Basketball Biathlon

Dick Moss

Basketball Biathlon

Basketball Biathlon

The Basketball Biathlon mimics the winter biathlon. The winter biathlon involves nordic skiing and shooting - in both a prone and standing positions. The basketball biathlon involves dribbling and shooting, free-throws and bank shots.

As a result, it has a good fitness and shooting component. And as the contest progresses, it becomes very much like a real biathlon, with contestants having to perform fine motor skills (shooting), under conditions of increasing fatigue.

Use the standard gym setup with six hoops - two on the ends and four on the sides. Indicate a circle at center court using cones. Use more cones to indicate a shooting spot at each key for bank shots.

Each player gets a ball. Spread your players around the gym.

How to Play
Starting at a hoop, players run a lap of the gym, then take five foul shots and five bank shots at their basket.

Here's the fun part. Like the winter biathlon, players must run a penalty for each shot they miss. If they miss two shots, they must run two laps around center circle.They then run a full lap, stop at the next basket, then repeat the process. The first player to complete the six-basket course wins the race.


    • To make the game more defense-specific, you can have them use sideways shuffle steps for their penalty laps.
    • If you have injured players or assistant coaches, they can help by passing players' shots back to them from beneath a basket.
    • You can have players run lines instead of penalty laps.
    • You can perform the contest like a relay, a variation also used in winter biathlon.

Reference: Gaby Bouman, "Basketball biathlon drill." Five Star Hoops website, 6/5/2006.;SPID=2286&DB_OEM_ID=5500&ATCLID=293469


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