Half Court Basketball Rules

Half a Basketball Court

If you have fewer than 10 players, half court pickup basketball can develop your fundamental skills as much as a full court game. Unlike full court games that allow for a change of possession after each score because each team shoots at a different basket, half court basketball requires that both teams shoot on the same basket. Unlike a regular full court game, there is no jump ball. Possession is determined when a designated player from one team "shoots for it." If that player makes it, his team gets the ball.

Taking It back

Full court basketball allows a team to get a rebound and dribble the ball down the floor to their side of the court. Since both teams are sharing the same basket in a half court game, the ball should be "taken back" after each missed shot when the ball changes possession. If you rebound out, dribble it past the foul line or the three-point line to clear it and begin your possession. Depending on who you're playing with, the ball may not need to be cleared if a shot does not hit the rim.

Make It, Take It

In a half court game, you can choose to play make it, take it. If your team scores, you get to keep the basketball until you turn the ball over or you miss a basket and the other team rebounds. Depending on competition level, some players choose to alternate possessions after every made basket.

Checking it up

After a made basket or a dead ball situation, check the ball at the top of the foul line area by passing it to the defensive player. He will toss the ball back to you, indicating that the ball is in play. In most cases, the offensive player who checks the ball cannot make a move without first passing the ball in to one of his teammates.