BETTER Basketball More FUN
First game: Most “Basketball-like”, half court with two goals, or half court with one goal. 6 minute games with two 3 minute halves and a one minute break, etc.
Remaining games: change something each game, “solve a basketball problem”, play with the elements.
Last game: walking backwards, cool down, dribble ball over endline (or arc or centre line) for a point then shoot a free throw for validation.
Tally points scored for the team plus 10 points for a team win, 5 points for a tie. At the end, reward “Mr. Big.”
Playing With the Elements Adjusting the game
Problems: 1. own team in possession 2. losing possession, 3. opponents in possession and regaining possession: 1. defence, 2. build up, and 3. the attack
Players: 1v1, 2v2 … 5v5v5
Goals: line scoring, area scoring, dribble into an area, pass into an area, free throw scoring, extra points for specific types of shots
The court: must run through certain areas/gates/cones, example: only play on the left side, only play within or outside the arc
Rules: only one dribble, no back pass, only back passes
The ball: flat ball, two balls, play with a dodge ball or volleyball
Small sided game basic rules
- 3-6 minute periods, switch teams every 2 periods.
- count 1s, 2s, and 3s.
- winning team gets 10 more points.
- ties – each teams adds 5 more points
- free throw validation (must score a free throw for the bucket to count)
- all non shooting fouls and and ones shoot 1 free throw
- shooting fouls shoot two or three
Small sided game variations
- only left hand dribbling
- one dribble
- only dribble below or above free throw lines
- no dribble
- no dribble in back court
- only dribble in back court
- each possession starts with a pick and roll
- from “left back”
- between the circles
- defense can or can’t switch
- Around cones
- ball carrier goes around a cone
- other players go around other cones in transition
- one player stays in offensive circle
- one player stays on left wing
- one player stays on right wing
- one defender must always stay behind in front court
- two defenders must stay behind
- three defenders must stay behind
Don’t miss your free throws:
- after every two or three, must shoot a single free throw
- if free throw missed minus 5 points.
- ball carrier starts from own end line
- all other players in the middle cirlce
- when ball carrier crosses centre line, one defender can defend.
- every time coach blows a whistle, the ball must be dropped and team hustles back on defense
- everyone except ball dropper goes back on defense
- blow whistle every three possessions
- ball must be placed on the floor where it is dropped.
- offensive team must throw a skip pass bellow free throw line, wing to wing
- the receiver of skip pass must shoot or drive
- reset with a skip pass
- after every change possession – missed shot, score etc
player last to touch ball must run around a cone in the corner.
- every made bucket includes a free throw
- missed free throw = minus three points
- play with a deflated ball
- play with a medicine ball
- Score from a post play
- up and under, drop step, hook/jump shot
No Pass in Back Court:
- Player with ball after rebound, inbound, change possession must dribble accross centre.
More Free Throw Validation:
- each period ends with the team ahead shooting one free throw
- a made free throw counts 1
- a missed free throw minus 3 or minus 5
Out of the Strings:
- defense can take the ball out of the strings and advance up the court immediately
- no inbound play
- quick transitions
- play 3v3 with two players in defensive corners
- on a defensive change in possession the corners lead outlet,
- player with ball must pass to an outlet and join the new 2 for 3v3
- set shot clock to 14, 10, 6
- really speed things along
- after every inbounds play, the defender guarding the player who catches the ball, must sprint back to the endline, cone, corner, before rejoining his team on defense.
- no dribbling allowed.
- defender sprints to half line instead on endline.
- 3 v 3 but in 3 pairs of 1v1
- 1v1 in one arch, 1v1 in other arch, 1v1 between the archs,
- take turns in each arch(switch each period).
- all 1v1 matchups, no 1v2
Three Stops in a Row:
- count only stops
- three stops in a row = 5 points
- 3v3 to 6v6
- number each player 1,2,3,4,5,6
- coach yells out a number, or pair, or 3: “1,4,5”
- those players play till a basket scored.
- any score within 5 seconds of inbound from the defensive endline counts 5 points
Press Virginia to Carolina:
- everyone marks 1v1 in full court press on any inbound and bucket
- whoever receives the pass -their defender “chases rabbits” and the others continue with man advantage
- on a turnover, get the ball down to the one for the quick score.
Score and Keep:
- When you score, you keep the ball
Pass out of the Post:
- each team has a player unmarked on the post that must be passed to to start the offense, but he can only score on a rebound.
- the post passes out to a team mate then steps off the court
- change post position: low, mid, high, elbow, “Spain”, between circles
Grab a towel
- player last to touch the ball or score or whole team must defend holding a towel with both hands behind the back.
The Whole Shebang:
- Score a buzzer beater, plus the free throw – if behind forces the tie.
The Walking Dead
- Players without ball walk backwards
- players with or without ball must pass through a “gate”
- before joining offense
- before joining defense
Pass for Points:
- score a point for executing a pass
- pass into paint,
- pass to weak-side inside
- pass to weak-side three
- pass to Carolina
Back Your Man Down:
- pass to a man with his back to the glass
- he then must “back his man down” into the paint.
- only 2 point shots off the backboard/white rectangle count
Change the goal:
- use a big bin
- hit a pylon
- complete a pass or dribble over the endline/center line
- hit the rectangle from inside/outside the key/arc
- two hands on ball jump and hit the backboard while still holding the ball.
Download Excel Workbook: Small Sided Games