How To Play Half Court Basketball

Learning how to play half court basketball is a great way to enjoy the game without all of the running. It also makes room for more people to play on one court if there are two games going on, one at each half of the court. It prevents fast breaks and works well in pick-up games. While many of the factors are the same, there are several changes that will need to be made in this situation.

  1. The number of players can vary. In a traditional basketball game, there are five players per team. This can still be the case, but the court is typically crowded with ten people all in the same area. Half court allows for three on three, two on two, and even one on one games. It just depends on how many people want to play.
  2. The half court line is the out of bounds mark. This cuts the amount of area to play in half while still providing parameters to play within. If the ball goes out of bounds at any point in the game, the ball is usually returned to the half court mark to begin the game again.
  3. Check the ball to a player from the opposing team to start. Even one on one games begin with a check at the half court. The offensive player passes the ball to the defender. The defender immediately passes the ball back and the game begins. When the ball goes out of bound, a foul is called or a team scores, the ball is returned to this position.
  4. Who gets the ball on a made basket? This decision is made by the players themselves. With “make it take it” the team that scores retains possession of the basketball and returns to half court to put the ball into play. Otherwise, as one team scores, the other team gains possession.
  5. A rebound by the opposing team is taken back to half court. Usually, if one team shoots the ball, misses and the other team gains possession, they must dribble the basketball back to half court to start his team's offense. The game does not stop as the ball is being returned to half court.
  6. Call your own fouls. A half court basketball game is more laid back than full court. There is no referee, so the players typically call the fouls themselves. It is up to the person being fouled to call it, keeping the game as fair as possible.  With this type of casual atmosphere, many actions that would be called a foul in a regular game are allowed.