Twenty-one (basketball)

Twenty-one (basketball)

Twenty-one, also called 21, hustle, American, roughhouse or crunch, is a popular variation of street basketball. The game is played most often with three to five players on a half court, typically when not enough players are available to at least play three-on-three. However it is possible to play twenty-one with only two players, or more than five. Twenty-one is an individual game that does not utilize team play.


The rules and gameplay are often different regionally locally – even by specific court.

The typical rulesdubious|date=September 2008 of twenty-one are:
* One player begins the game by shooting from 3-point range.
* Baskets are scored as worth either 2 or 3 points, depending on the distance from the shooter to the basket.
* After a successful shot, the shooter may attempt to shoot a 1-point free throw, and if successful continues to attempt another, and if successful another, up to an initial total of three. Upon a miss at any point that player's turn ends, and the ball will be re-bounded by an new player and gameplay continues. If all three free throws are made successfully about the 3-pointer, the player then gets to keep the ball to attempt another 2- or 3-pointer, leading upon success to more free throws.
* To win, a player must make exactly 21 points; exceeding this number results in a restart back at either 13 or 11 points (varies by area)
* No fouls are called unless they are blatant or purposeful
* Other typical basketball rules, such as going out-of-bounds, are frequently ignored


Common additional rules include:
* A player can attempt a 3-pointer in lieu of attempting three free throws.
* If a player who has 13 points misses the next shot, regardless of whether it is a free throw, then that player's points revert to 0. This is referred to as "poison points".
* Whoever wins the game must shoot a 3-pointer in order to start with the ball at the beginning of the next game, and upon success receives the 3 points in the new game, does not get the free throws, but does have the ball and may shoot again.
* Players with fewer than 13 points at the end of a game keep their points into the next game (a sort of handicapping system for when there is a wide variation in skill between the players).
* "Tips" is an addition to Twenty-One. With these rules, if a player jumps up, gets a rebound in the air and makes a shot before touching the ground, the player who initially shot the ball is said to have been "tipped." In this situation, the tipper is awarded 3 points and resumes to shoot their post-goal free throws, and the one being tipped reverts to 0 if their score is under 14, otherwise they will revert to 14. If a player gets tipped 3 times, they are out of the game. All free throws in tips must at least hit the rim, or the shot must be retried. In addition, on a free throw the ball must hit the rim before the shooting player may charge the lane.

Formal use

Twenty-one is frequently used in physical education classes and by basketball team coaches as skill development. [ [ How to Coach and Play Basketball] Clarifyme|subst:DATE|reason=This is not a proper reference citation. Use to provide source details.] [ [ Journal of Physical Education and Recreation] Clarifyme|subst:DATE|reason=This is not a proper reference citation. Use to provide source details.] Because only one player is on offense at any given time agsinst several defenders, quickness and shooting skills are essential to successful play.

ee also

Variations of basketball


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