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Name of Activity:

Capture the Flag Basketball Style

Purpose of Activity:

The purpose of this game is to reinforce the offensive and defensive strategies found in the game of basketball. Teams will be able to use all of the fundamental skills found in basketball in a competitive and fun environment.


Students need to comprehend basic offensive and defensive strategies in order to be successful. Students on offense will benefit from previous practice with shooting, passing, and dribbling. In addition, basic strategies like moving without the ball and creating plays will allow offensive teams to be more successful.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

-4-6 Basketball goals
-Colored flag football flags (5 flags for each team)
-Jerseys for students to wear during the game (jerseys need to match the colored flags for each team)
-Object to velcro/place flags behind each goal (we use foldable gymnastic mats and velcro the flags to the mats to provide a visual of the "score" for the students)

Description of Idea

Before the game, velcro/place 5 flags underneath a basketball goal on the "home mat". If this is the "red goal", there needs to be five red flags on the home mat. At the "blue goal", there will be 5 blue flags on their home mat. Alongside every home mat, there needs to be an additional mat at each goal that does not have any flags on it. This mat will be called the "scoring mat". For this game, I will be describing it with six basketball goals and six teams being used. Once the 6 teams are made, each team will then split its players into an offense and a defense. For example, during the game the red offense will travel to the other goals and play against a defense from another team. The red defense will stay at the red goal for the duration of the round and play against offenses from the other colored teams.

Here is how the game is played:

-Offense: If you score on a defense, take one of their flags and return it to your scoring mat.

-Defense: Guard your goal and do not let teams score on you. Once a defender is in possession of the ball (from a steal or rebound), give the ball back to that offense and they will travel to a different goal.

-When a team has 5 flags (or desired amount) on their scoring mat, the team wins and the round is over. Offense and defense will switch roles for the next round.


Give each team pins to put behind their basket, and if the offense scores, they could take a pin back to their goal.

Different methods for scoring or ways to win the game:

-Play for a set amount of time and constantly switch the roles for offense and defense (team with the most flags on both their scoring and home mats when the time is up will be the winner)
-Allow the defense to earn flags for every 3 stops they make (after the 3rd stop, the defense can retrieve a flag from the teacher and place it on their scoring mat)
-Allow teams to recapture their stolen flags (these can be worth more points at the end)​

One great way to adapt this activity is to lower the goals for all students. By doing this, scoring will be much easier for everyone, including students that may struggle with shooting a basketball. If needed, larger type balls that are lighter and easier to shoot can be used. In addition, flags can be earned for students in non-traditional ways, especially for students with disabilities. For example, if the ball simply hits the backboard on a shot, a flag is captured.

Assessment Ideas:

After playing a full game where all players have had a chance on both offense and defense, the teacher can lead a discussion on the exact strategies that are important for this game. Hopefully, students will see the importance of both offense and defense in order to win the game. Next, allow each team to rearrange who will play together on offense and defense for the next game. If students are comprehending the objectives, teams will start to use strategy in how they group each other for their offense and defense.

Submitted by Kelly Lane who teaches at Indian Trail Intermediate School in Johnson City, TN. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/14/2016.
Viewed 110275 times since 12/30/2015.

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Capture the Flag Basketball Style

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Previous Comments:


You don't have basketballs in the equipment area as things you need but I am assuming you are trying to score a basketball goal to earn a flag? How many balls per team? Just one?

Anne Park

We play a similar game except we put 6-8 cones under each of 6 goals. If a basket is made on a goal, a cone is taken and added to the cones at the home goal. As each team runs out of cones, their team is eliminated from game. Team with most cones at the end is the winner.


Can you post a video of this?

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