I loved basketball growing up. Well, I still do. I played on several rec teams and never missed one of my sibling’s games. So one day when I was about 11 I decided to go out and shoot some hoops before basketball practice that night. It had been a while, and I soon discovered I had no idea how to shoot a lay-up. It felt funny and nothing would go in. I quickly jumped to the conclusion that I was the worst basketball player ever and there was no way I could go to practice that night. Soon there were tears streaming down my face as I went to tell my dad. He came out to help me and realized I was just jumping off the wrong foot. So I guess it wasn’t the end of the world after all.
Well, with March Madness in full swing we were thinking it would be fun to incorporate some basketball games into your time with family or friends. These games could be played during half-time while cheering for your favorite team or do it for a Family Home Evening. You could use this video on the basketball standard by John Bytheway and talk about various standards in the For the Strength of Youth book. Super simple but something all your kids will enjoy and learn from!
So, let’s get to it! Here are our 5 favorite family-friendly basketball games. Feel free to scale to the age of kids you will be playing with. And good news – none of these games require you to have perfect form or be jumping off the right foot to perform a perfect lay-up. We are all about family fun here!
1. Bean Bag Dribbling – This game resembles a relay race, with 2 teams of equal size. (Or, just play it as a family and time your group to see how fast you can do it!) Have each team line up on opposite sides of the court. Pile plenty of bean bags at the center court between the two teams. When you say “go”, the first person at the front of each line should dribble toward the bean bags, grab one bag and return to their line still dribbling (you could also just have them hold the ball and run with the bean bag to make it more simple). Pass the ball to the next person in line. Play until all the bean bags are gone, and the team with the most bean bags wins!
2. Around the World – This game can be played with 2 or more players. In this game, a player must make a series of shots arranged around the key, or anywhere around the hoop. When a shot is made from one position, the player moves onto the next position and so on. Once a player misses, it the next person’s turn to try and make it all the way around. If they miss, it is the next person’s turn. We recommend about 5 different spots to make a shot from. The first person to make all of the shots in a row is the winner!
3. H-O-R-S-E – Most people know how to play this, but it is a classic that is fun for everyone. You could even show your team spirit and spell the name of your favorite college basketball team! (Ex: A-G-G-I-E-S) The first player picks a spot to shoot from. If the shot is made, the rest of the players need to make the shot from that spot. If they can’t, they receive a letter. After the first person takes a shot and everyone tries, the second person will then take a shot that the rest of the players need to take (if they made the shot). Play until the first person spells the word HORSE (or another word you choose). Make it fun with some crazy under-the-legs or behind-the-back shots!
4. Time Trial – All you need for this game is a timer, a basketball and a hoop. This is a quick, simple and fun game. Set the timer for one minute and let the first person make as many shots as they can. Similar to a real game, baskets get 2 points unless behind the 3 point line they get 3 points. Let everyone try for a minute, and the person with the most points wins! Play as many rounds as you would like.
5. Obstacle Course Races – There is a lot of room for creativity with this one. Use some cones, chairs or hoola-hoops to create a fun obstacle course to dribble through. You can add in taking a shot at the end and time people as they go through the course. Make it as easy or challenging as you’d like!
There you have it! Some family friendly games to celebrate March Madness or add to your FHE night this month!