Dribbling Through the Alphabet
How’s your basketball unit going? Ready to try something new? Here is an activity that integrates basketball fundamentals, basketball terminology and spelling in one! First, Copy each of the 26 letters of the alphabet on 26, 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets of paper. If possible, laminate each sheet.
Copy each of the 42 basketball definitions on a piece of paper (see below)
Scatter all 26 letters throughout the playing area. Place a Basketball Skillastics Task Card under each of the 26 scattered letters.
Scatter the 42 basketball definitions in an area away from the letters.
Every child has a basketball or a ball that bounces.
On the signal, each student retrieves a basketball definition, reads the definition and remembers the word associated with the definition. The child can either place the definition back down on the floor or take it with them.
The objective is then to spell the word. When he or she finds the letter (dribbling the ball to that letter), they look at the Basketball Skillastics Task Card under that letter.
The student does the activity the number of repetitions that were determined prior to play (blue, red or green). When the student completes the repetitions, he or she then searches for the next letter in the word they are spelling.
When a student finishes spelling the word, they jog back to the “word definition” area, replacing the last word spelled and retrieves another basketball term to spell and repeats the process.
The length of play is determined by the instructor.
- Appoint teams
o Each team is told to spell a word (each team has a different word, but has the same amount of letters in the words. For example, assist and center).
o The first team to spell the word first and dribble to a designated area, wins.
Assist – A pass to a teammate who scores a basket immediately or after one dribble.
Air Ball – An unblocked shot that fails to hit the rim or backboard.
Alley Oop – An offensive play in which a player throws the ball up near the basket to a teammate who jumps, catches the ball in mid air and immediately scores a basket.
Backboard – The rectangular platform behind the rim that supports it.
Backcourt – The half of the court a team is defending. The opposite of frontcourt.
Bank Shot – A shot that hits the backboard before hitting the rim or going through the net.
Baseline – The line that marks the playing boundary at either end of the court. Also called the “end line”.
Block – To tip or deflect a shooter’s shot, altering its flight so the shot misses.
Carry – A penalty when an offensive player is deemed to have held the ball excessively while dribbling. Also referred to as palming.
Chest Pass – The ball is passed from the chest
Center – one of the three standard player positions. Centers are generally the tallest players on the floor.
Double-Dribble – To dribble the ball with two hands at the same time.
Dribble – To bounce the ball continuously with one hand.
Dunk – to score by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands.
Fast Break – An offensive tactic in which a team attempts to advance the ball and score as quickly as possible.
Field Goal – A shot made from anywhere on the court, does not include free throws.
Forward – One of the three standard player positions. Forwards are primarily responsible for scoring and rebounding.
Foul – Violations of the rules.
Free Throw – An unopposed attempt to score a basket, worth one point, from the free throw line.
Granny Shot – An underhand shot taken using both hands, usually as a free throw.
Guard – One of the three standard player positions. Guards have strong ball-handling and passing skills and are typically used to run the offense.
Halftime – The end of the first of play. The interval between the two halves.
Jump Shot – An overhead shot taken while jumping.
Key – The free-throw lane.
Lay – Up – A close-range shot using one hand to bank the ball off the backboard.
Man-to-Man Defense – A defense in which each player guards a single opposing player.
Offensive Foul – A foul committed by a member of the team playing offense.
Overtime – When the score is tied at the end of regulation play, the teams play a five-minute overtime period.
Palming – Referring to the habit of an offensive player to hold the ball under the ball while dribbling. It is a violation.
Pass – To throw the ball to a teammate.
Pivot Foot – The foot that must remain touching the floor to avoid traveling.
Post Up – To go in or near the key, turn so that you are facing away from the basket towards a teammate who has the ball, and try to establish position to receive a pass.
Rebound – to obtain the ball after a missed field goal attempt.
Set Shot – A shot taken without leaving the floor.
Shot Clock – A timer designed to increase the pace by requiring the ball to either touch the rim or enter the basket before the timer expires, resulting in a loss of possession.
Sixth Man – A player who does not start, but is generally the first person off the bench.
Swish – A shot which goes through the net without hitting the backboard or rim.
Technical Foul – A foul assessed for unsportsmanlike non-contact behavior.
Three-Pointer – A shot, worth three points, attempted with both feet behind the three point line.
Travel – To move one’s pivot foot illegally.
Turnover – A loss of possession.
Violation – An infraction of the rules other than a foul, such as traveling or a three-second violation.
Zone Defense – A defense in which each player is responsible for a section of the court to defend.