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Name of Activity:

Rug Rats Basketball Dribbling

Purpose of Activity:

To develop hand-dribbling and passing skills in a "steal" free environment and to give students practice in implementing offensive and defensive strategies:

Activity cues:

Offense: move to an open area/away from defensive person, to successfully catch or pass the ball

Defense: keep your body between the offense player and their goal (e.g. another person or the goal area)

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

10 cones or other markers per game area; 2 rug or carpet squares per game area; Pinneys for 1/2 of the class; 1 slightly deflated 8 1/2" playground ball per game area.

Description of Idea

Set up as many game areas in your instructional space to safely accommodate small group games of 3-vs.-3 or 4-vs.-4. One team in each game should wear the pinnies.

One person on each team is designated the "basket". Using the cones, he or she should mark off a goal area in the opponent's end area that is large enough for him/her to lunge step and reach out without passing over the boundaries.

After the game begins (students should cooperatively decide a fair way to begin play), teammates should (bounce, allie oop, chest, etc.) pass, dribble, and catch the ball in order to move the ball down the "court". The offensive strategy of moving away from the defensive players in order to get open for a pass should be emphasized throughout the game. The following rules also apply:

  • There is no stealing of the ball while someone is dribbling, and no contact during play.
  • A player who lands on the floor loses possession of the ball.
  • There is no penalty for double dribbling.
  • There is no penalty for travelling; if it occurs, the defense nicely informs the dribbler that he or she is travelling, and the game continues.

One point is scored when your "basket" (a teammate who has at least one foot on the rug) receives a pass. No one but the "basket" student may be in the goal area. After a point is scored, the "basket" must throw the ball to the other team.

The defense takes possession of the ball at the spot where it is intercepted in flight, a pass is blocked and the defense recovers it, the ball is rolling/bouncing away from the dribbler (a free ball), or the other team scores. Defensive players should work on using the defensive strategies of guarding (but not contacting) offensive players, and keeping their body between the offensive player with the ball and their goal (whether this be the goal area or another player).

Continuously emphasize the offensive and defensive game strategies with students, stopping a game when necessary to make a point or have one team "model" a strategy for the other students. Teams can be rotated during the game (for example, teams on "X" side rotate one game to the left to face a new opposing team).

Teaching Suggestions:

Although falling, contact, and stealing the ball have been ruled out, students may need to be reminded (especially in the beginning) about these rules.


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Submitted by Francis Aldrich who teaches at Flaherty Elementary School in Braintree, ME. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/24/2015.

Viewed 139455 times since 8/24/2001.

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Previous Comments:

Paul Templeton

This game is a really great game for elementary level! I used hula hoops for the "basket" player to stand in. Thank you for sharing!

James Beam

This activity does a good job of incorporating different skills and movement while keeping the idea of dribbling at heart.

Tracy Bruinsma

I'm excited to try this game with my 3-5 graders. The video really helped me to understand the game. Kudos for a job well done. I like the suggestion about using a tumbling mat. I'll let ya know how it goes! Thanks Fancis...keep up the good work!


I actually tried this game with "basket" students standing on a folded up mats at either end. This allowed, I felt, for more points to be scored (student was elevated over the other students so it was a little easier for them to catch the ball). I made the rule that if the student stepped off the mat to catch the ball, it did not count.


Is there anyway this game can be adjusted for a gym that doesn't have basketball hoops?


Great video. Looks like a great lesson that im going to try with my kids! Thanks for sharing!


I think that it is a good lesseon to teach kids diffetnt skell to learn if they want to play a this basketball but the leson is for to have fun not for compation


NICE and clear ways to teach students great job nice video you are a good teacher and your video is the best because you showed notes for us I really want to be a teacher like you

Dawn K. McCrumb

Excellent video - clear, correct cues; easy to follow instructions; and video quality great!