How to play knockout, a basketball shooting skills builder.

The Game of the Month is Three Lines Basketball! So this month, we're sharing difference versions of this fun game for the playground. Here's a game to develop shooting skills. The Game of the Week is Knockout!

Group Size:  Any Size

Age Group:   Grades 3+
Length of Activity:   10 or more minutes
Developmental Goal:   To develop hand-eye coordination and depth perception.
Equipment:   Two basketballs and one baksetball hoop.

Before You Start: 

  • Explain the rules of the game.
  • Be prepared to do several demonstrations and stopping in the middle to ask players what comes next.
  • Ask players to explain the game back to you.

Set Up: 

Gather two basketballs and place a cone a few feet behind the foul line facing a basketball hoop.

How to Play: 

  • Everyone forms one line behind the cone a few feet behind the foul line, facing the basket. 
  • The first two players in line get a ball. 
  • The point of the game is for the second player to make a basket before the person in front of them. 
  • The first player takes their first shot from the foul line. 
  • As soon as the first player attempts the first shot, the second player may attempt a shot from the foul line.
  • If a player misses their first shot from the foul line, they may then rebound and shoot from anywhere on the court. 
  • Both players are trying to be the first to make a basket. 
  • If the second player makes it before the first player, the first player in line was "knocked out.
  • Both players pass their balls to the front of the line and then walk to the end of the line.
  • If first player makes a basket first, the player second continues shooting.
  • The first layer passes the ball to the next person in line and goes to the end of the line.
  • The next person in line shoots a foul shot, now trying to a basket before the player still on the court.
  • Once a player scores or is knocked out they should pass their ball to the next person in line as quickly as possible.


  • If a player is knocked out, they must do five jumping jacks or another pre-assigned action before returning to the game.
  • Players can only be knocked out if the person two people behind them in line makes a basket before them.
  • Have two games going at nearby baskets. If a player is knocked out, they must join the line at the other basketball hoop.
  • If a player is knocked out, they cheer from the sideline until there is one final player remaining and the game restarts.
  • Players can knock each other'€™s basketballs with their own ball. This can only be done when the ball is in the air (not in another player's hands) and ALL players agree to this rule before playing. 


Find more new and exciting games in our games library!

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks offers professional development programs that will teach your staff to use recess and playtime to improve health and support learning. Curious to learn more? Submit the Training Assessment form and a local Playworks representative will respond directly.


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