4th Olympic Basketball Tournament
Melbourne 1956
Tournament details
Olympics1956 Summer Olympics
Host nationAustralia
CityMelbourne
DurationNovember 22 – December 1
Men's tournament
Teams15
Medals
1 Gold medalists  United States
2 Silver medalists Soviet Union
3 Bronze medalists  Uruguay
Tournaments
← Helsinki 1952  Rome 1960 →

Basketball at the 1956 Summer Olympics was the fourth appearance of the sport of basketball as an official Olympic medal event. Fifteen nations, an unusually low number for the basketball tournament, competed in the event, with 174 participants. A total number of 56 games of basketball were played.

The teams were divided into four pools, with four teams in three of the pools and only three in the fourth. Every team played against each other team in its pool once. The top two teams from each pool advanced to the quarterfinals, where again they were split into pools of four. Teams again played every other team in their pool, with the top two in each advancing to the semifinal and the bottom two entering a pool for 5th through 8th places. Eliminated teams also played in consolation matches with the same structure as the quarterfinals and finals, but for 9th through 15th places. The games were held at the Royal Exhibition Building.

Qualified Teams

Outright qualifier, World Champion
Outright qualifier, World Runner-up
Outright qualifier, World Bronze Medalists
Host nation
Teams Participating by Region
Americas Europe Asia Africa Oceania
 United States  Soviet Union  Philippines No team participated  Australia
 Uruguay  France  Japan
 Brazil  Canada  South Korea
 Chile  Bulgaria  Singapore
 Republic of China
 Thailand
Number of Berths Allocated for the Tournament
Region Automatic From the
previous
World Cup
Berth as
Host nation
Total
Europe 4 N/A N/A 4
Americas 2 2 4
Asia 5 1 6
Africa No team participated 0
Oceania N/A 1 1
TOTAL 11 3 1 15

Medalists

Gold: Silver: Bronze:
 United States (USA)
Carl Cain
Bill Hougland
K.C. Jones
Bill Russell
James Walsh
William Evans
Burdette Haldorsson
Ronald Tomsic
Dick Boushka
Gilbert Ford
Robert Jeangerard
Charles Darling
 Soviet Union (URS)
Valdis Muižnieks
Maigonis Valdmanis
Vladimir Torban
Stasys Stonkus
Kazys Petkevičius
Arkadi Bochkarev
Jānis Krūmiņš
Mikhail Semyonov
Algirdas Lauritenas
Yuri Ozerov
Viktor Zubkov
Mikhail Studenetsky
 Uruguay (URU)
Carlos Blixen
Ramiro Cortes
Héctor Costa
Nelson Chelle
Nelson Demarco
Héctor García Otero
Carlos Gonzáles
Sergio Matto
Oscar Moglia
Raúl Mera
Ariel Olascoaga
Milton Scaron

Squads

For the team rosters see: Basketball at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's team rosters.

Preliminary round

Group A

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  United States 3 3 0 320 122 +198 6 Quarterfinals
2  Philippines 3 2 1 224 237 −13 5
3  Japan 3 1 2 171 225 −54 4 9th–15th classification round
4  Thailand 3 0 3 134 265 −131 3
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
23 November
13:30
Philippines  94–55  Thailand
Scoring by half: 34–24, 60–31
23 November
United States  98–40  Japan
Scoring by half: 33–20, 65–20
24 November
United States  101–29  Thailand
Scoring by half: 54–12, 47–17
24 November
Japan  61–77  Philippines
Scoring by half: 29–37, 32–40
26 November
Thailand  50–70  Japan
Scoring by half: 20–35, 30–35
26 November
United States  121–53  Philippines
Scoring by half: 66–23, 55–30

Group B

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  France 3 3 0 236 183 +53 6 Quarterfinals
2  Soviet Union 3 2 1 255 177 +78 5
3  Canada 3 1 2 206 234 −28 4 9th–15th classification round
4  Singapore 3 0 3 154 257 −103 3
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
Soviet Union  97–59  Canada
Scoring by half: 46–20, 51–39
Singapore  54–81  France
Scoring by half: 22–44, 32–37
Soviet Union  67–76  France
Scoring by half: 18–24, 49–52
Canada  85–58  Singapore
Scoring by half: 51–30, 34–28
Soviet Union  91–42  Singapore
Scoring by half: 40–21, 51–21
France  79–62  Canada
Scoring by half: 43–35, 36–27

