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Family Fun Basketball Games

Basketball Goal Games For Kids

Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice makes perfect, but if your child is always practicing they may lose sight of the fact that basketball is supposed to be fun. Parents should try to leave practice to the coaches, so you can focus on having fun with the family. There are numerous games you can play with the whole family that don’t feel like practice, but are actually quite good at helping develop important basketball skills.

We’ve put together a list with a brief explanation of each to help get you started.

Lightning!
Number of Players: 3+

Number of Balls: 2

Test your ability to shoot a free-throw while under pressure. Lightning is best with three or more players and is even more fun with a larger group. The set-up is easy: create a free-throw line at any distance you like. Line everyone up single-file just behind the line and give the first two people in line a basketball. The first person in line takes a shot. As soon as that person releases their shot, the next person in line can take their shot. The point of the game is for the person taking the second shot to make the basket before the person in front of them. If the first person taking the shot makes their shot, they pass the ball back to the next person in line, move to the very back of the line and the game continues. If the first person misses their shot, they must rebound the shot and make a basket before they can pass it to the next player. However, if the person immediately behind them makes the shot before the first player can make a shot, the first player is out of the game. This pattern follows until all but one player is eliminated. The last player standing is the winner. Lightning is fast-paced, highly excitable and the more players you have, the more fun the game. You can also add more basketballs to increase the craziness, but generally two should do it.

Twenty-One
Number of Players: 2+

Number of Balls: 1

Twenty-one is a simple variation of a game of one-on-one, with the winner being the first player to reach 21 points. It can be played with two or more players, with each player keeping their own score. The game begins with one player starting out with the ball at the designated “three-point line.” This line is pre-determined and is based on how much room you have around your hoop. The game begins when the first player dribbles out and tries to score. The other player(s) tries to stop the first player from scoring. No player has any teammates. The player with the ball may take any shot at any time and if the shot is missed, may go for the rebound and shoot again. If the shot is missed and the defensive player rebounds the ball, the ball must be “cleared” by dribbling beyond the “three-point line” before taking a shot. If the offensive player makes the shot, the defensive player takes the ball beyond the “three-point line” and dribbles out and tries to score. This is repeated until one player reaches 21 points. Scoring rules vary, but the most common scoring method is by awarding two points for a shot made inside the “three-point line.” A player may take a shot outside the “three-point line” and if it goes in, is awarded three points. All typical basketball rules apply, so if a ball goes out of bounds or a player “double-dribbles,” the ball is given to the defensive player and they must dribble out from behind the “three-point line.” Standard foul rules also apply, so call your own fouls.

POISON
Number of Players: 2+

Number of Balls: 1

Each player has an order for when it is their turn to shoot. The first shooter takes their shot from the foul line. If they miss the ring and backboard, air ball, on the shot, then they are eliminated, and this is applied to any shot by any player during the game.

If they miss the shot but hit either the ring or backboard then the next player in line must retrieve the ball after it has bounced once but before it bounces twice, then take the shot from wherever they retrieved the ball. If the ball bounces twice, the player is eliminated.

If the shot is made, then the shooter must retrieve the ball before it bounces twice, they then take another shot, if they make three shots in a row, then they are able to eliminate another player by hitting them with the ball. The remaining players are able to run away from the shooter but must stop and remain frozen, when the shooter has retrieved the ball after the three shot and yelled, “POISON!” The shooter must then roll the ball from where they caught it and any player who is touched by the ball is then eliminated. The game is then restarted from the Free Throw line for the next player in line. The game is continued until there is only one player not eliminated.

Some special techniques used are to start running away from the ring once a shooter has made two shots to ensure that if a 3rd is made, it is more difficult to hit them with the ball. The shooter can negate this by purposefully missing the 3rd shot in the hope the next shooter is too far away to retrieve it. Another technique is to throw the ball very hard at the ring to enable a difficult return for the next shooter.

Golf
Number of Players: 2+

Number of Balls: 1

Just like the age-old Scottish game, the object of “Golf” is to get the lowest score. You can play nine holes or the full 18 if you desire. The holes are predetermined spots from around the court where players must shoot. If the player makes the shot on the first attempt, the score for that hole is one. If the player misses that shot, they must shoot from where they grabbed the rebound. The score for each hole is the number of shots it took the player to make the basket. The lowest score wins.

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