Knockout is a simple basketball game for two or more players, though 5-10 people
make for the best game. It requires two basketballs, a hoop, and a line of some
sort for players to start behind (on most courts, this will be the foul line.) All
the players get into a line behind the first player. The first two players each have a
When the first player is ready, he takes a shot. As soon as the ball leaves his
hand, the player behind him may shoot. At all times, the goal of the player at the
front of the line is to score before the player behind him scores. If a player fails
to score before the player behind him scores, he is knocked out of the game, and
the player who did the eliminating goes to the back of the line. The next two players
each get a ball, and the next round starts when the first player shoots.
If a player scores before the player behind him does, that player has to retrieve his
own ball and pass it to the next player waiting behind the foul line, who will then try
to eliminate the player who was trying to eliminate the first player. In this way,
players quickly transition from trying to knock others out to trying to avoid being
knocked out themselves. Note that a player in line with a ball may not shoot until the
player in front of him has taken a shot (though as soon as the shot goes up, the player
behind may take his own shot.)
Every player's first shot must be taken from behind the foul line. If the first shot
misses, players can do whatever they want to try to score and don't have to dribble
once they retrieve their ball. They can shoot from where they stand or run towards the
basket to attempt a lay-up. Players usually shoot from where they are, though, if
they feel that they have to rush a shot to avoid elimination.
It is illegal to interfere deliberately with an opponent's ball (i.e. grab it and
throw it to the other end of the court), though a player can protect himself from an
opponent's ball as long as he doesn't knock it far away deliberately. It is legal for
a player to attempt to knock an opponent's shot away from the basket with his own ball,
but the player is almost always better off trying to score himself.
When there are only two players remaining, the rules change slightly. When the
player at the front of the line scores, he must retrieve his ball, and, since he has no
one to pass to, carry it back to the foul line himself. He then tries to eliminate his
opponent. The two players go back and forth like this until one makes two consecutive
baskets and eliminates his final opponent, thereby winning the game.
Strategy in Knockout is mostly limited to "accidentally" knocking the opponent's
ball away, though a player who does this too many times may find himself on the
receiving end of an attitude readjustment. No, Knockout requires little more than
shooting ability, agility, and luck to win.