Group C

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  Uruguay 3 3 0 238 187 +51 6 Quarterfinals
2  Bulgaria 3 2 1 242 199 +43 5
3  Formosa 3 1 2 216 249 −33 4 9th–15th classification round
4  South Korea 3 0 3 194 255 −61 3
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
22 November
20:00
South Korea  76–83  Formosa
Scoring by half: 28–42, 48–41
23 November
16:30
Uruguay  70–65  Bulgaria
Scoring by half: 38–35, 32–30
24 November
10:30
Uruguay  85–62  Formosa
Scoring by half: 39–36, 46–26
24 November
13:30
Bulgaria  89–58  South Korea
Scoring by half: 47–33, 42–25
26 November
10:30
Formosa  71–88  Bulgaria
Scoring by half: 35–47, 36–41
26 November
16:30
Uruguay  83–60  South Korea
Scoring by half: 35–25, 48–35

Group D

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  Brazil 2 2 0 167 125 +42 4 Quarterfinals
2  Chile 2 1 1 137 134 +3 3
3  Australia (H) 2 0 2 122 167 −45 2 9th–15th classification round
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
(H) Host
Chile  59–78  Brazil
Scoring by half: 34–39, 25–39
Brazil  89–66  Australia
Scoring by half: 50–35, 39–31
Chile  78–56  Australia
Scoring by half: 37–27, 41–29

Classification 9–15

Group 1

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  Formosa 3 3 0 218 189 +29 6 9th–12th classification playoffs
2  Australia (H) 3 2 1 258 208 +50 5
3  Singapore 3 1 2 200 215 −15 4 13th–16th classification playoffs
4  Thailand 3 0 3 150 214 −64 3
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
(H) Host
Singapore Singapore 64–67  Formosa
Scoring by half: 23–26, 41–41
Australia  87–48  Thailand
Scoring by half: 48–23, 39–25
Thailand  50–62  Singapore
Scoring by half: 26–29, 24–33
Australia Australia 73–86  Formosa
Scoring by half: 40–39, 33–47
Formosa  65–52  Thailand
Scoring by half: 35–31, 30–21
Australia  98–74  Singapore
Scoring by half: 48–36, 50–38

Group 2

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  Canada 2 2 0 147 123 +24 4 9th–12th classification playoffs
2  Japan 2 1 1 143 140 +3 3
3  South Korea 2 0 2 130 157 −27 2 13th–16th classification playoffs
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
South Korea  63–74 (OT)  Canada
Scoring by half: 31–32, 31–30 Overtime: 1–12
Japan  83–67  South Korea
Scoring by half: 36–23, 47–44
Canada  73–60  Japan
Scoring by half: 40–26, 33–34

Classification 13–15

 
Classification Semifinals13th place match
 
      
 
1 December
 
 
 Thailand47
 
1 December
 
 South Korea61
 
 South Korea79
 
 
 Singapore92
 
 
 
 

Classification 9–12

 
Classification SemifinalsNinth place match
 
      
 
1 December
 
 
 Formosa61
 
1 December
 
 Japan82
 
 Japan60
 
1 December
 
 Canada75
 
 Australia38
 
 
 Canada83
 
Eleventh place match
 
 
1 December
 
 
 Formosa87
 
 
 Australia70

Quarterfinals

Advance to the semifinals
Relegated to the 5th-8th classification

Group A

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  France 3 2 1 195 187 +8 5[a] Semifinals
2  Uruguay 3 2 1 221 209 +12 5[a]
3  Chile 3 1 2 221 220 +1 4[b] 5th–8th classification playoffs
4  Philippines 3 1 2 204 225 −21 4[b]
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head record: France 1–0 Uruguay
  2. ^ a b Head-to-head record: Chile 1–0 Philippines
France  71–60  Chile
Scoring by half: 37–23, 34–37
Uruguay  79–70 (OT)  Philippines
Scoring by half: 42–39, 26–29 Overtime: 11–2
Uruguay  80–73  Chile
Scoring by half: 40–25, 40–48
Philippines  65–58 (OT)  France
Scoring by half: 30–26, 25–29 Overtime: 10–3
Chile  88–69  Philippines
Scoring by half: 42–32, 46–37
Uruguay  62–66  France
Scoring by half: 31–38, 31–28

