How to Play Around the World Basketball: Rules, Variants, and Tips

Buzz Williams

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How To Play Around The World Basketball

Ever wondered how to turn your driveway into a mini basketball court of excitement? “Around the World” is a classic game that hones your shooting skills while injecting a dose of friendly competition.

Perfect for all ages, this game challenges you to make a series of shots from specific spots on the court before your opponent does.

Imagine starting at the right block, making a short-range jump shot, and then advancing to nail a three-pointer from the baseline corner. Each successful shot moves you closer to victory, but miss one and you’re back to square one.

Whether you’re playing solo or with friends, “Around the World” offers endless fun and a great workout, all while improving your accuracy and endurance. Ready to take your game to the next level? Let’s dive into the rules and variations that make this game a timeless favorite.

Necessary Equipment

To play “Around the World” basketball, gather some essential items. These include a basketball, a hoop, and proper court markings.

Basketball and Hoop

Use one standard basketball and ensure the hoop is securely mounted. The hoop should be at a regulation height of 10 feet. If playing with younger players, consider an adjustable hoop that can be lowered to an appropriate height.

Ensuring the hoop is in good condition enhances the overall playing experience.

Court Markings

Mark the court with clear spots for shooting. Place cones or use chalk to create five distinct shooting locations around the perimeter of the basketball key area.

These spots typically include positions such as the left and right sides of the key, the corresponding wings, and the top of the three-point arc.

Accurate court markings ensure everyone understands where to shoot from, maintaining fairness and consistency within the game.

Setting Up the Game

Prepare the court by arranging specific markers where players need to shoot. This setup is crucial for ensuring the game runs smoothly and fairly.

Marking Shooting Spots

Place distinct markers at each shooting spot around the key area. Traditional spots include both low blocks, both short corners, both wings, both elbows, and the free-throw line. These nine spots create a challenging path that tests your accuracy.

Ensure the markers are visible and placed correctly to maintain consistency throughout the game. Skilled players may choose locations beyond the three-point line, while beginners can place the markers closer to the basket.

Player Positions and Order

Line up players behind the first shooting marker and determine the playing order before starting. The first player shoots from the first low block; if successful, they move to the next spot. After a miss, the player passes the ball to the next in line and goes to the end of the queue.

Players resume from their last attempted spot on subsequent turns. Continue rotating until each player completes all nine shots. The first to make all nine shots wins, but players can continue for further practice if desired.

Basic Rules of Around the World Basketball

Learn the basic rules to enhance your gameplay and ensure fair competition.

Starting the Game

Players line up behind the first shooting marker. The first player starts by taking a shot from the designated spot. If the shot is successful, the player proceeds to the next marker.

If the shot misses, the player retrieves the ball and passes it to the next player in line. This sequence continues until every player has had a turn.

Rules for Shooting

Each player must make a series of shots in a row from specific locations around the court. Common spots include low blocks, short corners, wings, elbows, and the free-throw line.

Missing two consecutive shots requires the player to start over from the first marker. Players have the option to stop their turn before attempting the next shot; however, deciding to take a shot and missing means restarting from the initial spot.

Advancing Around the Court

A player progresses around the court by successfully making shots from each marker. After each successful shot, the player moves to the next designated spot. If a shot is missed, the player stays at the current marker until the next turn.

The game continues until one player successfully makes all the shots in sequential order around the court. Introducing twists like unique shots at specific markers can add an extra layer of challenge and excitement.

Playing the Game

Playing the game of Around the World basketball involves a series of shots from designated spots around the court. Here’s how to play:

Success at Each Spot

Progression in “Around the World” depends on making successful shots from specific locations. To start, shoot from the first spot, usually near the right block. If you make the shot, move to the next designated spot around the court.

Continue this process, focusing on making each shot before moving forward. Each player’s skill in making successive shots determines their advancement.

Handling Missed Shots

Missing a shot disrupts your progression. Upon missing a shot, go under the hoop and retrieve the ball. Pass it to the next player in line. When your turn comes again, resume from the last spot where you missed.

