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American Basketball

That’s how we call this game in Macedonia. Even though the translation is not the same, “American basketball”, it is the closest it can get. This is our most famous game we play and just about every player here, who plays basketball knows/plays this game.

Alright… I don’t know every game there is but the fact that we call this one American, I guess, it’d be fair to say that it comes from America:) Maybe (duh) in America, it’s called something else but here’s how it goes.

Depending on how many games you wanna play you either play to 11 or 21 (meaning the team that first scores 21 points wins). You can play 2 on 2, so 4 players in total or 3 players in total so that every player is on his own.

Let’s say you’re player 1, your teammate is player 2 and the opponents are player 3 and 4. The game is played from the free throw line and each made shot counts as one.

So you go to the free throw line and start shooting. Your teammate (player 2) is waiting for his turn to shoot. Player 3 and 4 (your opponents) are waiting under the basket for you to miss the shot.

Their job is, if you miss a shot, to try to take you out by catching the ball in mid air and shooting it while in the air.

If they catch the ball and then jump, it doesn’t count. They must catch the ball in mid air first. So if player 3 catches it in mid air and shoots and he misses then player 4 can also catch his teammates’s missed shot and do the same (catch it in mid air and shoot in while in the air). But player 3 can’t simply pass the ball in mid air to player 4. He must shoot the ball and the ball has to either hit the board or the rim so that player can take it from there.

If none of them makes their shots, then they pass you the ball and you continue to shoot the ball from the free throw line as normal. If they manage to take you out then it’s your teammate’s turn to shoot from the free throw line. And if, say, you made 5 shots then he’ll (your teammate) continue to count the points on top of yours. So if he makes only one shot your team will have 6 points and it’ll be the other team’s turn to shoot from the free throw line and you and your teammate’s turn to try to take them out from under the basket.

better shooting

If you play to 11, once you make 10 shots, the eleventh shot has to be a hook shot. If you make that shot you win the game. And If you play to 21, after you make the hook shot you continue to normally shoot the ball after the eleventh shot. So after you reach 20 points the last (21st point) will also have to be a hook shot. If you make that shot then you and your teammate win the “American basketball’.

better shooting

Now, there’s a catch with the hook shoot. Let’s say you make 8 shots and the ninth shot is an air ball. Then your team’s total number of points goes down to zero. Basically, the hook shot is a guarantee that in case you shoot an air ball you won’t lose all your points and go down to zero. So that means that when you reach, say, 14 points (meaning you “passed” the hook shot) if you shoot an air ball you’ll only go down to 11. You won’t go down to zero because you made the hook shot. That’s it.


I don’t know who came up with the name “American basketball” and the game, and whether you guys know this game but it sure is a hell of game, that develops your shooting skills while having fun at the same time.

A lot of times we place bets on the winning team. I mean, it’s that popular. At first, my explanation might seem little complex, but once you get it, you’ll see it really is simple. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to SHOOT me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP.



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