Game: Dribble Knockout

A true staple, Dribble Knockout is one of the most popular youth basketball games out there. And with good reason. It is FUN!

But more than that, by having athletes play offense and defense simultaneously this game helps develop a high level of comfort with the ball. With plenty of variations to play with, this game (presented here by long-time NBA coach George Karl) should be in every youth basketball coach’s repertoire.

Dribble Knockout

DESCRIPTION Start every player with a basketball, in a specified area of the gym. Each player is simultaneously protecting their dribble and trying to knock away other player’s basketballs – if a player picks up the ball or loses it out of bounds they are eliminated. As players are eliminated, shrink the space to keep the game moving.
SKILL FOCUS Ball Handling, Awareness
AGE (STAGE) Ages 6+ (FUNdamentals + Learn-to-Train)
PLAYERS 6+
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball per player
VARIATION:
KING’S COURT
With a larger group, try playing multiple games at once. Assign one game as “King’s Court” and others as declining levels. Players eliminated from King’s Court move down a level, while players who knock others out move up a level. Try stay at King’s Court as long as possible!

What do you think of this game? Do you have other ideas for variations? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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