How to play 2Ball

How to play 2Ball –the NBA All-Star challenge that should still be a thing

Do you remember when the NBA All-Star Challenge had 2Ball? It was exciting to watch. But it’s way more fun to play. So, here’s a guide on how to play 2Ball.

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, 2Ball was one the most exciting competitions at the NBA All-Star Saturday Night. They would pair the best shooters from the NBA and the WNBA up as each team duked it out in this game.

The 2Ball challenge replaced the Dunk Contest in 1998 and it lasted until 2001. In 2002, the NBA swapped it with the Hoop-It-Up tournament.

But despite its short existence, 2Ball was entertaining as heck to watch and really fun to play.

I remember back in 2001, I had the opportunity to play in this middle school basketball All-Star game. I wasn’t that good, and how I made that team, I do not know. Every school got to elect 2 players to attend the competition, I think. But I’m getting off track.

Anyway, I got the opportunity to participate in this competition. But before the actual game started, we got to compete in 2Ball.

I was paired with this girl from another school. The rules were kinda hard to understand at first, but once you watch one team play, it all makes sense. Good thing for me, we weren’t the first ones to go.

How To Play 2Ball

So here’s the gist of how to play the game:

One person will start with the ball at the centre logo. The other player will start at a marker near their sweet spot.

The first shooter (I’ll refer to this player as the male) will wait at their sweet spot for the initial pass from the second shooter (this will be the female). Once he catches the pass, he’ll take his first shot and, make or miss, he’ll have to rebound it and pass it to his partner. She’ll take her first shot and he will rebound it. Here, he’ll also have an opportunity to take a close-range shot, regardless of his partner makes or misses her shot.

After rebounding, he’ll pass it back to her and run to a marker. She’ll take her shot, rebound it, and pass the ball to him, and run then run to a marker. He’ll repeat the process. Then she’ll repeat the process.

The process keeps repeating itself for the duration of the challenge, which is usually one minute.

Oh, and each marker will have a specified point ranging from 2 to 8 points.

I can proudly say that I came in third place that day. I got a free t-shirt that was too big for me and a can of pop –everything a middle school student dreams of winning.

Now that I’m thinking about it, 2Ball is a really good game for developing your catch-and-shoot, rebounding, and passing. Okay, I lied. I thought about this before writing the article.

Anywhoo, you have to do all of these things and you have to do them under pressure. There’s a clock winding down and you want to score as many points as you can. You also want to take the difficult shots because they weigh more. So you’re essentially shooting buzzer-beating shots every shot you take. Every rebound and pass matters too because a bad one will lead to precious seconds being wasted.

So give this game a try.

Grab a few pals and run this competition. If you don’t have any physical markers, just use sidewalk chalk to draw out the zones.

READ MORE: The 3 Best Basketball Shooting Games

Not only is 2Ball a fun game to play, but it is also a great game to practise your shooting.

Is this a game you would try or use to improve your shooting? Let me know in the comments below.