Basketball: BIG3 Takes Big Steps Forward With “Fireball3” Rules

By Ian Jackson (@IanNicholas42)

In 2019, the BIG3 evolved as both a source of entertainment and competition with improved TV rights and an influx of well-known talent.

With 2020’s season on the horizon, many enthusiasts of the still-young league may think the BIG3 couldn’t get any better. Well, league founder Ice Cube and company is challenging that belief and many others with a new concept called “Fireball3.”

Cube’s announcement of a set of new rules and concepts centered around the Fireball concept got a good deal of buzz during a busy sports week when they were announced last Wednesday. The announcement could be seen as effective on a strategic level, its still a long way until the coming summer and the next BIG3 season tips off, but the details that come with the Fireball3 initiative are all very intriguing and should keep fans and media interested in the league in the run-up to the next games to come.

All that’s left to see is how the league will execute the Fireball rules, which in their own way seem to open up more possibilities for highlight plays that could go viral and light up highlight reels.

Also, the lowering of the league’s minimum age could bring in more talent playing at the peak of their athleticism, which could build off of the complete boost the league got in 2019 from key older talents like Will Bynum, Gilbert Arenas and eventual League MVP “Iso” Joe Johnson.

The world is becoming more familiar with 3 on 3 ball, as it stands to be a part of the upcoming Olympic games, but they don’t know what Fireball is yet and Cube and his players are looking for that invention to separate and elevate BIG3 from anything else people could see this Summer.

Here are the highlighted rules and new elements of play that are going to be implemented into the BIG3’s 2020 season: 

  • Lowering Minimum Age – The BIG3 is lowerinf the minimum age to qualify for its athletes from 27 to 22, with even younger exceptions possible in hardship cases.
  • “Bring the Fire” – 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.
  • All Athletes Welcome – The BIG3 will hold open tryouts for athletes to qualify for the BIG3 combine, meaning professional basketball experience is no longer required — the BIG3 now wants the best athletes in the world regardless of sporting experience. In the same manner as the NFL takes the best from various sports, this could mean two-sport athletes, overlooked basketball stars, and some amateur athletes choosing the league over other sports.
  • The FIREBALL – The league will use a new all red ball known as a FIREBALL.

Just as the lowering of the minimum age could spice up BIG3 rosters, so could the more open tryouts, which could bring in known names from the NFL and MLB as well as the NBA, maybe even musicians and other entertainers as well. Since its arrival in 2017, the BIG3 has encouraged interaction with entertainers of all strips, maybe now they can really be a part of the action if their game is right.

With consideration to what’s on the court, the “Bring the Fire” rule has a chance to get a lot of people excited given its potential to produce a bunch of ankle breaking crossovers and dream one-on-one match-ups that may not necessarily come naturally in-game or that could be instigated through constant trash talk, which has become a trademark of the league. Many old rivalries have flared up in the BIG3, with “Bring the Fire” they stand a chance to get settled once and for all at the rim.

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