5 Basketball Variations to Play in Your Backyard


Around the World

Around the World tests your ability to hit shots from designated spots.
Around the World tests your ability to hit shots from designated spots.

Want to improve your shooting skills? Then Around the World is your game. Designed for two or more participants, Around the World requires players to make various shots from the key -- the area in a basketball court that's under the basket and bordered by the end lanes, foul lines and free-throw line -- with the winner being the first person to successfully complete all shots.

First, players decide how many spots, or stops, to mark for shots. Five to seven is typical, with one being at the top of the free-throw line and the others arranged to create a semicircular shape [source: Lifetime]. Player No. 1 begins by taking a shot from the first stop, which is to the right of the basket near the corner. If she makes the shot, she moves to the second stop and shoots, continuing to advance every time she completes a shot. If she misses a shot, she has two choices. She can stay where she is and it becomes Player No. 2's turn. Or she can call "chance" and take a second shot. If she completes the second shot, she continues shooting. But if she misses it, she has to return to the first stop and start over when it's her turn again. The first player to complete all shots in order -- around the arc and then back again -- is the winner [source: Games ... For All Reasons!].

There are numerous variations of Around the World, including:

  • Starting and ending the game with a lay-up [source: Getting Outside]
  • Ending the game by making a shot from the center of the three-point line [source: Games ... For All Reasons!]
  • Giving everyone three chances to make a shot at any given position instead of two [source: Games ... For All Reasons!]
  • Giving players just one extra "chance" shot per game instead of one or two chance shots per stop [source: Lifetime]

Finally, if Player No. 1 happens to make every shot right away, she isn't immediately crowned the winner. The other players all get a chance to start. If two players should happen to make all shots in a row, then they're tied as winner, and you can leave it at that or have a shoot-off [source: Gels].