What Does Pickup Mean In Basketball?

Pickup Basketball is the most fun and exciting way of playing basketball ever. It doesn’t require any serious teams, no care for who wins and losses. All is done to just have fun and enjoy the time.

The only essentials you need for the pickup basketball are some people who are interested in playing, hoops, and the ball. That’s it!

You are set to now play pickup basketball have loads of fun with your friends. Since not many people know about pickup basketball, we need to provide you with some details that can help you understand the concept.

What Does Pickup Mean In Basketball?

A pickup basketball game begins spontaneously. No coaches, uniforms, or referees. All you need is some willing players and a couple of baskets and a ball. That’s what pickup basketball is.

Although it doesn’t require very many elements of traditional or professional basketball, It still has some bylaws. So let’s look at them and understand what are some of the rules of pickup basketball.

Rules of pickup basketball:

Obviously, some basic rules of professional basketball games apply and most of us know about them. Yet we need to understand what stays in the pickup basketball and how it works.

Staying inside the lines:

Most casual basketball arenas do not have lines. But if they do have lines then the players need to abide by them and play within the lines.

Must dribble, avoid carrying:

The general rule of dribbling the ball and not carrying it which is a violation in professional basketball. The same is applied here. Any player who is in possession of the ball needs to travel around the court while dribbling and must not carry travel the ball around the court.

Violations still apply:

Naturally, there are no referees involved in the game hence there isn’t anyone to put check and balance on the game. Yet you the players know all the basics and should abide by them to ensure that no violations or fouls are being committed.

General rules:

The pickup basketball is to enjoy a relaxed game of basketball without having to worry about the rules. Hence there are some rules that are not followed for instance the three-second rule is not applied and none of the players put too much emphasis on it. Since the game is about having some fun. These rules are generally ignored.

However in an instance when the ball goes outside the lines then the opposing team can call for the shootout and the tie-breaker or the jump ball is something that quickly resolves the issue.

Now that we know some of the major rules of the game let’s look at other aspects of the game.


The venues of pickup basketball can be either indoors or outdoors. Both work for a simple pickup basketball game.


Outdoors basketball games are much more difficult and different games. Since the weather and wind have a role to play the environment is not easy to monitor.

You could end up having a lot of difficulty in trying to get the ball through the hoop. Similarly, since the environment is not controlled if there has been raining or it is raining the floor will be wet which will make playing the game even harder.

Along with that, the floor is generally concrete or asphalt which makes it hard to dribble the ball and you have to put a lot of effort into dribbling. And since the floor is asphalt, diving is out of the question.

One other thing that goes against you is the hoop is sometimes double rimmed, which makes it even harder to score a point.


The indoor game is much more fun and enjoyable as you have the whole set of a professional basketball court. The lines and the hoop rims are there. The hoop rim is singular and doesn’t make it difficult for the players to score.

Furthermore, since the floor is also laminated you could make a dive and will not hurt yourself in the process. The environment is controlled so no worries about a damp floor and wind. There are bleachers for people to watch and wait. The game becomes more fun if there is a random audience to the game.

Size of the court:

Depending on the size of the court, two variations of the game can be played, such as half court and full court.


Depending on how many people are using the court and how much do you want to run around on the court. You can opt to play the half-court game. It is equally fun with half the effort. But it does give you good cardio exercise.

The gameplay is simple enough, the game is “make it take it” which means that if a player scores the ball is handed over to the other team. Rest the game is played upon mutually accepted goals.

Full court:

Full court game follows the same rules your professional basketball games follow. The lines and the professionalism of the court make it more fun to play. The rules of the pickup game remain the same in all circumstances and you can enjoy a full game of basketball.

Size of the team:

The size of the team doesn’t matter that much in case the players are in even numbers. It is easy to play with an even number of players; even if you have an odd number of players playing pickup basketball can be done by adding the additional player as a sub.

Scoring of points in pickup basketball:

The pickup basketball games are generally 11, 15, or 21 pointers. And instead of the professionally used three and two-pointers, the two and one points are used for scoring.


Now you know all there is to know about the pickup basketball. Hope you have the fun of playing indoors or outdoors and enjoy a wholehearted game.