Monday, April 18, 2011

Youth Basketball: Passing Down Traditions

When I was about eight years old, my dad bought a basketball hoop. The local handy man attached the white fiberglass backboard with its orange rim right on the front of our house. It was an eyesore for all passersby to see. I'm sure my mom hated it, but my dad, an accomplished college basketball player, considered a basketball hoop a necessity.

My dad and I used to play for hours. My dad taught me the basics of basketball and taught me how to play Around-the-World, H-O-R-S-E and 5-3-1. Over time my dad taught me modified versions of the games to make them more interesting. Eventually I would teach my kids these games and we would modify them further.

5-3-1 was my favorite game.

5-3-1 Basic Rules

5-3-1 is a game that can be played with 2 or more players. Although there were plenty of times I played the game by myself pitting my right hand versus my left hand.

Each player takes a turn shooting a set of three uncontested shots; a 5 point shot from 20 or more feet out, a 3 point shot from the foul line and a one point lay up. If the player makes all three, he or she records 9 points and goes again.

If the player misses any of the three shots, the player counts up his or her points and passes the ball to the next player. The players take turns shooting their set of shots until someone scores 21 points.

The winner has to score 21 points exactly. At the end of the game, a player may need to miss a shot on purpose to avoid going over 21. To make it interesting, each shot had to hit the backboard or rim to count. If the player missed entirely or made the shot, they would go back to zero. Harsh I know (See advanced rules #3)

5-3-1 Advanced Rules 

Here are some advanced rules - you can add any one, any combination or all four of these.

1) If a player misses all three uncontested shots - the player goes back to zero.

2) Add in rebounding. Instead of shooting the 3 point shot from the free throw line and the 1 point shot as a layup, the 3 pointer is shot from the place on the court where the shooter rebounds his 5 point shot and the 1 pointer is shot from the place the shooter rebounds the 3 point shot.  If the player makes the 5 point shot, the 3 pointer is taken from the foul line. If the 3 point shot is made, the player shots the 1 pointer as a layup.

3) Modify the penalty for going over 21. In the basic rules the penalty for going over 21 or shooting an air ball is harsh. The player who commits these errors reverts back to zero points. We modified the rule so that the games do not take forever. The modified penalty is to subtract the amount of points of the shot taken. For example if a player has 17 points a 5 point shot would put the player over 21. If the player made the 5 pointer by mistake or missed the rim / backboard completely they would lose 5 points and go back to 12. The same rule applies to 3 point shots and 1 point shots.

4) My son and I added a new twist to the game just the other day. We played 5-3-1 with the basic rules as described above, but instead of an uncontested layup for 1 point we allowed the other player to defend the basket. We also allowed the opponent to defend any 5 point or 3 point potential winning shots. So if the score a player had 17 points, the opponent could defend the 5 point shot, but could not defend the 3 point shot. The 1V1 element added new excitement to the game. He beat me 2 of 3 games.

The Main Point

My dad now 73
Several years ago, my dad gave me a generous gift of money. It was enough money to put up a basketball hoop in our side yard. It was the perfect use of his money.

There is a circle of life for sports. My dad passed on his knowledge of the game to me and I am teaching my kids. One day, my kids will be teaching my grandchildren. Luckily my dad passed on his basketball genes through me to my kids. I was not a great player. Hopefully they will get his height (6 ft. 5 in) too.
Great Basketball Players Skip A Generation

1 comment:

  1. Learned a new game over Easter weekend. My brother-in-law taught this game to my son and me. The game is called 21 jump.

    Lets say 3 people are playing but an infinite number of people can play.

    Player 3 throws the ball high in the air so that it will bounce high in the paint area around the basket.
    Player 1 lets the ball bounce in the paint.
    Player 1 then rebounds the ball and shoots in one quick fluid motion.
    Player 2 waits for the result of the shot
    If Player 1 makes the shot - he / she gets 2 points and is rewarded with free throws (up to three).
    If Player 1 misses the shot or the subsequent free throws - Player 2 needs to rebound the shot before it bounces twice and shoot the ball in one fluid motion off the rebound.
    Note: Player 2 has the option to rebound the ball in the air and shoot it in one continuous motion before the ball bounces.
    Player 3 awaits Player 2's rebound.
    Anyone who makes a basket gets 2 points and is rewarded free throws. They keep shooting free throws until they miss or make three in a row. If a player makes all three free throws - That player is rewarded with another chance for 2 points - again one of the other players will serve the ball up in the air to bounce in the paint and the player who made all three free throws will rebound the ball and shoot it in one motion.
    The object of the game is to get 21 points without going over. If the player goes over 21 they go back to 13 points.
    There is some strategic misses of foul shots as people near 21.

    We played this game for 2 hours per day all weekend long.

    I am paying the price now.




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