What you need to know about 3x3 basketball as it debuts at the Pan American Games

LIMA, Peru -- A condensed form of hoops takes the next step in its Olympic-level development Saturday with the debut of 3x3 basketball at the 2019 Pan American Games.

The sport was first played in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and went on to make its Asian Games debut in 2018. It will become an Olympic sport next year in Tokyo.

The U.S. men and women have each won the FIBA 3x3 World Cup since it was first played in 2012, with the men capturing gold in last month's tournament in the Netherlands, and the women in the year of the tournament's debut. Currently the U.S. women's team ranks No. 21 and the men No. 8. The Serbian men and Russian women sit atop their respective federation rankings, with Russia also No. 1 in the combined rankings.

The American teams play five total games on the event's first day (watch the Pan American Games stream on ESPN App, ESPNU and ESPN Deportes). The men face Venezuela (5 p.m. ET) and Brazil (9 p.m.), while the women take on Argentina (4:30 p.m.), Uruguay (7 p.m.) and Brazil (10 p.m.).

Princeton product Kareem Maddox leads the men after averaging 3.4 points and 7 rebounds for the World Cup team that finished with a 7-0 mark. He ranks 37th in FIBA's individual 3x3 world rankings. On the women's side, Oregon senior Sabrina Ionescu, a Final Four participant last spring, is a seasoned national and 3x3 player who was named tournament MVP at this year's Red Bull 3x3 Nationals in Las Vegas.

It might seem like an old-school game of pickup, but there are some nuances to 3x3 hoops. Here's what you need to know:

  • Two teams compete on a half court, with three players apiece and one substitute. No coaching is allowed during the game.

  • Field goals inside the arc are worth one point, two from behind it. Free throws are one point. A player fouled inside the arc is awarded one free throw, two if fouled outside it.

  • The winner is the first team to 21 points, or the team that's ahead after the 10-minute regulation period. The shot clock runs 12 seconds.

  • A coin toss determines opening possession. The team that wins the toss can choose to start the game with the ball, or defer to a potential overtime period.

  • There is no break after a score; a team transitioning to offense must resume play by dribbling or passing the ball from the area underneath the basket to a spot behind the arc. This includes possessions gained after a defensive rebound, block or steal.

  • Jump balls are awarded to the defense.

  • Players are not excluded from the game based on the number of personal fouls.

  • Stalling, or failing to play actively, is a violation.

  • Substitutes can enter during dead-ball situations and before a check-ball or free throw and must come in from the end line opposite the basket.

  • Each team is allowed one 30-second timeout.

In keeping with current replay trends, 3x3 basketball allows for officials to review issues with scorekeeping or clocks, whether a shot is released on time at the end of regulation, or any game situation in the final 30 seconds of regulation or during the entire overtime period. Team challenges will be allowed only during Olympic competition.