skip to Main Content
A young girl and boy playing basketball.

Have a hoop at home? Try one of these basketball games perfect for one to two or more players in the backyard or driveway. If you don’t have a hoop, a bucket could be substituted.

Golf 

Equipment: Chalk or cones and paper and a pencil or pen to keep score
Players: 1+

How to play:

  • Set up the “golf course” by placing cones or chalk marks on the court. Each cone or mark represents a different hole. Vary the distances just as you’d find on a golf course, creating some challenging shots (par 5) and some easy shots (par 3).
  • Players will shoot from the starting cone or mark. If the ball makes it into the hoop on the first try, mark a “1” on the scorecard. If the ball misses, get the rebound and shoot from that spot, repeating until the ball goes into the hoop. For each shot you take and miss, add an additional stroke to the scorecard.
  • After all holes are played, the player with the lowest score wins. If playing solo, aim to score under par or beat your previous round score.

Around the World

Equipment: Chalk or cones
Players: 1+

How to play:

  • Create a semicircle on the court using the chalk or cones. Mark five to 10 different shooting stations around the semicircle.
  • All players start on the baseline at the same station. If the first player to shoot makes the basket, they move to the next station and shoot again, continuing to shoot and move “around the world” as they make baskets. If the player misses, they can choose to take a chance shot or stop their turn. If they shoot and miss, they have to start at the beginning again. If they stop their turn, they stay at the station and it becomes the next player’s turn.
  • The first player to complete all shots is the winner.

Optional variations:

  • Require players to go back to the beginning station with any missed shot.
  • Give each player one immunity, where they can take a chance shot without the consequences of missing.
  • Start and end the game with a lay-up or free-throw-line shot.

Step Back

Equipment: Chalk or cones
Players: 1+

How to play:

  • Players start two feet from the basket. After each shot taken and made, take one step back. If you miss, go back to the starting point.
  • Mark each new step back with a cone or chalk to keep track of your furthest record. If you’re playing with a friend, set a time limit, and the player with the furthest mark from the hoop when the time’s up wins.

Record Breaker

Equipment: Chalk or cones (optional)
Players: 1+

How to play:

  • Time yourself doing different challenges, including:
    • How many shots can you make in one minute?
    • How many lay-ups can you do in one minute?
    • How many times can you get through a setup of cones (or chalk marks) while dribbling?
  • Test the highest number of different skills you can do consecutively, including:
    • How many shots from the elbow of the court can you make in a row?
    • How many free-throws can you make in a row?
    • How many lay-ups can you make in a row?
    • How many dribbles can you do in a row?

Trick Shot Competition

Equipment: Paper and pencil or pen
Players: 2+

How to play:

  • Get creative with your shots: behind the back, under the legs, eyes closed, behind the basket — anything goes.
  • Record and score your trick shots, creating a scoring criteria that offers bonus points for creativity and difficulty, or let your friends vote on who’s trick shot was best.

One-on-One

 Players: 2+

 How to play:

  • Each player is his or her own team. Decide on the final number of points you want to play to; the first player to reach the agreed upon number of points wins.
  • To reset the possession, dribble the ball to the free-throw line or outside the three-point line. If the ball goes out of bounds, check the ball (pass to the defense and have them pass back to you) near the free-throw or three-point line.

Shooting Competition

Equipment: Chalk (optional)
Players: 1+

How to play:

  • Choose from a few different variations to play:
    • Three-point contest
    • Free-throw contest
    • Slam dunk contest
    • All-star shootout: Draw circles with chalk, varying distances and difficulty from the hoop. Mark point values for each circle.
  • Set a timer and the player who tallies up with most completed shots (or points for the all-star shootout) wins.

HORSE

Players: 2+

How to play:

  • The first player shoots from their chosen location. If they make it, the second player has to shoot from the same spot. If they miss, they get a letter.
  • Once the first player misses a shot, the second player shoots from any spot they desire. If they make it, the first player has to shoot from the same spot. If they miss, they get a letter.
  • The first player to spell the word “HORSE” loses.

Lightning

Players: 2+

How to play:

  • The first player shoots a free-throw and if they miss, gets the rebound and continues to shoot.
  • The second player starts to shoot after the first player attempts their shot. If they miss, they get their rebound and continue to shoot.
  • After each player makes a shot they go to the end of the line, keeping the same order. If the person behind you makes their shot before you, you’re out of the game. The game ends when only one player remains.
Diana Smigielski
Diana Smigielski

Diana Smigielski is the senior manager of Ultimate Hoops Training and manages basketball training operations for Life Time’s nationwide.

Thoughts to share?

ADVERTISEMENT

More Like This

a dad and two kids work out in their living room
By Lindsey Frey Palmquist
Take a break and have some active time outdoors together with these challenging — but fun — exercises.
A compilation of activity images, including a kid in the pool, child playing tennis, adults in a fitness class, and a shake.
By Molly Schelper
Your family’s summer entertainment is covered with these ideas for healthy play that can all be done at your health club.
An illustration of water, a basketball, kettlebell, mask, book, and a parent and child.
By Lindsey Frey Palmquist
In need of a little inspiration for ways to keep your family entertained and engaged? Check out this mix of at-home and in-club fun everyone will enjoy.
Back To Top