How to Play Knockout

There are numerous different games that can be played using a basketball hoop if a small number of people are playing. There are pure shooting games such as Around The World and H-O-R-S-E, and more active games such as 21 and traditional half-court and full-court basketball. However, if a lot of people want to play, then a lot of waiting is involved.

When children have to wait around too much, they tend to get impatient, and a large group of restless children is not a desirable situation. But there is one game that would allow everyone capable of shooting a basketball to play in every game, and that game is called Knockout.

In order to play Knockout, those playing will need two basketballs and one hoop. Everyone starts off in a straight line behind a point on the court, which is usually the foul line. Younger children might play Knockout starting closer to the hoop, while older players may start further away. There is no rule against a group of adults starting from the middle of the court.

In Knockout, the two people in the front of the line start with the two basketballs. If the first three people in line are Joey, Chris, and Matt, in that order, then Joey starts the game by shooting from the beginning of the line. If Joey makes the shot, then he gets the ball and passes the basketball to Matt and goes to the back of the line.

Chris shoots the ball right after Joey. If Joey misses his shot and Chris shoots successfully, then Joey is knocked out and has to wait until the next game. If Joey gets the ball in the basket before Chris, and Matt also gets the ball in before Chris does, then Chris is knocked out. The game of Knockout continues, with the same rules, until only one person hasn’t been knocked out. The game of Knockout usually moves quickly, especially compared to the games listed in the first paragraph.

The rules of Knockout vary depending on who is playing. In addition to variations regarding where the line starts, sometimes Knockout players are allowed to hit someone else’s ball with their own, thus potentially making staying in the game very difficult for the other person. That tactic is sometimes forbidden because it can be perceived as “unfair”. Running with the ball is sometimes allowed, and sometimes forbidden, but one rule remains the same: if the person behind you puts the ball in the basket before you do, then you are KNOCKED OUT.

It’s a fun game. Seriously. I haven’t played Knockout for quite a few years, but writing about it makes me nostalgic.

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