Nov 13, 2012, 11:06 AM EST
Soccer may still be the world’s No. 1 sport, but basketball has been making headway for years.
Now, in order to enjoy some exclusivity on the world stage, FIBA has decided to switch up the schedule for its newly dubbed World Cup of Basketball so that it doesn’t have to compete for airtime with the famous soccer competition of a similar name.
The event will be held every four years starting in 2019 and will offer an automatic spot into the Olympics for the tournament winner.
“The new competition format will give more prominence to the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” officials explained in a release. “The modification of the current system is essential to further stimulate the global growth of basketball, increase its visibility around the world and further develop FIBA’s National Federations.”
FIBA will hold continental championships every four years, instead of every two, starting in 2017, and will also add the “Road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” which will be a home-and-home qualification among three and four-team divisions vying for spots in the big tournament.
The governing body some of the modifications to the schedule were done in hopes to alleviate concerns about player injury and fatigue by reducing the summer workload between professional seasons.
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