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Basketball Games Your Students Will Enjoy

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Basketball lead-ups from Joella Mehrhof and Kathy Ermler, Emporia, Kansas and Pug Parris, Abliene, Texas.  Grades 3-8.

Background: Here are three great basketball lead-up games for your older students. Each of the games have proven to be very successful in providing additional opportunities to practice basketball skills through new and novel activities.

Bowling for Baskets

- Basketballs
- Bowling pins (or empty tennis ball cans)
- Polyspots

Set-Up: This fun basketball lead-up activity can accommodate large numbers of students, depending on the number of basketball goals you have. Divide the class into teams of 5-6 players. Assign two teams per basketball goal as shown in the diagram on the next page. To begin the game, each team has three basketballs. The first three players in each line have a basketball.

How We Play It: On the teacher’s signal, the first person on each team rolls the basketball down the court and attempts to knock over the bowling pin. If unsuccessful, the second players will roll. As soon as one team knocks over the pin, that team begins to shoot baskets at the basketball goal and keep count of the number of baskets made.

Meanwhile, the teams that did not knock over the pin, must quickly form two lines by standing on the polyspots. The group uses a basketball to do chest passes down and back with the line of players. When the passing group completes their circuit, they yell “stop.”

This is the signal for the shooting team to stop. The game continues as each team lines up again and waits for the teacher’s command to bowl. Play for ten “frames” (rounds). The team with the highest score wins.

Obstacle Dribbling

- Signs for obstacle course
- Basketballs

Set-Up: Divide the class into two equal groups. Each student should have a basketball or a ball that bounces. The object is to be the first team to have all of their team members complete the obstacle course.

How We Play It: Twin obstacle courses should be created – one on each half of the gym. Each student should be assigned to a station to begin the course. On a signal, all students complete the station to which they were assigned and then they move to the next one. The students must dribble the basketball throughout the entire course.

Sample Course

1. Run to half court and back.
2. Slide from sideline to sideline.
3. Run a lap.
4. Run to the end line.
5. Run diagonally across the gym.
6. Pass ball around waist ten times.
7. Five chest passes against wall.
8. Walk across the low beam.
9. Ten figure “8′s” through the legs.
10. Run around the circle at the free-throw lane.
11. Eight sit-ups.
12. Ten jumping jacks.
13. Run a lap.
14. Run backward to half court.
15. Kneel and dribble around the body five times.

Basketball Golf

- Basketballs
- Cones or polyspots

Description: Before class, establish a nine-hole golf course in the gym. Use cones or polyspots as the tees. Have the students find a partner and assign each pair to a tee. The object of the activity is to have the lowest score at the end of the nine holes. A sample diagram and score cards are found on the two following pages. One of the students tees off by shooting the ball. If a basket is not made, that student must rebound the ball and shoot from the point at which he catches the ball. Once the basket is made, the other person tees off.

Editor’s Note: These lead-up games are just examples of the 111 different games, activities, and fun student fitness ideas found in the Physical Education Funbook for Grades K-8.

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