee department and its concepts has led to the creation of the Coaching Department in 2006.

The department is led by Michael Schwarz, a former German national team player and coach of the U20 and Universiade German teams in 2005.

The department will seek to work with FIBA Europe’s national federations in Europe, to co-ordinate the education of coaches and define national standards across the continent.

Player of the Year

FIBA Europe launched an official Player of the Year award in November, starting in 2005.

The award will be divided into four different categories, Men, Young Men, Women and Young Women.

All European players, regardless of where they play their club basketball are eligible for the award, and the winners in each category will be selected by a vote of international media members.

Players under 22 (born in 1983 or after) are eligible for the young player award.

The winners will be selected based on their performances in 2005 up to and including EuroBasket and EuroBasket Women. Each winner will be presented with a special trophy commissioned by FIBA Europe.

Special Olympics

FIBA Europe completed a second year of co-operation with the Special Olympics by hosting the Special Olympics European Basketball Week at the end of November.

The event saw Special Olympics organize basketball activities during the week throughout the region – tournaments, clinics, exhibition matches – involving 10,000 children and adults and male and female players with intellectual disabilities in 30 countries.
Basketball Week is the flagship event of the FIBA Europe-SOEE partnership that was established in May 2004 with the signing of an agreement of cooperation to develop basketball for players with intellectual disabilities. The benefits of the partnership are already evident with the number of Special Olympics players in Europe/Eurasia increasing from approximately 13,000 to 20,000 players. 

This was the third event that FIBA Europe has co-ordinated with Special Olympics following the European Basketball Week and basketball festival both held in 2004.

Publications

2005 saw the launch of the first ever FIBA Europe Register. The book is a definitive guide to European basketball and contains results, stats, rosters and standings from virtually every league in Europe, as well as national team and European club competition.

We have also released the second edition of the Youth Yearbook which records all the actions from FIBA Europe’s 14 youth tournaments in 2005.

Other publications that were revamped in 2005 include our event manuals for all youth tournaments and EuroBasket Men & Women. The manuals are guides for the Local Organising Committees of all FIBA Europe events and ensure that the highest competition standards are met.

Merchandise

The above publications, as well as an extensive line of FIBA Europe merchandise including t-shirts, mouse pads, a calendar and much more can be ordered online here.

2006

2006 will see the first ever EuroLeague Women All-Star game

It will be another exciting year for European basketball:
• Club competitions: 32 ECM, 24 ECC, 18 ELW and 48 ECW  =  122 clubs
• 2 Final Fours (ECM & ELW)
• 2 All Star games (ECM & ELW)
• 2 Finals (ECC & ECW)
• 12 Youth European Championships
• 2 Youth (Promotion Cup / small countries) Championships
• 2 senior (Promotion Cup / small countries) Championships
• Various Referees clinics (candidates, Commissioners & Instructors/potentials)
• Various Coaches Clinics

In May there will be the annual General Assembly where all of our fifty national federations will meet in Munich.

This annual event takes on a more significant meaning as elections will be held for the FIBA Europe President, as well as the FIBA Europe Board and Commission members.

The Hosting countries for the EuroBasket Women 2009 and 2011 will be declared.

The Year Of Women’s Basketball

2006 will also see the launch of the Year of Women’s Basketball at the EuroLeague Women All-Star Day which will be held in Pecs, Hungary on 8th March. This project will conclude with the EurBasket Women 2007 in Italy.

The objective of this project is to increase the promotion of women’s basketball in Europe and to help the national federations with raising media awareness, sponsor interest and participation numbers in their countries.

Best wishes to everybody for the New Year.

Nar Zanolin
Secretary General

George Vassilakopoulos
President

 


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