Streetballers at the Venice Beach basketball courts, California, United States.

Streetball or street basketball is a variation of basketball, typically played on outdoor courts, featuring significantly less formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules. As such, its format is more conducive to allowing players to publicly showcase their own individual skills. Streetball may also refer to other urban sports played on asphalt.[1] It is particularly big in New York City.[2]

Some places and cities in the United States have organized streetball programs, operated similarly to midnight basketball programs. Many cities also host their own weekend-long streetball tournaments, with Hoop-It-Up and the Houston Rockets' Blacktop Battle being two of the most popular. Since the mid-2000s, streetball has seen an increase in media exposure through television shows such as ESPN's Street Basketball and City Slam, as well as traveling exhibitions such as the AND1 Mixtape Tour, YPA, and Ball4Real.

It is also big in other countries like Philippines. Most of their streets have their own basketball court. Tournaments are also organized especially during summer and holiday season. Divisions are divided into 4 brackets, Mosquito (ages 7 to 13), Midget (ages 14 to 17), Junior, (ages 18 to 25),and Senior division (ages 26 and up).

Rules and features

Children playing streetball in Paris in winter

Streetball rules vary widely from court to court.

Players typically divide into teams by alternating choices.

No referees are employed, so almost invariably a "call your own foul" rule is in effect, and a player who believes he has been fouled, simply needs to call out "Foul!", and play will be stopped, with the ball awarded to the fouled player's team (free throws are not awarded in streetball).

Calling fouls is generally disfavored. The etiquette of what rightly constitutes a foul, as well as the permissible amount of protestation against such a call, are the products of individual groups, and of the seriousness of a particular game.

Other violations which are enforced include traveling, double-dribble, carrying, kicking, goaltending, and backcourt.

Half-court play

Since there are not always enough players to play on a full court (typically 4-on-4 is a minimum for full court) and full-court games are more physically demanding, the majority of Streetball games are played on a half court. Special rules have been developed for half-court play:

At the beginning of the game and after each made basket, play begins at the top of the key. A "checking" system is used to ensure that both teams are ready to begin play. This involves the offensive player saying "check" while throwing the ball to his defender. The defender then makes sure his/her team is ready and then throws the ball back to begin play.

If the ball goes out of bounds during play, the ball can either be checked from out of bounds near where the ball went out or at the top of the key, depending on the rules established before the game.

FIBA recently had to add the ‘check clock’ rule into play in their streetball tournaments due to some players taking excruciatingly long amounts of time to check the ball, interrupting the flow of play. This ‘check clock’ means that when the defending player has been checked the ball, he has to return it within 5 seconds.

If the defending team gains possession of the ball through a steal, block, or rebound, they must take the ball out to beyond the three-point line before they can score a basket. This does not need to be at the top of the key and no checking is required. This is analogous to taking the ball to the other side of the court in a full-court game.

Game structure

A common feature of street basketball is the pick up game. To participate in most streetball games around the world, one simply goes to an outdoor court where people are playing, indicates a wish to participate, and from all the players who were at the court before one has played, one will get to pick their team out of the players available and play a game. Generally, the team captains alternate their choices, but different courts have differing rules in regards to player selection. Many games play up to 7, 11, 13, 15, or 21 points with baskets counting for 1 and 2 points. It is possible to do (1's only), (2's only), (1's and 2's), (2's and 3's) or (1's, 2's and 3's) 1's only - each basket counts as 1 point 2's only - each basket counts as 2 points 1's and 2's - each basket counts as 1 point if inside the arc, or 2 points if outside the arc 2's and 3's - each basket counts as 2 points if inside the arc, or 3 points if outside the arc 1's, 2's and 3's - You need at least 3 teams for this, baskets count as 1 or 2 points until one of the 3 teams score a certain number of points, then the other 2 teams play for second place with baskets counting for 2 and 3 points Players often play 'win by 2' which, as in tennis, means that the team has to win by a margin of at least 2 points. Sometimes a local "dead end" limit applies; for instance a game may be played to 7, win by 2, with a 9-point dead end, (referred to as "7 by 2's, 9 straight") which would mean scores of 7-3, 8-6, or 9-8 would all be final, while with scores of 7-6 or 8-7, play would continue. The most common streetball game is 3 on 3 played half court, though 5 on 5 full court can be found. Another common variation to the rules is the "skunk" rule. This merely means that if a player reaches a certain point without the other player scoring, the game is over. The skunk rule limit can vary, but is often used at the score 7 to 0.

Sometimes in a half-court game, a "winner's ball" or "make it, take it" rule is used. This means that if a team scores, it gets the ball again on offense; one team could end up never getting the ball on offense if the other team scores on every possession. Full court basketball is not played with these rules, but, in most instances, the winning team gets to choose which basketball and usually which direction (which basket) they get to use. Also, if the ball goes out of bounds players must check up.

Another possible streetball feature is having an MC call the game. The MC is on the court during the game and is often very close to the players (but makes an effort to not interfere with the game) and uses a microphone to provide game commentary for the fans.

If the player loses the match of a 1v1, the losing player is given a second chance to shoot a shot at the three point line. This either results with the match continuing or if the match is close enough resulting in a tie.

In a game of 1v1, in a close game the game cannot end on a bank shot. If a bank shot happens on the last point of the game it is a replay of possession.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Stritbol
български: Стрийтбол
català: Streetball
čeština: Streetball
dansk: Streetball
Deutsch: Streetball
español: Streetball
français: Streetball
한국어: 스트리트볼
italiano: Streetball
latviešu: Strītbols
magyar: Streetball
нохчийн: Стритбол
polski: Streetball
português: Streetball
română: Streetball
русский: Стритбол
slovenčina: Streetball
slovenščina: Ulična košarka
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ulična košarka
svenska: Streetbasket
українська: Стрітбол
中文: 街頭籃球