WBBL three v three: 'If you mess up, they're going to score'

Gaskin
Christina Gaskin in WBBL action for Barking Abbey Crusaders
BBC BBL and WBBL Coverage
Date: Friday, 27 January Time: 17:00 GMT WBBL: Barking Abbey v Oaklands Wolves BBL: London Lions v Bristol Flyers (Three v Three WBBL at half-time)

What five-a-side is to football, three v three is to basketball.

With two fewer players on each side than a normal basketball game, played on half a court with only one basket to score in, the world of three v three makes for rather fast-paced basketball and very little room for error.

On Friday, the best female players in the UK continue the early stages of a new three v three tournament, that you can watch during half-time of London Lions v Bristol Flyers on the BBC Sport website, Connected TV and on the BBC Sport App.

"From an audience perspective I think three v three is easier to follow," said Christina Gaskin of Barking Abbey Crusaders.

"With a normal basketball game when you have 10 people on the floor you have to know a little bit of the game to understand what's going on when people run offenses.

"When you run three on three it's more exciting and played at a quicker pace."

For the tournament the WBBL teams have been split into three groups - North One, North Two and South - and play everyone else in their group once.

The winners of North One will face the winners of North Two in the semi-finals and the top two in the South group will play each other for a place in the final.

WBBL three v three groups
North One: Caledonia Pride, Sheffield Hatters, Team Northumbria
North Two: Leicester Riders, Manchester Mystics, Nottingham Wildcats
South: Barking Abbey Crusaders, Cardiff Met Archers, Oaklands Wolves, Sevenoaks Suns

So what is it like to play in?

"The energy is different when you play three v three. You realise there's a lot more pressure because you don't have as many opportunities to score.

"You have to make sure you get a good shot every time and defensively you're working hard and getting those stops.

"You don't have that help defensively behind you so if you mess up, they're going to score.

"There's that sense of pride that it's me against that person I'm playing against, as opposed to having extra team-mates to help you out. That makes it more intense."

Rules of three v three

  • Played on only half of the court at one basket
  • Uses a specialist three v three ball
  • Six-minute game (overtime is one minute if required)
  • Three players on the floor at a time from a squad of four, with rolling substitutions
  • Two points - instead of 3 - from behind the arc and one point - instead of two - inside
  • After a foul when shooting and missing, you get one free throw - instead of two
  • When a basket is scored, the ball is inbounded from the top of the arc and not underneath the basket

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