With the season underway, it's extra important for players to focus on their training. Players should take their training seriously in practice but this is also a great time of year to spend extra time with your family and friends. That said, we've compiled our favorite basketball games for you to try out with your teams, friends, and family! Check 'em out below.
1. Dribble Knockout
The goal of this mini game is to be the last player standing! Dribble KO helps players work on their ball-handling, coordination, protecting the ball, and change of pace.
How to Play:
a. Must maintain constant dribble in each round. If a player travels, double dribbles, picks up the basketball, or loses the ball out of bounds they are eliminated from the game.
b. Players compete by trying to knock their opponent's ball outside the boundary line to get them out. Can only use hands, NOT feet.
c. If a player gets out in any way, they put their ball away and then become a “sideline defender”. This sideline defender can try to knock active players' balls away from them but cannot cross the boundary line back into the game.
2. Set a Boundary
a. Depending on the amount of players (the more the better) create a boundary that gives players space to move around but also forces them to cross paths with other players.
b. After a few players get out and/or the timer goes off, decrease the playing area by creating a smaller boundary area. This makes the game more challenging and forces players to control the basketball better.
c. Once the game is down to 2-3 players remove the timer and its winner takes all inside the boundary line. If players try to avoid each other, decrease the boundary space even more.
3. Start your Timer
a. Use a phone or any type of timer (30 sec or less) to move round to round. Again each round the boundaries become smaller as more players get out.
a. Protect the basketball: Try to keep a guard arm up at all times to keep opponents away and also use to tap other players balls out of bounds
b. Eyes up: Players will have to keep their eyes up to see opponents and also keep an eye on boundary lines.
c. Change of pace: Players must master a change of pace or speed to attack or get away from opponents.
This mini game is fun and competitive for players of every skill level and age. Players will have to knock down shots under pressure in this fast paced game!
How to Play:
a. Everyone participating will get into one line at the free throw line. Younger players can start closer if need be.
b. The first two players in the line will start with basketballs. The first player in line will shoot from the free throw line. The next player in line can shoot immediately after. If the first player makes their initial shot they’ll rebound the basketball and hand it off to the next person in line. If they miss their initial shot they have to make a layup before the player behind them (player two) makes their initial free throw shot or following layup attempts.
c. Players get out of the game if the player behind them makes any attempted shots before they do.
d. After the basketball is handed off to the next person in line, the shooter (if still in the game) goes to the end of the line. Players that get out stand on the sideline and cheer the remaining players on.
The winner is the last person in the game. Remember the winner will always be the player that shoots behind the person in front of them and makes the shot before they do!
3. Army Navy
This mini game is the basketball version of Army/Navy kids play in gym class at school. This fun game requires players to be attentive, control their bodies and also be quick when necessary.
How to Play:
a. All players start with their own basketball on the same side of the court in the “safe zone”. Their goal is to get to the opposite side of the “safe zone” without being called out by the coach or parent.
b. The starting safe zone is Army and the opposite side is Navy. Players can only move towards either of the safe zones if they hear it being called out. If they are last to cross into the safe zone they are out.
c. Coaches can switch between Navy/Army to get players going back and forth and to also trick players into getting out.
d. Parents/Coaches can also yell out “freeze’ at any moment and players have to pick up their ball and not move UNTIL they hear “All Clear” followed by Army/Navy. This is a great way to get the players out that move too fast and also are out of control.
The winner is the last person in the game. If there are 15 or more players it's ok to have 2-3 winners before starting the game again.
This is a really fun game that is a team or group mini game. The focus is to take shots you can make and try to score the most points for your group. Speed, shooting accuracy and excitement are what will drive the winners in this fun mini game!
How to Play:
a. To play you’ll need minimally 4 players split into two teams. If there are more players equally split up with no more than 3-4 players per team. Teams will start in lines, at the 3pt line and with one ball. Each player will go one at a time, per line. They’ll attempt one shot, rebound and then hand off to the next player in their group line. This repeats for 3 minutes total.
b. Scoring occurs after each made shot. Players have the choice to shoot from 3 different zones worth different point values. Zone 1 is a layup out to 2-3 feet away from the hoop and is worth 1 point. Zone 2 is 3ft until the free throw line area and is worth 2 points. Zone 3 is the free throw line out to the 3pt line and is worth 3 points.
a. Each group will keep track of their team score adding points each time a basket is made. The team with the most points after 3 minutes wins.
b. Make sure to reiterate taking shots that are makeable rather than the deep shots worth more points. Younger players often make this mistake in this mini game.
5. Mini Olympics
Mini olympics is a great relay race game that challenges players to work as a team, listen, work hard and also stay focused. This mini game can be played with 4 or more players.
How to Play:
a. Teams will be equally split up in lines at the starting point with one basketball. Each person will take turns going down and back before their teammate goes.
b. Every team will go through 4 different skill exercises: speed dribble, back pedal (without basketball), high skips (without basketball), sprint (without basketball).
The team that finishes all skill exercises first and sits down wins the relay race. Feel free to add in different skills to increase difficulty and/or increase the time it takes to finish the relay.
The goal of this game is to be the last person standing. Players will need to be focused, have quick reactions, and use skill/coordination.
How to Play:
a. Player will stand in a circle or triangle without a basketball. One person will be in the middle with a basketball and they will be charged with getting the outside players out.
b. The middle player with the basketball will toss the ball to the players on the outside. The outside players must clap and then catch the basketball to stay in the game. If they successfully clap and catch, they’ll pass the ball back to the middle player. This repeats until every player but one is standing.
c. Players get out of the game by dropping the pass, forgetting to clap, or clapping without the ball being passed to them. Sometimes the passer can be tricky!
Again the last player standing is the winner and has the choice to be the middle player the next round. This is a simple but really fun game to challenge yourself.
7. Clap Game
This is a fun individual game that players of all skill levels can enjoy. This mini game starts easy but can progressively get more challenging as your confidence and skill increases.
How to Play:
a. Each player will start with their own basketball and also make sure they have plenty of space around them and space above them as well.
b. Players will start by throwing the ball in the air and clapping 1 time before catching the ball.
c. If the player is successful at this they’ll repeat but with two claps before the catch. Again if the player is successful they will try for 3 claps in between.
d. If at any point the player doesn’t clap the required amount and/or doesn’t catch the basketball, they have to start back at one.
The winner is the person that can get the most claps in successfully without dropping the basketball within 5 minutes. Another great goal is to try and beat your last best score and as players get more comfortable and skilled at this mini game.All of these games are great way to get competitive while having fun and improving your skills. If you try any of them out be sure to tag us on social @drdishbball on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and/or Facebook for a chance to be featured!