The International Basketball League (IBL) was a semi-professional men's basketballleague featuring teams from the West Coast. In 2010 the Albany Legends became the first team in the Northeastern United States to join. The IBL have also featured teams from China and Japan which temporarily relocated to the United States for the IBL season. The IBL season typically runs from the end of March through July.
Founded by Portland area sports promoter Mikal Duilio, the league features rules designed to create a fast-paced, high-scoring brand of basketball. Duilio first began planning for the league with a series of test games in Portland and Seattle in November 2003. These games featured a mixture of traditional college and NBA rules, plus three rules created specifically for the league:
The "Immediate Inbound" Rule: After a made basket, the referee will throw the ball to a nearby player, instead of a player throwing in the ball from under the basket, to eliminate wasted time.
A 22-second shot clock is used instead of the NBA's 24. A defensive non-shooting foul or kicked ball resets it to 12.
The test games proved popular and resulted in the founding of the IBL in August 2004. Founded with 8 teams, the league expanded to 17 by the start of the season in April 2005. Each team played approximately 20 regular season games, most of them centered around their home region, with the teams with the two best records playing in a championship game at the end of the season. The Battle Creek Knights won the inaugural title by going undefeated in the regular season and beating the Dayton Jets in the finals.
In the league's first year, the up-tempo rules resulted in the average team scoring 126.9 points per game, nearly 30 points more than the NBA team average in 2004-05, and slightly higher than the NBA record for points per game by a team in a single season, set by the Denver Nuggets in 1981-82.
In 2010, the league launched a Winter season which saw nine different teams compete. Four teams played an entire schedule and thus made them eligible for the playoffs.
In July 2011, Duilio sold the league to Vancouver, Washington, businessman Bryan Hunter. Sharleen Graf was appointed as the league's new commissioner.
In March 2014 the IBL combined with the West Coast Basketball League (WCBL). Teams were split into an 'International Conference' and 'Continental Conference' based on geography.