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Name of Activity:

Clothesline Basketball

Purpose of Activity:

A lead-up activity to shooting a basketball at a basketball hoop that is designed to give students practice in developing good arc on the ball while executing proper follow through on their shot.


Proper instruction and practice in the mechanics of shooting a basketball. Basketball Set Shot Cue

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Each group of 3 will need: 1 basketball, 2 hula hoops, and 1 poly spot. You will also need a clothes line strung between 2 basketball hoops or volleyball standards, 50 - 60 bean bags, and a 5-gallon bucket.

Description of Idea

Prior to class beginning, string a clothes line between two basketball hoops, two volleyball standards, or between two walls.

Divide the class into groups of three. Each group will need to have one basketball, two hula hoops, and one poly spot. Each group will place their poly spot on one side of the clothes line, evenly spaced apart, and one of their hula hoops ("hamper") about 5 - 7 feet away on the other side of the clothes line. Students line up behind their poly spot, facing the clothes line, and place their other hula hoop ("dryer") behind the last person in line. Place the 5-gallon bucket full of bean bags ("washer") in the center of the gym behind all of the "dryers".

One student will be the retriever (standing to the side of the hoop), one student will be the shooter (standing on the poly spot) and one will be the coach. The shooter will stand at the poly spot and attempt to shoot their basketball over the clothes line, using proper form, having it land inside their group's "hamper". The retriever will allow the ball to bounce, then retrieve the ball before returning to the other side where the poly spot is. See assessment ideas below for information on the role of the coach.

If the ball lands inside the "hamper", the student who took the shot gets to take a bean bag out of the 5-gallon bucket ("washer") and place it into his/her group's "dryer". If the ball does not land in the "hamper" a bean bag is not placed in the "dryer" and students rotate; shooter to retriever, retriever to coach, coach to shooter. The activity continues until all of the bean bags are gone.

The goal is for students to execute a proper follow through (snapping wrist high over head) and develop arc on their shot. As students become better at shooting their basketballs into the hula hoops, they can move them farther away on the opposite side of the clothes line. Be sure not to move the poly spots from their location, as moving them away from the clothes line will decrease the arc students need to put on their shot.


If space is limited consider as a station activity.

Assessment Ideas:

The coach may perform a peer assessment for proper follow through while they are waiting for their turn. Have the student performing the peer assessment sit/stand on the opposite side of the clothes line as the shooter so that he/she can get a good look at the shooter. Using a checklist with illustrations and explanations of proper follow through will allow students to quickly determine if their classmates are executing the skill correctly, as well as provide helpful & positive feedback when needed.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

To make this activity more or less difficult, consider lowering the clothes line at one end for the younger students, providing an "alternative" ball to each group that is lighter for student with less strength, and increasing or decreasing the distance between the poly spot and the "hamper".

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Submitted by Corey House who teaches at Brittonkill Central School District in Troy, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/20/2007.

Viewed 62638 times since 1/8/2007.

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Previous Comments:


Used this activity today in our basketball unit and the kids LOVED it! Thanks for the idea!


Awesome idea for teaching students arc.
I will be using this activity in my basketball unit!