All You Ever Wanted to Know About Types of Basketball Games

Types of Basketball Games

  • There are several different types of games that basketball fans can play with just a small number of people.
  • To enjoy some of all you need is a friend, a ball and a hoop.

To enjoy the game of basketball you don’t need to have a full court with enough people to field two 5-man teams. All you need are a single hoop and a basketball for there are many types of basketball games that can be played with 1 or 2 people.

If you have a limited number of players than a half-court basketball game is probably your best option. A half-court game can be played with any number of players from eight to four and is usually referred to by the number of players such as “two-on-two” or “three-on-three”. The rules of the game are the same as a full court version. Unlike a full court game, when there is a change of possession, the opposing team is usually required to take the ball back to the mid-court line or foul line. Another difference between a full court game and half court game concerns possession after a basket is made. Many times the term “winners out” applies meaning the team that scored the basket retains possession.

Half-court games are very common at local playgrounds but in order to start a game, you need an even number of players. For instances where there are an odd number of players, games such as “King of the Court” are often played. This game is played whereby two players begin a game of half-court “one-on-one”. After one player scores 3 baskets, the losing player leaves and a new player and game begins. The winning player stays on the court until he loses, hence the name “King of the Court”.

Some of the best basketball games emphasize shooting skills and therefore can be a useful tool in a young player’s development. One of these games, called “21”, can be played with two or more players and begins when the first player makes a shot from the free throw line. All other players defend against the shooter, who has no other teammates. If the shooter makes the shot, then he goes to the free throw and shoots free throws until he misses. Each free throw adds another point to the player’s total. The other players have the ability to rebound any missed shot or free throw, as does the shooter. Any time there is a change of possession, the player must take it back past the three-point line. The first player to 21 wins.

Another popular shooting game played on playgrounds and gyms across the nation is called H-O-R-S-E. Two or more players and some shooting skills are all that are required for this game. The game begins with the first player attempting a shot of any kind. If the player makes it, the second player must take their shot from the exact same spot on the court. If the second player misses, he is assigned the first letter, which would be “H”. If the first player misses the shot, then the second player is free to shoot from anywhere on or off the court. The first player to accumulate all the letters in the word “horse” loses. This is great game because it allows players to fool around with trick shots that they normally wouldn’t be able to attempt in practice or games.

There are plenty of in addition to the ones mentioned in this article that can be played with as little as two people. All you need to enjoy the game is a friend, a basketball, and a hoop.

Working at a company that produces electronic basketball scoreboards Electro-Mech employees are fans of many teams sports- including basketball. We follow the latest trends, scandals and news in basketball and other team sports. Check out our other articles for news on your favorite sports.

3 thoughts on “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Types of Basketball Games

  1. As a gym teacher I’ve had my students play many of these games. They love H-O-R-S-E and it really gets them into the game. There are some nice variations in here I can work with. Thanks.

  2. I had no idea that there were more than two variations of the game besides full court/half court team play and one on one. It will be fun to play some of the variations listed here.

  3. 21 is a really challenging game that my friends and I play all the time. Frankly, I suck at it, but I’ve used it with my daughter and her friends to teach them some basic skills. All of these games are great skill builders.

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