The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) governs international competition in basketball. FIBA makes the international rules of basketball, they specify the equipment and facilities that are required, they regulate the transfer of athletes across countries, and they control the appointment of international referees. There are a total of 215 national federations organized into five zones or “commissions”: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup is considered to be the flagship event of the International Basketball Federation. It is a world tournament for men’s national teams held every four years. Teams compete for the Naismith Trophy. The tournament structure is similar but not identical to that of the FIFA World Cup in football (soccer). The current champions are the United States, who defeated Serbia in the final of the 2014 tournament.
FIBA expanded to 24 teams in the FIBA World Cup. Under the current format, the teams are divided into four preliminary round groups of six teams each. The top four teams in each group then advance to a sixteen-team single-elimination knockout round. It begins with the eighth finals, where the top teams in each group play the fourth-placed teams in another group and the second and third-placed teams in each group face off. This is followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final.
In 1989, FIBA opened the door to Olympic participation by professionals such as players from the NBA in the United States.