Spain have been revealed as hosts for next year's International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Under-17 World Championships, with the men’s and women’s tournaments set to be held for jointly for the first time.
The FIBA ruling Central Board, currently meeting in Tokyo, endorsed the proposal put forward by the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB), who promised they would stage a unique and innovate sporting event, as part of a youth world basketball festival which combines competition with the latest music and technology.
With both Championships set to be held at the same time, FIBA believe the costs of operations will be reduced due to completion being held in a single venue, while the women’s tournament could benefit from having a greater visibility.
Additionally, the merging of the two Championships is seen as a way to add further prestige with the world’s best men’s and women’s national teams all expected to attend the competition.
Providing a better experience for the players has also been a major contributing factor to the decision as the players are set to be given the opportunity to share their love of basketball with boys and girls of the same age from different cultures.
Players at the event will also be able to take part in a solidarity and creative talent congress which will be held alongside the event, as well as a basket and music festival.
Currently Costa del Sol, Galicia, Madrid and Zaragoza are being considered as venues.
The 2016 tournament is due to the fourth edition of the men’s and women’s Under-17 World Championships, with the event having been held bi-annually since 2010.
The United States have proved to be the dominant country in both Championships, having won each of the men’s competitions, with their latest triumph coming last year in Dubai, where they defeated Australia 99-92 in the final.
Their women’s team kept their unblemished record intact narrowly beating Spain 77-75 in the gold medal match in the Czech city Plzeň last July.