Basketball Games for Kids 9 to 12

Written by scott levin
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Basketball Games for Kids 9 to 12
Basketball games for kids can be both educational and entertaining. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When coaching basketball for kids 9 to 12 years old, it is important to teach them the fundamentals of the game. But if you don't keep it exciting, the children will lose interest. Playing different games is a great way to teach different aspects of basketball while still keeping it fun for the players.

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"Knock Away"

"Knock Away" is a fast-paced game that helps kids develop dribbling and defensive skills. Set up a square grid and give every child his own basketball. When the game starts, players begin dribbling. The goal is to keep your dribble going while trying to knock the ball away from other players. Kids have to protect their dribble, keep their heads up and seek out steal opportunities. The winner of the game is the last child dribbling his basketball.

"Knock Out"

In "Knock Out," children develop their free throw shooting, rebounding and awareness. Players line up at the free throw line and the first two are given a basketball. The first player shoots. As soon as the shot hits the rim, the second player can shoot. If the second player scores before the first, the first shooter is out. If the first shooter scores first, he passes to the next person in line and the game continues until one child is left standing. Players can rebound their own misses and shoot again, which helps rebounding skills.


"Twenty-one" pits kids against each other in one-on-one situations. Up to four players play the game on half of the court. It is every man for himself as players try to score baskets. After each made basket, a player gets to shoot free throws until he misses. The goal is to reach 21 points before anyone else. While no passing is involved, players hone their dribbling and free-throw shooting skills. It is also a valuable game for teaching kids how to create their own shot without the help of teammates.


"H.O.R.S.E." is a competitive shooting game that lets kids show their creative sides. Two players take the court. One player takes a shot of his choice from anywhere on the court. If he makes the shot, the second player has to repeat the same shot. If he fails to match the shot, he is given the letter "H" and the first player gets to shoot again. The goal is to avoid picking up letters as the first person to spell out "H.O.R.S.E." loses the game. Kids can have fun with this game, attempting trick shots and challenging their teammates.

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