This rule ensures continuous participation and challenges players to improve their shooting accuracy.

Winning the Game

Achieving victory in “Around the World” means successfully making shots from all designated spots. A player wins after completing the entire circuit without missing consecutive shots. The first player to achieve this wins the game.

Adjustments in shooting spots or additional challenges can be made to increase difficulty and extend the excitement.

Variations of the Game

Variations of Around the World basketball add excitement and adaptability to the game. Here are some popular variations:

Single Player Variant

Playing Around the World solo sharpens individual skills. Start by selecting nine shooting spots around the key area. After making a shot from one location, proceed to the next spot. If a shot is missed, restart from the previous position.

This variant improves consistency and accuracy, making it ideal for personal practice.

Competitive Team Variant

In the Competitive Team Variant, players form teams and take turns shooting. Each team assigns a player to a shooting spot. If a player makes a shot, the next team member proceeds to their spot. Missing a shot allows the opposing team to take control.

The team with the most completed circuits, after a set time or number of attempts, wins. This variant fosters teamwork, strategy, and healthy competition.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

While playing Around the World basketball, some common problems can arise. This section addresses these issues to help you maintain a smooth and enjoyable game.

Dealing with Interference

Distractions and interruptions can affect your game. Position players on the court properly to minimize interference from people or objects. Ensure that bystanders stay clear of the shooting area, especially during practice sessions.

If playing in a crowded or shared space, clearly mark the boundaries of your court to avoid accidental disruptions. Consistent practice in different environments can also help players become more resilient to distractions.

Adjusting to Different Court Sizes

Variations in court dimensions can impact shot accuracy and game flow. Familiarize yourself with different court sizes by practicing on both standard and non-standard courts. Adjust your shooting angles and strength to accommodate varying distances.

If the court is smaller, reduce the number of shooting spots accordingly; if larger, increase them for added challenge. Regular practice in different settings helps players adapt their skills to any court size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can “Around the World” be played solo?

Yes, a single-player variant of “Around the World” helps improve individual shooting skills. The player attempts to make shots from each marker sequentially, aiming to complete the sequence without missing.

What are some team variations of “Around the World”?

In the team variant, players are divided into teams. Each team member takes turns shooting, and the team wins when all members complete the sequence. This promotes teamwork and collective strategy.

What are common issues when playing “Around the World” basketball?

Common issues include interference and adjusting to different court sizes. Proper player positioning and regular practice can help address these issues, ensuring smoother gameplay and better shot accuracy.

How can I improve my skills for “Around the World” basketball?

Regular practice in diverse environments can improve your adaptability and resilience to distractions. Consistently practicing your shots from various distances enhances accuracy and overall skill.

How do you ensure fair play in a team variant of “Around the World”?

To ensure fair play, establish clear rules about sequence, shot attempts, and what constitutes a successful shot. Clear communication and mutual respect among players also contribute to fair play.


Playing Around the World basketball is a fantastic way to transform any driveway into an engaging mini basketball court. By understanding the rules and setting up specific shooting markers you can easily enjoy this game while improving your shooting skills.

Whether you’re practicing alone or with friends the variations of the game offer opportunities for personal growth and team bonding. Remember to adjust for different court sizes and practice regularly in various environments to enhance your adaptability and resilience.

Embrace the fun and challenge of Around the World basketball and watch your skills soar. Incorporate these tips into your routine, and you’ll soon see noticeable improvement. Don’t forget to maintain proper form and stay consistent with your practice.

Happy shooting!

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Buzz Williams

Buzz Williams, head coach of Texas A&M Men's Basketball, is known for his energetic coaching style and strong leadership. Since joining in 2019, he has revitalized the program with his strategic acumen and emphasis on player development. Williams previously had successful stints at Marquette and Virginia Tech, and he continues to build a competitive team at Texas A&M, aiming for excellence in the SEC and beyond.

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