Game styles

The many forms of Basketball

Like most sports, even Basketball has quite a few variations. The central idea remains the same, but it’s just that there are different sets of rules for shooting a ball in a hole. Some of these variations are very close to the game of Basketball, while the others could be called distinct sports in their own right.

The 4 games given below are essentially just simpler versions of basket ball, with the goal to get the ball in the basket.

Twenty One

This is just basketball without any frills, plain and simple. In this version, every player plays for himself, there are no teams. The first person to reach 21 points wins. It needs a half court, at least 2 players, and a hoop. One of the players starts the game from the three point line. This player will try and score a basket, and the other players will play defence, i.e., they will try to stop him from scoring. If the player currently in control of the ball scores a basket, the game pauses, and he takes free throws from there on until he misses a basket. Once that happens, the next player in sequence plays offense, while the others play defence. Each basket can be for 1 point. And there are no fouls or out-of-bounds.


This one’s a bit fancy. Again, you need at least 2 players, a ball, and a hoop. The game starts with the first player tries to score a basket in a predefined way. By that I mean that the player will first have to declare the kind of shot he intends to score. It could be a simple lay-up shot. Or he could say something like “Imma throw the ball with my legs while doing a somersault”. And then he goes on to do it (or tries to). Then the next player in the sequence attempts the exact same shot. All the players keep doing this until one of them fails to score a basket. Then that person is assigned a letter, starting with “H”. Then the next person declares the kind of throw he wants to attempt, and so on. If any person is assigned all the 5 letters (H-O-R-S-E), he’s out of the game. The last person left becomes the winner.

Around the world

This is the game which you can play to work on your shooting skills. You need at least 2 players, a hoop, and a half court. A player stands and takes a shot from 4-7 positions along the three point line, such that he forms a semi-circle. Hence the name, ‘Around the world’. The first person to score a basket from all the positions wins. If a player scores a basket from one position, he goes on to attempt a shot from the next position. If the player misses a shot from a particular position, the next player starts attempting his shots, and so on. If a player misses, he can continue from his last successful shot, whenever it’s his turn next.


Okay, pay attention, this one’s a little tricky. And you’ll need 2 basketballs to play knockout. It needs 2 or more players, who will stand in a straight line behind a shooting line. The first 2 players will have a basketball with them. The first player shoots and tries to score a basket. The moment the ball leaves his hands, the second player can take his shot. The first two keep trying to score until one of them scores first. If player #1 scores first, he passes the ball to player #3, and if Player #2 scores, Player #1 is out. Assuming player #1 had scored first and the ball is passed to player #3, the game continues. Now, the earlier player #2 becomes the new player 1, and player #3 becomes player 2. This pattern continues until finally one person is left, and he becomes the winner.

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