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Fun Basketball Games

Updated on September 28, 2015

Fun Basketball Games Can Build Skill

Most people who coach basketball will never show up on television coaching the Lakers or the Celtics. They will not even get to the highest reaches of college basketball and coach in a Final Four. Most coaches can be found just trying to help kids develop their skills in rec leagues and middle schools across the country. Many of these coaches volunteer for their jobs and do not get paid a penny for their efforts.

It can easily be argued that these coaches are often the most important in the development of future stars. It is these people who serve with little fanfare while teaching youngsters the basics of the game that will benefit them greatly in the future. One of the best ways to build skill is through fun games that work on fundamentals. Below are some ideas that can put some fun into basketball practices while simultaneously working on basic fundamental basketball skills.

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P-i-g or H-o-r-s-e

P-I-G or H-O-R-S-E is one of the more common basketball games that people enjoy. The goal of the game is to win while making shots from various parts of the floor. This game can be enjoyed by any number of people.

The first step in playing P-I-G is getting a shooting order. This order remains the same throughout the game. The first person throws up a shot from any spot on the floor. If he or she makes the shot, the next person in the line has to make the exact same shot. If the second shooter misses the shot, they get a P if playing Pig or an H if playing Horse.

The first person to follow a miss can shoot anywhere he or she chooses and the game continues as described above. When a player has enough misses to spell Pig or Horse, he is then out of the game. The game continues until only one person is left. Pig can build shooting skills and force those playing to work on shots that they would not otherwise shoot. Some of the shots are unlikely in a game situation, but with a clock running out, just about anything is possible.

Lightning/Knockout (Shooting Game)

The game of Lightning is also known as Knockout (which should not be confused with the game of Knockout described below). The game starts with all of the players lined up single file starting at the free throw line. The first person shoots a foul shot. If this first shot is made, the shooter then goes to the back of the line and the second person shoots. If the first shooter misses, the second person shoots a free throw while the initial player tries to get a rebound and make a shot before the second person makes a shot. If the second shooter makes the shot before the first person, the first person is out of the game and the second shooter goes to the back of the line.

As soon as one person makes a shot after the initial scenario above, the next person in line then attempts to knock the remaining shooter out of the game. The game continues in this manner until only one person is left. Watch the game in action to get a better idea of how it works in practice.

The Layout of a Basketball Court

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Around the World

Another shooting drill game that can improve shooting skills is called around the world. This drill simply involves a player shooting around the key at a series of predetermined spots. The block, the mid-point between the block and the elbow, and the elbow on both sides of the lane are the most common spots. Players would need to make six shots to finish their turn through the game and would have to make a shot from one spot before moving to the next.

To bring some competition into the process, players can work on this game on each end of the court while racing against each other. A video demonstration of Around the World can show how the game works in practice.

Knockout (Dribbling Game)

All of the previous games mentioned dealt with the process of shooting the basketball. The game of Knockout that includes dribbling (not to be confused with the shooting game frequently called by the same name) works on both ball-handling and defensive skills.

The game is set up within certain parameters on the court, such as the lane or the half-court circle (depending upon the number of players). The coach signals when the game is to begin. Each player must have a ball and begin dribbling when the coach gives the signal. The goal for each player is to protect her own dribble while trying to knock the ball of her opponents out of the lane or the circle. Players who dribble out of the parameters of the game are out, as well. This game builds the ability to dribble under duress, court awareness, and the ability to steal the ball at the same time. Its competitive nature is also fun for those who play.

Some drills can be boring and monotonous. The games noted above can be quite a bit of fun for young players. They can also build important fundamental skills, which shows that learning fundamentals and having fun are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

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    • cprice75 profile image
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      cprice75 4 years ago from USA

      I miss playing basketball. Real life and such got in the way. Then weight and age made it hard to actually compete and took all of the fun out.

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Love the hub. Lots of good memories in this one for sure. I used to spend hours as a kid playing horse and around the world with friends in the neighborhood. When you grow up with a basketball hoop in the backyard, its hard to play regular games because of the small court, but it sure is fun just to go shoot hoop and play these games.

    • isenhower33 profile image

      Bobby Isenhower 5 years ago from Crothersville, IN

      Yea for the younger kids in a practice setting yea kids ones are good for them. Once you get to the older group ya have to add in a bunch of mechanics drills and stuff ya know. And girls are so much harder to coach lol Ive learned this over the last few years. But It was a lot of fun coaching them :)

    • cprice75 profile image
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      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      You are correct that there are many good drills out there. The ones that kids enjoy are better, I've found.

    • isenhower33 profile image

      Bobby Isenhower 5 years ago from Crothersville, IN

      I love coaching basketball, i coached girls k-12 grade basketball and loved every minute of it. There is a lots of really good drills out there to get the kids motivated and enjoying the sport.

    • cprice75 profile image
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      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      It's fun for kids and adults. Of course, the kids can get irritated with some of the crazy shots that teens or adults can make.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for sharing these basketball game ideas with us. I think we're going to have to try a family game of Horse or Pig here soon.

    • cprice75 profile image
      Author

      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      That it is. I used to play inside during the winters and then play about five days a week outside during the summers. Then adulthood hit.

    • cprice75 profile image
      Author

      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      That's too funny. I personally couldn't stop yelling at my players and the refs.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Funny you should mention blood pressure. I think it must go hand in hand with the sport. We had to stop going to Cal Berkeley basketball games when I was a kid because my dad couldn't stop yelling at the coaches. ;)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I remember playing horse with my siblings when Iwas young. It was such a fun game. The competition is great and it also is just a good way to get out in the fresh air.

    • cprice75 profile image
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      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      I used to play back in the day. My six-year-old is wanting to pick up the game now, so I'm working with her. I coached middle school for about three years, but gave it up because it tended to get my blood pressure up quite a bit. I used these drills at one time or another and they seemed to be enjoyed more than the general running.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      My dad played a lot of basketball, and installed a full-height hoop in our driveway when I was a kid. Some of my fondest childhood memories include playing Horse and Around-The-World with the whole family. It was a great way to build hand-eye coordination and athletic skill, while having a little fun!