5 Basketball Variations to Play in Your Backyard

People have come up with all sorts of ways to play around with the rules of basketball. See more sports pictures.

They say baseball is the great American pastime, and it's obviously quite popular in the United States. Yet whose home doesn't have a basketball hoop sprouting up in their driveway or backyard? Like baseball, basketball is a home-grown American sport, invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a Massachusetts physical education instructor. Naismith was charged with creating a new game that could be played indoors to keep students occupied and out of trouble during Massachusetts' harsh winters. He came up with Basket Ball, which today, after a slight name change, is played by more than 250 million people around the globe in some kind of organized manner, plus who-knows-how-many others in pick-up games [source: U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany].

And then there are basketball's innumerable variations, which can be played alone or with at least one other [source: Basketball]. It's hard to say who created these variations over the last 120-some years, and it probably doesn't matter. But here are five you can test out for yourself. Maybe afterwards, you'll be inspired to create one of your own.