top of page
  • Writer's pictureBerto Centofante

The Official Pick Up Basketball Rules

As an avid basketball fan and someone who plays a fair amount of pick up, I know that the rules vary from court to court, city to city. Therefore, I’m taking it upon myself to write the unified global pick up basketball rule book.

First, we all know that we count traditional 2 point shots as 1 point and shots hit from behind the arc as 2 points. Secondly, we play games ending in odd numbers, 7, 11, 13, 15, 21. If you play to 17 or 19, you are wrong – and possibly a psychopath.

Where things start to get cause debates and massive outrage is the topic of how to officiate games. When can a player call a foul? should you ever call a foul? I have thought over this extensively and have come up with a foolproof system, based on reason and founded in mental strength, for how to self officiate a pick up game.

The officiating rule is simple: the offensive player is never allowed to call a foul. Foul calling responsibilities fall solely on the defender, and his honesty. The justifications for this rule are trifold:

Reason #1 - If the foul is egregious enough, more often than not the defender will in fact call the foul.

Reason #2 - If there is contact that would be deemed a foul in the NBA, but the offensive player is still fully able to attempt a make-able shot, it is not a foul. Don't be lame. Make the shot.

Reason #3 - If you are clearly fouled and the direct defender doesn't own up to it, his teammates still might. If that does not happen then, as the offensive player, you know that you have a sizable mental advantage over your defender. You know that he can't guard you without fouling and playing dirty. Your defender is for all purposes, in the confines of the basketball game – your bitch. Don't stoop to his level and call the foul yourself. That is for the mentally inferior. The weak. Just keep abusing the defender and keep making him resort to these desperate fouling measures. He’s just publicly admitting that he is not on your level.

These 3 reasons more than explain why an offensive player should never call a foul in pick up. With that in mind, if there is an offensive player that indeed does call a foul in a game, it is the duty of the rest of the players to let him know, without a doubt, that he is the weak link.

I hereby declare these to be the official rules of pick up basketball. If you should disagree, submit a well-thought-out argument in the comments below.

bottom of page