Streetball is a very popular game worldwide, and some cities in the United States have organized streetball programs, such as midnight basketball, as a way for young people to keep out of trouble and avoid problems such as juvenile crime and drugs. Many cities even host their own weekend-long streetball tournaments. Hoop-It-Up and the Houston Rockets Blacktop Battle are two of the most popular. In recent years, streetball has seen an increase in notoriety and exposure in media due in part to television shows such as ESPN's "Streetball" and "City Slam", as well as traveling exhibitions such as the AND1 Mixtape Tour and Ball4Real.
While the rules of Streetball are essentially/theoretically the same as normal basketball, Streetball places a higher emphasis on one-on-one matchups between the offense and defender. Often the attacker will perform numerous flashy moves while attempting to drive to the basket, including crossovers, jab steps, and other fake-out tricks. Streetball often features spectacular dunks and alley oops, impressive ball handling, and trash talking. Also featured in streetball are moves. A move is either used to trick the defender to look away, or just to confuse. There are many different moves in streetball.
Rules vary widely from court to court. Almost invariably a "call your own foul" rule is in effect, and a player who believes he has been fouled, simply needs to call out "Foul!" or "And 1!", and play will be stopped, with the ball awarded to the fouled player's team. If a foul has been called during or after a shot has been taken the call will be ignored and the shot will be counted if the player makes the basket. The etiquette of what rightly constitutes a foul, as well as the permissible amount of protestation against such a call, are the products of individual social groups, as well as of the level of seriousness of a particular game. An outsider at a playground should closely observe the status quo in these matters. Some areas where different interpretations of rules are likely to occur are: 1) travelling - whether a step is permissible prior to dribbling, and how many more than the nominally permitted one and a half steps should be allowed at the end of the dribble. 2) hand (and leg) - checking on defense - how much can one touch the person one defends and how much physical pressure may one apply in so doing.
A common feature to Streetball is the 'pick up game'. To participate in most Streetball games across the world one simply goes to an outdoor court where people are playing, indicate a wish to participate, and once all the players who were at the court before you have played you will get to pick your team out of the players available and play a game. Many games play up to 7, 11, 15 or 21 points with all baskets counting as one point (sometimes shots beyond the 3 point arc count as 2 points). Players often play 'win by 2' which, as in tennis, means that the team has to win by a margin of at least 2 clear points. Sometimes a local "dead end" limit applies; for instance a game may be played to 7, win by 2, with a 9 point dead end, which would mean scores of 7-5, 8-6, 9-7, or 9-8, would all be final; while with scores of 7-6 or 8-7, play would continue. The most common streetball game is 3 on 3 played half court though often 5 on 5 full court can be found.
Sometimes in a half-court game, a "winners take out" rule is followed. This means that if a team scores, they get the ball again on offense. So theoretically, the opposing team could end up not ever getting the ball on offense if the "winners" never miss a shot. Full court basketball is not played with these rules. But in all instances, the winning team gets to choose which basketball and usually which direction (which basket) they get to use.
A unique streetball feature is having an "MC" call the game. The MC is on the court during the game and is often very close to the players (but makes an effort to not interfere with the game) and uses a microphone to provide game commentary for the fans.
The typical rules of "21" are:
Common additional rules include:
"21" is considered a very challenging game, especially because the offensive player must go up against several defenders at the same time. For this reason, it is exceedingly difficult to "drive to the hole" and make lay-ups in "21." Therefore, and also because of the emphasis on free-throws, "21" is very much a shooter's game, and because a successful shot means you keep the ball, it is possible for there to be epic come-backs when a player recovers from a large deficit by not missing any shots (this can also result in epic failure when they miss their final free-throw at 20 points and revert back to 13).
"21" is popular because it allows an odd number of people to play, unlike regular basketball or other variants.
Another less common streetball variant, often referred to as "Boston," results in essentially a one-on-one (or sometimes two-on-two) tournament between any number of players. Each match is played following normal one-on-one rules, including violations (such as fouls and out-of-bounds) to just one point. The winner remains on the court and gets to take the ball out while the loser returns to the end of the line of players waiting to step on the court. The first player to win a set number of matches (usually 7 or 11) wins the game.
One great advantage that this game has over 21 is that players seem to play their hardest and at a high level of intensity, whereas many players in 21 seem to be very relaxed or even laxydaisical until the ball comes to them. This is due to the fact that no one wants to have to sit out if they lose the match.
Basketball: Hoop and Glory ; Sportsactive; Basketball Is Only a Sport - Streetball, Its Cool Cousin, Is a Way of Life. Julie Welch Pounds the Parks of London to Find out What to Say, What to Wear, Where to Hang. and Why a Streetballer Won't Merely Beat His Opponent, He'll Break Him Too
Aug 12, 2001; Feint like you're going one way, then go the other. Make your defender stumble, go round him, make him look a fool. That's almost...