8 Super Fun Basketball Games To Play At Home

September 4, 2019
basketball games to play

Do you love basketball? Whether you play competitively or just with friends, it's a great way to socialize and be active.

The best thing about basketball is that you don't always need a full court or a full team to improve your skills and have some fun.

However, shooting hoops on your own can get a little tedious.

Check out this list of 8 games that you can play with one friend or ten, with equipment that you have lying around your backyard to help improve your skills, and have a heap of fun in the process!

Basketball Games to Play

Hula Knockout

  • Number of players – 6+
  • Equipment – basketballs and hula hoops
  • How to play – the aim of the game is to focus on and improve dribbling skills. Divide the group into two, half will stand with one foot in a hula hoop that's been placed on the ground. The other half will dribble around the playing space with their own basketball.

    Players with their foot in a hoop aim to steal a basketball from the dribblers, achieving a point when they do so. Dribbling players must move around the space without running into other players or having their ball stolen.

    Play for a set amount of time before swapping over.

  • Notes – vary the size of playing space depending on the number of players.


  • Number of players – 2+
  • Equipment – basketball and basketball hoop
  • How to play – first, decide on the order of play. Players must stay in this order for the duration of the game. Player number 1 invents a challenge and then attempts it.

    For example, shooting with their eyes shut. If they succeed, the following player must complete the same challenge, and so on. When a challenge is failed, the next person can create a new challenge. If a player fails a challenge they get a letter, starting with the letter H.

    Each failed challenge gets the next letter in the word ‘horse’ until one player completes the word. A player cannot receive a letter on a challenge that they’ve invented. If they miss, the ball is simply passed to the next player who creates the next challenge.
  • Notes – add a time limit for how long a player can take to make a shot to make the game more intense.

Numbers Knockout

  • Number of players – 3+
  • Equipment – basketballs and hoop
  • How to play – players line up in single file in front of the basketball hoop, the first two players have a basketball each. Player 1 takes a shot, then player 2.

    The aim is to get your shot in as soon as possible, if the person behind you in the line gets their shot in first, you’re out. For example, player 1 misses first attempt, player 2 also misses first attempt, player 1 then gets the shot in so passes the ball to waiting player 3 and joins the back of the line.

    Meanwhile, player 2 is still attempting shots, but player 3 gets the shot on first attempt, thus knocking out player 2. Balls get returned to the line (players 4 and 5) and player 3 joins the end of the line. Repeat the game until one player is left.
  • Notes – each shot must be taken from where the player retrieved the ball after the rebound. ‘Out’ players can practice their shooting at another hoop or watch and cheer the rest of the game.


  • Number of players – 2+
  • Equipment – basketball and hoop, the larger the group the more space is required, possibly even a full court.
  • How to play – normal (or modified) basketball rules apply. Each individual is trying to reach a score of 21 points and no player has any teammates. Players can shoot whenever they’re in possession of the ball. The game is over when a player scores 21 points.
  • Notes – designate points based on where a shot is made, the harder the shot, the more points should be awarded.

Line Basketball

  • Number of players – 7+
  • Equipment – basketball and hoop, maybe a full court if there are a large number of players.
  • How to play – one player is the designated ‘caller’ and the rest of the players are in two groups and line up along the sideline.

    Each player in each group gets a number and the basketball is placed in the middle of the court (or half court). The caller shouts out a number and those players race in to get to the ball first in order to gain possession, they then play each other until someone scores.

    Players return to their lines and a new number is called.
  • Notes – for large groups, more than one number can be called at a time and a time limit can be placed on the scoring if players are taking too long to sink a shot.


  • Number of players – 3+
  • Equipment – one basketball for each player
  • How to play – players dribble around the playing area and simultaneously try to knock other players’ balls from their possession. When a player loses their ball they move to the sideline until the winner has been decided.
  • Notes – vary the size of the playing area according to skill level and the number of players.

Around The World

  • Number of players – 2+
  • Equipment – a basketball and hoop
  • How to play – players agree on a playing order as well as a sequence of shooting positions. Players take a shot, advancing to the next position if they’re successful. They continue ‘around the world’ until the miss a shot.

    The ball is returned to the next player in line.
  • Notes – certain penalties or consequences can be given when a player misses a shot such as returning to the end of the line at the first position.

Hot Shots

  • Number of players – 2+
  • Equipment basketballs, hoops, colored cones
  • How to play – divide the group into two teams and place colored cones strategically around the playing area. Each color cone corresponds to a particular number of points (harder points are shot from harder locations).

    All at the same time, players take shots from the cones. If the shot is successful they place the cone in their team's basket. When all cones are gone, the score is tallied up to discover the winning team.
  • Notes – adding a time deadline increases the intensity of the game.

In Conclusion

Basketball is a brilliant game in its own right, but these modified games will bring excitement and skill improvement to players of all ages.

They’re fun, require minimal equipment. They can be played with almost any number of players, anywhere. Grab your friends and get playing!

Here's a video of 5 basketball game variations mostly played in playgrounds.