Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league is coming into something big for the year 2020.
On Wednesday, they announced a series of major structural changes to its format ahead of its fourth season that has led to a rebranding of its 3-on-3 form of basketball as an entirely new sport called Fireball3.
The changes include: lowering the minimum age from 27 to 22; ending the requirement for professional experience, allowing open tryouts to qualify for the Big3 combine; once per half, a team can challenge a foul call resulting in an in-game one-on-one possession with the victor winning the call; a new all-red ball known as a Fireball; and a new festival-like experience at its events.
“There are a lot of sports out there that require similar skill sets, like MMA and boxing, football and rugby, baseball and cricket. Our fans let us know that we were playing something extremely unique, FIREBALL3, which is nothing like the typical three-on-three FIBA game coming to the Olympics,” BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube said.
“We’ve needed the freedom to keep innovating without potential new fans thinking it was typical three-on-three. Plus, we didn’t want our deep love and respect for the NBA to be misinterpreted by our use of different rules,” Ice Cube added. “We could never compete with the NBA any more than we could compete with the NFL or FIFA. We are the BIG3, our own unique thing. But that doesn’t mean FIREBALL3 can’t coexist with these sports and still be many fans’ favorite sport.”
Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz said: “Our appeal is young and more diverse and we needed to eliminate confusion to help fans understand what to expect from our on-court product.”