‘Bucketball’ is a game I developed as something that could be played with a group or team to work on speed and conditioning without always having to run sprints, line, cone drills, etc. The term derived from some of the kids calling it ‘bucketball’ because I used a couple of buckets for the goals.
Bucketball is really a combination of every sport because it demands the athletic skills most sports require. There really are aspects involved in this game from sports such as basketball, football, ultimate frisbee, rugby, soccer, etc…
The athletic skills this game helps to develop are speed, agility, footwork, hand-eye coordination, reaction and conditioning (it does get tiring – in a good way, of course!)
The game is quite simple to administer and play and it can be played basically anywhere … indoors or outdoors. When we first came up with this game, we played in our fieldhouse across the width of 3 basketball courts (we were playing about 10 vs. 10). We’ve also played it in our main basketball gym, which is the width of 2 courts. Outdoors, we have played on our football field and just set up boundaries based on number of people playing. So basically, the game can be played anywhere with an almost unlimited number of people. However, when playing in a smaller area such as a basketball court, the numbers should be about 5-7 players max per side or it gets too crowded.
All you need for this game is a ball and 2 baskets/buckets/cans, etc (any ball is fine but I normally prefer to use a tennis ball). The objective is quite simple — get the ball into the basket!
The Rules of Bucketball
There really are not a lot of rules with this game. There are a couple of rules that are necessary to make the game what it is, and there a few rules we’ve had to add along the way. Below, I will list and explain the rules for bucketball.
The main rule isn’t so much a rule — when you have the ball in your possession, you can run with it as much as you want in an attempt to score. However, if you are tagged by a defender while holding the ball, it becomes the opposing teams possession. Once tagged, just set the ball down and the other team can grab it and go the other way in their attempt to score.
To move the ball around, you can throw it or pass it to your teammates. The rule here, however, is that the ball must be caught. If a pass attempt is dropped, the other team gains possession. A ball that is passed can bounce off the ground or a wall but if the catch attempt is dropped, it changes possession.
If a defender knocks down a passed ball it is still a live ball. The defender is allowed to drop a pass attempt and still keep possession. Of course, the offensive player can still grab the ball now but the defender is not penalized for making a good play in a steal attempt.
A defensive player may not ‘guard’ the bucket. By this I mean that a player may not stand on, in, or over the bucket in an attempt to defend it. I should also mention that we use various court markings on the floor in which we place the bucket. For example, on our basketball court, we place the bucket inside a square that is made by the free throw lane and volleyball court lines. When we’ve played across our fieldhouse, we use the center circles on the basketball court. Regarding the ‘goal area’, the offensive players are also not allowed to go inside the ‘square’ to score. A player may only go in to retrieve a ball but cannot stand in the square to score or to defend a score.
The game of bucketball is a non-stop and continuous game. One rule developed, however, to allow slight stoppage on change of possessions…otherwise teams were just tagging each other back and forth. Any time there is a change of possession (one team scores, a ball is dropped, etc) the team that gained possession cannot be tagged until the person with the ball either a) throws to a teammate or b) starts running with the ball. As long as the person with the ball keeps a pivot foot down, he cannot be tagged.
As previously mentioned, this is a nonstop game. When a team scores or the ball changes possession, play does not stop. If your opponent scores, grab the ball out of the basket and go! If you steal or intercept the pass – Go! Remember, once you are tagged, the other team gets the ball — so do not get tagged!!
As you will find, this game is a great conditioning game. It will also develop so many athletic skills. This is a great game that can be used as a warm-up or even a pre-practice game. It can also be used as a supplement to all the speed, agility, and quickness drills you may be using. This is also a great game for physical education classes! This is one ‘workout’ the kids are always asking for!