Games For Basketball Hoops - Variations on H-O-R-S-E
The best sports are those that you can watch at a professional level, and still play at your own level whether it's total beginner or highly advanced. That's one benefit of basketball for just about everyone. High school athletes, adults, kids, families and groups of friends all have the ability to gather on a court, driveway or even the back yard and start tossing a ball around. Naturally, when this happens, some of the best games are invented, and none is more popular than the game of horse.
Of course, just like any other game with house rules, the game of horse seems to be different on every court, school yard and home where it is played. Let's take a look at the (almost) universal basics of this fun game, and some of the unique variations that folks use to put their personal spin on this classic outdoor game.
The most classic and universal element of the game of horse is that it involves making baskets and being rewarded or punished by receiving a letter of the word. Frankly, those are about the only elements of the game that don't change from version to version. As you'll see below, everything else about this game is subject to the whims of the players.
Other Versions of H-O-R-S-E
One basic method of horse is played by assigning five shooting spots, usually in a semi-circle, around the basket. Each player shoots from spot one, and if they make the shot, gets to add the letter 'H' to their personal score. If a player does not make the shot on a letter, then they stay at that position each time their turn comes up until they make a basket. The first player to spell horse by making it all around the course wins, in this version.
Another way to play is by having players line up and come up with a fun way to make a shot. It can be between your legs, backwards, off the shooter's square or any other way. After the first player goes, the rest follow and attempt to make a basket in the same manner. Any player who misses gets a letter added to his or her score. In this instance, anyone who spells horse is out of the game and play continues until only one person, the winner, is left standing.
There are a number of ways that the game can be, and is often, changed even further. In order to accommodate players of different ages and skill levels, the shooting points can be different. Of course, even the name of the game can be changed to something else. Games of P-I-G or H-O-T-D-O-G are not unheard of. Players looking for more of a challenge can play a speed round where multiple balls are used and a timer ensures a faster pace.
At the end of the day, playing horse or any other game designed for the basketball court is about having fun and getting a little more shooting practice. With a bit of creativity, the options are endless.