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Streetball Rules

Official Basketball Rules

Streetball is a form of basketball played on outdoor courts. It's fast-paced and the players are usually highly skilled at various basketball tricks. It is a very informal version of the game, but most of the standard rules of basketball still apply. It does, however, have its own set of rules.


Understand the basic rules of streetball before you start playing. Each basket counts as one point as compared to regulation basketball, in which a basket counts for two points. In some cases, a shot made from beyond the arc on the court will receive two points. The game will usually last until seven, 10 or 11 points are scored by one of the teams (the winner). In many games you have to win by two or three points, which makes the game more competitive.

Unlike regulation ball, when a team scores a basket, that team gets the ball back again. Each session is preceded by a "ball check," whereby the team member who has possession of the ball has to throw or bounce the ball to a member of the opposing team first at the top of the court, to assure that the other team is ready to play. When the ball is thrown or bounced back to the member of the team that has possession, the game is immediately active.


Many streetball games are one-on-one, but a game can consist of up to five players per team like in an official basketball game. An informal pickup basketball game (another name for an impromptu streetball game) will have no more than three players on each team.


Find a basketball court that will accommodate your game. Many streetball games are played on a half court instead of the normal full court setting for regulation basketball. In some situations, such as in the case of a high-profile streetball championship game, a full court is used.

Fouls and Other Violations

There aren't usually referees present at a streetball game, so the officiating is much more relaxed. Calls are made by the players. There is a "call your own foul" rule. The person who is fouled determines whether his opponent hit him too hard during play. If he is fouled, his team gets possession of the ball. Generally, calling a foul just because someone brushed up against you or bumped into you a little is looked down upon in streetball. The game is traditionally much rougher than regular basketball.

The other two common violations are the same as in regulation play: traveling and double dribbling. Traveling, which is carrying the ball in your hand for more than two steps, gives possession of the ball to the other team. Double dribbling is when you dribble the ball with two hands at the same time. Palming, whereby you turn the ball around in your hand so that it is resting in your palm, is also technically illegal, but players are usually very lenient on that rule to allow players to do more tricks like dunking.

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