Basketball Games to Play at Basketball Practice

Practicing a sport gives athletes the opportunity to learn the game and develop the fundamental skills required to play the sport. In basketball, several drills can teach those fundamentals. There are also games that can be played at practice that develop those fundamental skills by mimicking an actual game of basketball. These practice games can be fun and competitive, while still allowing the coach to teach and players to develop their skills.


Knockout, known by some as Gotcha, is a way to practice free throws under pressure. You can also practice rebounding, passing and shooting while playing a highly competitive and addictive game. All players line up in a single file line from the free throw line. The game uses two basketballs. The first two players in line have the ball and they shoot from the free throw line. If they make it, they pass the ball to the next person in line, and if that person misses, he continues to shoot (from anywhere after the first shot) until making a basket or being eliminated. The second player in line cannot shoot until the first player has shot. If the second player makes his basket first, then the first player is eliminated. If the first player makes his basket, he passes the ball to the third player, who then attempts to knockout the second player. This continues until only one player remains.

Fast break basketball

Divide players into two teams (you need at least nine players on each team). Team A and B begins with three players on the court each. Team A brings , the ball up the court, in which they have a 10 second shot clock. When Team B gains possession (Team A made basket, rebound, or turnover), the three Team A players heads to the side. Team B takes the ball the other way with a 10-second shot clock. Team A already has three new defensive players on the court. This same rotation occurs with Team B and so on. Games should run for about five minutes total.

King of the court

Every player needs a basketball for this game. Using only half of the court, players dribble their ball. Players are eliminated by another player knocking their basketball away. The other player tries to maintain his dribble while doing so. The last player to dribble his ball wins.

1-on-1 defensive basketball

This game is to promote defense. Points are given for defensive plays only. One point is given for a defensive rebound. Two points are given for a steal, turnover, or five-second call. A rare three points are given for an offensive foul. To limit the offensive player, they may only dribble the ball five times. Players should be divided into two equal teams with players of similar skill going against each other.

3-on-3 no dribble basketball

This game is a half-court basketball game, in which the offensive team may not dribble the basketball. The offensive team inbounds the ball from midcourt. They make continuous passes until they are able to get an open shot. This is a great game to teach players off the ball movement and passing skills. Once the defensive team gains possession, they take the ball out from midcourt and become the offensive team.

About this Author

Chris DeMaria is a health and fitness writer and has written for various online publications. In addition to writing, he has also coached college football. DeMaria graduated with the highest honors from West Virginia University with a degree in exercise physiology.