The forthcoming U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup, to be held in the Spanish capital of Madrid, will set a first for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) by rolling out new court technology that promises to ramp up game presentation.

Scheduled for July 15-23, the U19 World Cup will see an innovative glass flooring court – capable of showing videos and imagery, among other things – installed for all final-phase games at the Palacio de los Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid – the arena otherwise known as WiZink Center.

Rigorously tested and having gone through FIBA’s Equipment and Venue Centre Approval programme, ASB GlassFloor systems have already been utilised in the 3×3 Pro League in the Netherlands and in pre-season German Bundesliga games, as well as other sporting competitions. However, they will make their debut at a flagship FIBA event in July.

FIBA views the introduction of the glass flooring court as having the potential to contribute strongly to the successful delivery of one of its strategic priorities – namely to ‘Enlarge the FIBA Family’ by endorsing and encouraging innovation in basketball.

Enhancing the show

The LumiFlex court provided by ASB GlassFloor is a full video floor allowing for interactive applications, as well as an enhanced show staging, with additional options for advertising.

The flooring also features the ability to add player tracking, making it possible to display live stats and athletic achievements on the floor, providing fans with enhanced interaction and better engagement.

The use of the glass-court technology at the 2023 U19 World Cup was made possible by the FIBA Central Board’s decision last year to implement a rule change to allow the use of LED glass in Level 1 competitions.

Bart Prinssen, head of equipment and venue center at FIBA, tells Fan XP: “FIBA is launching the glass floor for the first time in Madrid at the U19 Women’s World Cup, and with the foreseen success, we do plan to use the floor in future competitions. However, we want to make sure that Madrid will create its own legacy, with this premiere being one of the facilitators to make that happen.”

Regarding the technology’s flexibility for use at other venues and competitions, Prinssen adds: “The floor is modular for size and it is available for rent and sale. The floor can be installed and dismantled for temporary set up.”

Commercial opportunities

The U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup features the top 16 youth women’s national teams competing in a 56-game tournament.

Host nation Spain is set to be joined by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Mali, and the USA.

Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) president Jorge Garbajosa said in a statement: “As a former player, I know the athletes getting ready to compete at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup will now be even more excited knowing they will be the first to play at such a big event on this new state-of-the-art surface.

“As the host nation, we know it can provide us with additional opportunities from a marketing and branding standpoint, both in terms of engaging with commercial partners and enhancing the fan experience.”

Check out a video of the glass-court technology here.


Image credit: Image courtesy of FIBA

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