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Knockout Basketball Game Rules

author image Kevin Dowd
Kevin Dowd began his professional writing career in the summer of 2009, when he wrote for Flexibooks, of Macmillam Education Australia. He graduated from William Paterson University in 2008 with a degree in history.
Knockout Basketball Game Rules
Knockout is an electrifying basketball game that makes you a better player. Photo Credit kunst-mp/iStock/Getty Images


It takes a great deal of practice to improve your basketball skills. This, however, does not mean only running boring drills and walking through set plays to get the mechanics perfect. Practice can also come in the form of fun and unconventional games. Knockout is just such a game that encourages player development while providing an exciting basketball environment.

Free-Throw Line Knockout Basketball

The object of knockout basketball is to knock out the player in front of you and continue until you are the last player standing. Players line up single file at the free throw line. The first two players in line each get a basketball. The first player shoots. If he makes it, he throws the ball to the next person standing in line and goes to the back of the line. If he misses it, he rebounds the ball and attempts to score a basket as quickly as possible.

The second player shoots the ball after the first player makes the shot or his ball hits the rim. If he sinks a basket before the first player makes a basket, he throws the ball to the next person in line and goes to the back of the line. At that point the first player has been knocked out and is no longer part of the game.

Knockout Variations

There are variations to knockout. Typically, the game is played from the free throw line. However, it can really be played from any designated spot on the court. Other common locations include the three-point line or the half-court line. Sometimes different rules are used for when a player can shoot the basketball. Typically, the second player shoots when the first player’s ball hits the rim, but the second player may instead shoot as soon as the first player releases the basketball. Players usually get caught up in the fast-paced nature of the game and shoot as soon as they receive the ball.

Skill Development

Knockout works players on basketball fundamentals and skills, and improves shooting and rebounding. It also teaches a player to follow his shot, release the ball quickly and pass to a target while under pressure. In addition, it improves a player’s stamina and endurance, as it can keep the participants running across the court and back to the line.

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