Group B

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1  United States 3 3 0 283 150 +133 6 Semifinals
2  Soviet Union 3 2 1 208 209 −1 5
3  Bulgaria 3 1 2 182 224 −42 4 5th–8th classification playoffs
4  Brazil 3 0 3 192 282 −90 3
Source: FIBA archive
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal average; 4) head-to-head number of points scored.
Bulgaria  44–85  United States
Scoring by half: 19–48, 25–37
Brazil  68–87  Soviet Union
Scoring by half: 28–37, 40–50
Bulgaria  56–66  Soviet Union
Scoring by half: 32–37, 24–29
United States  113–51  Brazil
Scoring by half: 50–22, 63–29
Soviet Union  55–85  United States
Scoring by half: 32–39, 23–46
Bulgaria  82–73  Brazil
Scoring by half: 38–36, 44–37

Classification 5–8

 
Classification Semifinals5th place game
 
      
 
 
 
 
 Chile 64
 
 
 
 Brazil 89
 
Brazil Brazil 52
 
 
 
Bulgaria Bulgaria 64
 
 Philippines 70
 
 
 Bulgaria 80
 
7th place game
 
 
 
 
 
Chile Chile 68
 
 
Philippines Philippines 75

Classification Semifinals

30 November
15:00
Chile  64–89  Brazil
Scoring by half: 33–55, 31–34
Pts: Ostoic 13 Pts: dos Santos 27
30 November
16:30
Philippines  70–80  Bulgaria
Scoring by half: 43–50, 27–30
Pts: Badion 27 Pts: Radev 21

Seventh place match

1 December
Chile  68–75  Philippines
Scoring by half: 38–33, 30–42

Fifth place match

1 December
Brazil  52–64  Bulgaria
Scoring by half: 26–27, 26–37

Final round

 
Semi-finalsGold medal match
 
      
 
30 November
 
 
(A2)  Uruguay38
 
1 December
 
(B1)  United States101
 
(B1)  United States89
 
30 November
 
(B2)  Soviet Union55
 
(A1)  France49
 
 
(B2)  Soviet Union56
 
Bronze medal match
 
 
1 December
 
 
(A2)  Uruguay71
 
 
(A1)  France62

Semifinals

30 November
20:00
France  49–56  Soviet Union
Scoring by half: 19–25, 30–31
Pts: Antoine 12 Pts: Krūmiņš 27
30 November
21:30
Uruguay  38–101  United States
Scoring by half: 10–51, 28–50
Pts: Mera, Blixen 8 each Pts: Tomsic 18

Bronze medal match

1 December
20:00
France  62–71  Uruguay
Scoring by half: 29–37, 32–34
Pts: Monclar 16 Pts: Moglia 25

Final

1 December
21:30
Soviet Union  55–89  United States
Scoring by half: 27–56, 28–33
Pts: Semyonov 15 Pts: Jeangerard 16

Awards

 1956 Olympic Basketball Champions 

United States
Fourth title

Final Rankings

Pos Team Record
1st place, gold medalist(s)  United States 8−0
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Soviet Union 5−3
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Uruguay 6−2
4th  France 5−3
5th  Bulgaria 5−3
6th  Brazil 3−4
7th  Philippines 4−4
8th  Chile 2–5
9th  Canada 5–2
10th  Japan 3–4
11th  Formosa 5−3
12th  Australia 2–5
13th  Singapore 2–5
14th  South Korea 1–6
15th  Thailand 0–7

References