Topic 4: Twenty-One

INSTRUCTIONS:  There is two different games of 21.  While there may be more, we will cover both versions here. 

Version 1     (Object of the game – be the first player to reach 21 points)

     Assign 3-5 players for each game.  Each player will play individually and shall be scored individually as well.  Play starts with one of the players lightly, bouncing the basketball off the backboard.  At this point any player may get the ball and attempt to score. If a player scores from the field, he/she is given 1 point and moves to the free throw line. The player will now get to shoot free throws until he/she misses. Each shot made from the free throw line will be worth 2 points. Once the player misses, any other player may now get the rebound and try to score. The game continues until 1 player reaches exactly 21 points. Following are some of the rules. Of course, some of these rules can be modified to make this game more age appropriate.

  1. All basketball rules: fouls, double dribble, traveling, etc. apply.
  2. Any player may defend any other player, except on the free throws.
  3. If a play goes over 21, he/she must go back to 11.


Version 2      (Object of the game – be the first player to reach 21 points)

Assign 2-6 players per game. Actually any number can play, but more than 5 or 6 would mean more waiting. In this game, players will take turns shooting from the foul line. Shots made from the foul line are worth 2 points each. Players will continue to shoot from the foul line until they miss the shot. Upon missing the free throw, the player will try to get the rebound before it bounces twice. If they get their rebound before it bounces twice, then they get a bonus shot from where they caught the ball. This bonus shot is worth 1 point. After the bonus shot, that player is finished and the next player in line will start their free throw attempts. This game continues until a player reaches exactly 21 points.  Any player going over 21 points will return to 11 or 0. Following are some of the rules:

  1. While one player is shooting, the others are waiting their turn and may not interfere with any of the shooting.
  2. If a player fails to get their missed free throw rebound, before it bounces twice, then their turn is over.
  3. The turn is over regardless of whether or not the bonus shot was made.

HELPFUL HINTS: In version 1, keep a close eye on fouls. There are several ways to penalize the offender of any violation.  Fouls could result in a free throw for the victim, or a free shot from the place of the infraction.  Any violation of other rules, such as traveling, double dribble, etc., could result in the loss of possession.