For this edition of the FIBA EuroBasket tournament, a new qualification format was created. National squads were divided in a two-tier system. Teams in Division A competed for direct qualification to FIBA EuroBasket 2005, while teams in Division B competed for two spots on the next tournament's Division A. Those two spots would correspond to the two teams from Division A that were relegated.
Teams were split into four groups of four teams each, and one group of three teams. The competition system was that of a double round-robin with home and away games where the top two teams from each group qualified to EuroBasket 2005.
The remaining teams where split into three double round-robin groups of three teams and competed in an additional qualifying round. The best three teams from each group formed an additional round-robin group where the best team earned the last berth for EuroBasket 2005. The three bottom teams from the additional qualifying round competed in another round-robin group where the bottom-two teams where relegated to Division B for the following tournament.
Teams were split into three groups of four teams each, and one group of three teams. The competition system was that of a double round-robin with home and away games where the top teams from each group where paired in two series of home-and-away games. The winner of each series (by overall point differential if the two-game series is a split) is promoted to Division A for the next tournament.