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03/10/2010

KARLOVY VARY (2010 FIBA World Championship) - FIBA are going to take a serious look at lowering the rim for women's basketball.

The announcement came on Sunday, shortly before the start of the bronze medal game at the FIBA World Championship for Women between Spain and Belarus.

FIBA have held a conference on women's basketball in Karlovy Vary this weekend to discuss ways of making the sport better, and more appealing to a wider audience.

Coaches, players and federation officials attended the meetings.

"One of the conclusions was that we need to change the rules if we want to make the game a bit more attractive," said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann.

"We have the smaller ball and now it’s time to lower the rim. It will be tested.

"They will select certain countries and competition where they can test it.

"The question is, what will come out of the tests.

"The game as it is is a good game, but we have a large majority of women's basketball players that don't have that size and there are questions whether the game is as attractive as it really could be if you were able to play over the basket rather than under the basket."

Baumann says FIBA will not rush to judgment but instead take a long considered look at the issue.

"It's going to take a while," he said.

"If you want to see how it impacts the game, you have to figure out over a period of time - you have to figure out the height, then try it in individual games, and then you have to try it over a prolonged period.

"Then we need to find a national federation that would be willing to test it.

"Maybe we can use three three-on-three - that's an easy one because we can set the rules.

"I think this (testing) is going to last at least four years.

"There is now way we can do it shorter."

The consideration of lowering the rim has been around in some parts of Europe already.

"The Italian Basketball Federation has tried it already," Baumann said.

"They were happy with it.

"We told them they couldn't do it in official games, so they stopped.

"But we know that there are federations out there that would be happy to test it."

There are and will continue to be different points of view on whether the rim should be lowered.”

The FIBA World Championship for Women has caused been successful, and those that attended the conference want to use the momentum it has created to make the sport even better.

"This conference was 50 countries from five continents and there have been a lot of ideas that came on the table," Baumann said.

"There is clearly a stream of people that think it should be the same game and there is no reason to change and that's a fair position as well.

"But at the same time I want to say as well that we should not compare ourselves to men.

"And then comes the position that you need to make the product more attractive.

"So, we will never know if we don't test it."

Coaches have expressed different viewpoints.

"During the conference some coaches have said we should lower the basket, others think it's a crazy idea, but we want to check whether it will or won't improve the game," Baumann said.

"Will the game become more attractive for spectators and media, and will we find new talents and more players that can play the game?

"We want to test it and see how different the game will be."

 

You can see the entire interview with FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann at www.fibatv.com.

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