Recognising future trends in sports, the World University League is one way FISU keeps innovating. Bringing university sport to more school campuses enhances the student experience. The newest member of FISU events combine the best of games, entertainment and culture.


University World Cup

The University World Cup series compliments other FISU events like the Universiade and the World University Championships. The mission of these events is to help bring student-athletes into the fold who might not otherwise step onto the international university sports scene. For the first time in FISU history, competitions are organised between university teams rather than having student-athletes compete for national teams.

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A Sports Innovation Partnership

There is perhaps no better legacy than giving young people a chance to take part in sports among an international community.

Through the University World Cups, FISU’s aim is to increase sports participation through universities and help student athletes be both today’s stars and tomorrow’s leaders.

This last line is more than the tagline, it’s FISU’s guiding principle: in everything the organisation does, keeping the athlete experience at the heart of university sports is the number one priority.  We live in a fast-changing world and how we all play sports is constantly evolving, especially for university athletes of today and tomorrow. As the home of university sports, FISU employees’ day-to-day lives revolve around collaborating with global partners to keep innovating for the future of sports.

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3x3 Basketball: The roots of the University World Cup

With all the sports options out there, why did FISU decide to start the University World Cup concept back in 2015 with 3x3 Basketball? That’s easy: 3x3 Basketball is where culture, sport and innovation collide.

The University World Cup series are a gateway for new sports and formats to make their way into the Universiade. This allows FISU to experiment with international sport federations to enhance sports delivery and innovation. Already, 3x3 Basketball is the most popular urban team sport in the world.

3x3 Basketball is a game pretty much everyone can play, anywhere in the world. With teams composed of three players, plus one possible substitute, it is easy to field a team. Its just players playing as no coaching is allowed during a competition.

The simplicity of the 3x3 game stands out: all you need are a hoop, a ball, some teammates, and a little competition. There is not even a mandatory surface; a tournament can take place on concrete, asphalt, an existing or a temporary court. Bringing sport into the center of university campus life was the goal FISU set out to achieve with University World Cups. The series has delivered.

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University World Cup - Football

Following the success of bringing universities worldwide with 3x3 Basketball, FISU will launch the University World Cup – Football finals in 2019.

FISU’s newest event begins one year before the finals with continental qualifying tournaments leading up to the University World Cup - Football finals. The 16 best men’s teams and eight best women’s teams will qualify for the finals, which will take place in JinJiang, China.

Known as the South Gate of China, JinJiang is an ancient-yet-modern city ideally suited to hosting this University World Cup. With 14 competition and training venues, JinJiang is a city of football.

Also contributing to the event’s success is the FISU and FIFA partnership, which goes back to 1966. Since then, FISU has helped FIFA grow the sport amongst university students, both with traditional Football and by adding Futsal to the World University Championship programme in 1984. The University World Cup – Football allows FISU to further grow the beautiful game on the university campus.

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3x3 Basketball - Finals in 2017

After four days and seven games, two university 3x3 teams strode to centre court to accept the individual medals and team trophy bestowed upon the victors of the 3x3 FISU World University League finals. The two teams, though, took different paths to the title.

In Xiamen, the winning continued as the Chinese Culture University ran the table from preliminaries to finals. To take the title, the team defeated the University of Regina 21:12 in the final.

Mon-Altius Physical Education Institute, meanwhile, took a more circuitous route to the 2017 Men’s title. The Mongolian team lost their first two games in the preliminary pool play before finding their groove in the knock out rounds. Mon-Altius made an inspired run to the championship, defeating the University of Kragujevac of Serbia 21 : 17 in the finals.

FIBA’s Secretary General Patrick Baumann said he’s “very happy” with FISU’s work in developing the sport of basketball, particularly 3x3. “It’s very cool. We’ve been working on this for about 10 years. (FISU) brings together the best teams, with a very high level of competition.

 

“FISU was very fast to jump on the train to help organize 3x3 since basically the beginning,” Baumann added. “It’s the perfect game for university students.”

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3x3 Basketball – Finals in 2016

A total of 32 teams - 16 men and 16 women - from 23 countries competed for the medals. When the dust settled on the men’s side, McGill University from Canada beat France's University of Bordeaux. The Canadians defended their title, also beating the Frenchmen from Bordeaux in 2015.

In the women’s final, another Canadian team, the University of Regina, took the lead early, but the Lithuanian Sports University stormed back. With an efficient offense, Lithuanian Sports University reached the top of the podium by winning 21-14.


The event also featured shoot-out and dunk contests, much to the delight of both the crowd and competitors.

The competition had an impressive reach. CCTV broadcast the games daily, while Eurosport also covered the event. Additionally, FISU TV live streamed all the games and contests to a global audience. 

Final Standings - Men's Competition

  1. McGill University (CAN)
  2. University of Bordeaux (FRA)
  3. University of Kragujevac (SRB)

Final Standings - Women's Competition

  1. Lithuanian Sport University (LTU)
  2. University of Regina (CAN)
  3. Chinese Cultural University (TPE)

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3x3 Basketball Showcases the University World Cup Concept in 2015

What started as an idea to bring elite sport events onto the middle of a university campus became a reality when Huaqiao University in Xiamen, China hosted FISU’s first international 3x3 Basketball tournament where student athletes competed for their universities instead of their national team.

Dubbed the “World University League” for the first three years, the event proved so successful that FISU grew the programme to include football and changed to the University World Cup in late 2017.

In the inaugural edition of the women’s final the University of Chinese Culture faced off against the University of Economics and Finance of Tianjin. Led by China’s Wu Di, who has the distinction of being the first university player in the national team of China, the University of Chinese Culture won 21-13.

Women’s League Final 2015

Men's League Final 2015

The men, who has the disUniversité du Québec à Montréal of Canada and the University of Bordeaux from France came down to the last play. The Canadian university came out on top with a 17-16 win.

Final Standings - Men's Competition

  1. Université du Québec à Montréal (CAN)
  2. Université de Bordeaux (FRA)
  3. Peking University (CHN)

Final Standings - Women's Competition

  1. University of Chinese Culture (CHN)
  2. University of Economics and Finance of Tianjin (TPE)
  3. Monash University (AUS)

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Want to know more about the FISU University World Cups? Contact us!


The University World Cup Department wants to hear from you! Feel free to pepper us with your questions and comments about the World Cups - and where we’re going with it!

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: FISU World University Championships

Web: fisu.net/events/world-university-championships