Three Lines Basketball

  1. Ball Games
  2. Readiness Games
  3. Recess Games
  4. Rotational Games
  • Large Group (10 and up)

  • Grades 3-5

  • Basketballs

  • 10 Minutes or more

Development Goal

To develop teamwork and communication.

Before You Start

  • Have one basketball, three cones, one basketball hoop and marked boundaries.
  • Explain the rules of the game and the basic rules of basketball — including proper dribbing, passing, shooting and defense.
  • Ask the players to explain the rules of play back to you.

Set Up

Place three cones at the top of half a basketball court.

How to Play

  • Have everyone stand in three single-file lines, one behind each cone.
  • The first player in each line steps forward past the cone and turns and faces the next player in line.
  • The three people that have stepped out are a team of three and will play defense.
  • They will play in a half-court game against the next players in line behind each cone, who form another team of three.
  • Other players in line wait their turn to play while cheering.
  • The defenders get ready as the first offensive player, behind the middle cone, starts with the ball.
  • This player passes the ball to one of her/his teammates to start the game.
  • The object of the game is to be the first team to score.
  • The following rules apply:
    • If a player shoots and misses, either team can rebound the ball and shoot again immediately.
    • When a point is scored the team that made the basket stays on the court to play the next three people in line.
      • The team that scored starts on defense.
      • The team that did not score returns to the end of their respective line.
    • If a foul is called, the player who has been fouled gets to throw the ball in from out of bounds.
  • If a game is taking too long, have players waiting in line count down from ten, nine, eight, etc.
    • The last player holding the ball takes a free throw shot. If the player makes the shot, her/his team stays on the court.
    • If the player misses, her/his team returns to the end of the line and the other team stays on the court.
  • If a team wins three times in a row they have earned three claps and return to the end of the line.


  • Players cannot dribble, in order to move the ball they must pass.
  • When players on defensive rebound the ball, they must pass it one time before they can shoot the ball.