Fun Games to Sharpen Your Skills
These games are a great way to really hone in on specific basketball skills. You can play some of them by yourself; others work better if you have two, three, four, or more!
Want to sharpen your skills with a friend? One classic game is H-O-R-S-E, a shot-making game of skill. You take a shot from anywhere on the court. If you make it, your opponent has to make a shot from the same place. If they miss, they get the letter H. Keep playing until one of you ends up with five letters — H-O-R-S-E — at which point that player has lost.
You can do long shots, close shots, free throws, layups, and even trick shots. If you're just beginning or are playing on a team, it's always better to get good at making the standard shots first. If you can make baskets from a variety of places, your coach and teammates can count on you to score a basket if they get the ball to you.
If you are just starting basketball or think H-O-R-S-E is going to take too long, a popular shorter version of the game is P-I-G. But you can also use longer words, too, if you really want to work on your shooting — and spelling — skills!
Take a Trip Around the World
TIP - IN
You can get ready for basketball season without a ball or basketball shoes. How? Go jogging or ride your bike to get in good shape so that when you start practicing basketball you will not get tired as easily.
Another game is Around the World. This works best if you play it with one or two others. Start by making a layup, then backing up with two or three shots on the hash marks of the key. The hash marks denotes where players stand during free throws, with the first spot reserved for the players from the defending team, and then alternating with offensive and defensive players. There are spots for four players on each side of the free throw area. To continue doing this drill, once you shoot a free throw, you go to the top of the key to make a three pointer before closing in toward the hoop again by making shots from the hash marks on the other side of the key. To finish, you make a layup.
Sound too easy? Make it harder by giving yourself only two chances to make a shot from a given place. For example, if you get to the free throw line and miss, you freeze there while your opponent has a turn. When it's your turn again, a missed shot means you give the ball to your friend; on your next turn, you have start over at the beginning. The farther you are “around the world,” the more devastating the miss.
Knockout or Bump
This game requires two balls and as many players as you can get together. Players line up in a single-file line at any spot on the floor, usually at the foul line or behind the three-point arc. The first two in line each have a ball. The object is to make a shot before the player in front of you makes his.
The first player in line shoots. The second person in line with the ball can shoot only after the player in front releases the ball. If the second player shoots the ball and makes her shot before the player in front of her, then the first player is out.
TIP - IN
The most rebounds ever in an NBA game came December 24, 1960, when the Boston Celtics had 109 rebounds against Detroit.
If a player misses his shot, he is able to rebound and try to put it back in from anywhere on the court. If the first shooter makes her basket first, she passes the ball to the next player in line so he can try to make a basket before the player in front of him. Proceed until there is only one player left.
The game is played to 21 points. You receive one point for a free throw, two points from inside the three-point line, and three points from behind the three-point line. You can play the game with two or more players.
One player starts with the ball; the others position themselves to try to grab a rebound. The player with the ball shoots a free throw. If she makes it, she gets one point and gets the ball back for another free throw. If she makes the second free throw, she racks up another point and gets possession of the ball at the top of the key. She can make a shot from anywhere on the court, but now the other players can play defense. If she makes the shot, she earns more points and goes back to the free throw line to start the cycle again.
If a player misses a free throw, the ball is considered live, and any player can rebound it. Whoever comes away with the ball has to dribble it past the three-point line before trying to make a shot. If he makes it, it's his turn to go to the free throw line. The first player to get twenty-one points is the winner.
Netball is a game that is very similar to basketball but was created just for girls and women to play. How many words can you make out of the letters in NET BALL ?
Lists of Lists
Basketball fans love lists and statistics. These “Lists of 10” have become scattered. Do you know where they should go? Figure out what group they belong to and write the group number on the line next to the word.
GROUP 1: Sports with the letter B in them
GROUP 2: Sports equipment
GROUP 3: Cities that have hosted the Olympics
GROUP 4: Sports where you don't kick a ball