5 Basketball Variations to Play in Your Backyard



Lightning begins with a free throw.
Lightning begins with a free throw.
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Take a big breath before you start a game of Lightning -- you'll need it. This game is good for your cardiovascular system, plus it hones your ability to shoot under pressure. It's best played with three or more, and requires two basketballs.

First, set a free-throw line anywhere you'd like. (FYI - regulation distance is 15 feet, or about 5 meters, from the backboard.) Next, have all players stand in a single line just behind the free-throw line. The first two players in line each get a basketball. The basic premise of the game is for the second person to make a basket before the first person does [source: Lifetime]. Here's how it works.

Player No. 1 takes a shot. The second the ball is released from Player No. 1's hands, Player No. 2 can take a shot. If Player No. 1's shot goes in first, he passes the ball to the third person in line and jogs to the back of the line. If Player No. 1 misses, he must rebound the ball and keep shooting until it goes in. Player No. 2 must also rebound missed balls and keep shooting. If Player No. 2 makes a basket first, then Player no. 1 is out [source: Lifetime].

One other rule to note: If Player No. 1 makes the shot first and hands the ball to Player No. 3, Player No. 2 -- who is likely rebounding his ball near the net -- can continue shooting from wherever he likes. Player No. 3, however, must take his first shot from the free-throw line. The game continues until only one player is left, who is the winner [source: Lifetime].