5 Basketball Variations to Play in Your Backyard



Playing 1-on-1 is a great way to work on your skills while having fun.
Playing 1-on-1 is a great way to work on your skills while having fun.
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The game of 1-on-1 is a miniature version of basketball that's played by two people. The two players square off against each other on a half-court, with the goal being to make as many baskets as you can within a certain timeframe. All of the same rules and fouls apply as in a traditional game.

Like 21, the game begins with Player No. 1 dribbling the ball from the three-point line and trying to make a basket. If he misses, he can go for the rebound and shoot again. The other person plays defense, trying to prevent him from getting a basket. If Player No. 1 sinks it, he gets a point. Then, Player No. 2 gets the ball, starting out from the three-point line as before. You can also elect to play by the rule that whoever makes a basket gets to retain possession [source: Electro-Mech].

Playing 1-on-1 is a great way to practice all basketball skills, but especially the ability to create shots and elude your defenders, which includes learning to drive hard to the basket and shoot off a hard dribble [source: HubPages].

Author's Note: 5 Basketball Variations to Play in Your Backyard

I played H-O-R-S-E as a kid. And once I played 1-on-1 as a college student, although I really didn't have any idea what the rules were, other than to try and get a basket and not let the other person get one. (Actually, those may be the only two rules!) After writing this piece, though, I've decided I need to try Lightning. Wanna join me?

Related Articles


  • 5 Min. "Driveway Basketball Games - Lightning." (July 12, 2012) http://www.5min.com/Video/Driveway-Basketball-Games---Lightning-517010722
  • Basketball. "Who Invented Basketball." (July 12, 2012) http://www.basketball.org/who-invented-basketball/
  • Electro-Mech. "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Types of Basketball Games." April 17, 2009. (July 12, 2012) http://www.electro-mech.com/team-sports/basketball/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-types-of-basketball-games/
  • Games ... For All Reasons! "How to play basketball games such as Horse, PIG, Around the World & 21." (July 12, 2012) http://www.games-for-all-reasons.com/basketball_games.html
  • Gels, James. "Simple, Fun Basketball Games." The Coach's Clipboard. (July 12, 2012) http://www.coachesclipboard.net/YouthBasketballGames.html
  • Getting Outside. "Around the World - Basketball Game." June 3, 2008. (July 12, 2012) http://www.gettingoutside.com/Around-the-World
  • HubPages. "Become a Better 1-on-1 Basketball Player Today." April 12, 2011. (July 12, 2012) http://hoopskills-com.hubpages.com/hub/Become-a-Better-1-on-1-Basketball-Player-Today
  • Lifetime. "5 Family-Fun Basketball Games." (July 12, 2012) http://www.lifetime.com/article/25
  • U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany. "Sports in America>Basketball." (July 15, 2012) http://usa.usembassy.de/sports-basketball.htm


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