What rules are left out in in street ball?

What rules are left out in in street ball?
  • 30 Jul 2023

Unveiling the Mysteries of Street Ball

As someone who has spent an unhealthy amount of time playing street ball in the sizzling heat of Perth, Australia, I can comfortably say that basketball in its street variant is much more than a hobby. It's a lifestyle, a culture, and a haven for those souls who take solace in the whistle and thud of solo practice sessions or an informal 3-on-3 matchup. But there's one question that's been bugging me lately: what rules are conveniently ignored in street ball?

Sure, we all know the basics of the game; shooting, dribbling, passing, dunking if you're blessed vertically, and of course, trash-talking. But certain rules encompass the essence of street ball—the unspoken ones—that sometimes overshadow traditional plays. Rules that are not in any referee's guidebook or in a coach's playbook. We're about to embark on an exciting expedition to uncover these overlooked guidelines that define street ball.

The Unspoken Currency on The Court

Moving past the high-fives and chest bumps, there's an unspoken currency in street ball that largely determines how the game flows. Respect. More than the baskets you score or the blocks you make, how you gel in with the team and handle on-court situations forms your street credibility. In formal games, rules are dictated by a book, but in street ball, they're shaped by the court vibes and mutual respect.

Being an avid street ball player myself, I once committed the grave mistake of underestimating an opponent purely judging by his age. The man was older than a typical street baller but had an air of confidence around him. Long story short, I tasted defeat that day, a lesson burned into my consciousness - Respect all players, irrespective of their age or appearance. The court never discriminates, so why should we?

The Beauty of 'Call Your Own Foul'

Now, this aspect is so integral and unique to street ball that it arguably defines the whole ethos. You won't find any zebras (referees) running around attempting to maintain order, which means players are on their honour to call their own fouls. Ideally, this would translate into a completely fair game, but let's be real, it's often a matter of perspective and how much you can get away with.

Once upon a slightly breezy day in Perth, I recall a significant game where my mate, with a notorious reputation for 'conveniently' forgetting to call his fouls, was on the opposing side. In the end, it took an interesting mix of diplomacy, persuasion, and threats of a mass walkout to make him realise his folly. It was a tumultuous day indeed but ended on a positive note emphasizing the significance of honesty and integrity in street ball.

Play it Tough But Play it Safe

Street ball is nothing if not intense. When you combine competitive players, concrete courts, and questionable refereeing, the chances of injuries increase. You're expected to give it your all, hustle for every loose ball, but you must also ensure you're not sending anyone to the hospital. Remember, safeguarding yourself and your teammates is just as important as scoring points.

Having been on both ends of the rough play, I can tell you, no one enjoys an injury. An unfortunate incident of me spraining an ankle while charging towards the basket at full speed stays vivid in my memory. It wasn't the physical pain but the knowledge that I'd have to stay off the court for a while that hurt more. You don't want to miss out on the fun, do you? So play hard, but more importantly, play safe.

Ball Loyalty and Playing for Keeps

Another peculiar feature is the respect for the person who brings the ball. They automatically get the right to choose their team, decide the playing order, and actually get to play no matter how good or bad they are. After all, it's their precious ball, isn't it? And while we're on the subject, the 'play for keeps' rule ensures that whoever scores gets to keep the ball. Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but in the grand scheme of street ball dynamics, it gives momentum an entirely new meaning.

In the thick of a game years ago, I remember my team trailing by a couple of buckets. We desperately needed the ball, and thankfully I managed to burgle the ball and score! As per the 'play for keeps' rule, the ball was ours, and that shifted the momentum in our favour. We fought back, scored successive points, and the game changed completely. See how vital a little ball possession can be?

So there it is, my mates! Each of these unwritten rules adds a fresh layer to the multifaceted world of street ball. It's like we are all in a continuous dance, flowing to the beat of the bouncing ball on concrete, breaking and bending the rules as we go, but always with respect for the game and each other. So, gather your crew, hit the streets, and play like there is no tomorrow because, after all, the streets are ours!

Posted By: Kellan Winchester

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published