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In Honor Of Joakim Noah And Devin Booker Nearly Fighting - The Definitive List Of Pick-Up Hoops Rules

So this video started to go viral last night/this morning. I can’t stop laughing whenever I watch this. Joakim Noah sends a double team on Devin Booker during some training/open gym run. Booker freaks out, screaming that he gets that shit during the season, there ain’t no double teaming in open gym (getting into that soon). But then it’s just perfect Noah. Snapping right back at him, telling him he’s going to double. This is all that was missing

But here’s the thing. We can post videos of workouts all day, every day. They aren’t unique. There’s nothing really special to them. Oh wow a dude is draining open threes with no one in the gym. Cool! Instead let’s argue. As the basketball guy here at Barstool, both talent wise and writing wise, I feel obligated to list the official rules/etiquette of open gyms. Obviously this changes with any group you play with and where you play, so let me know your rules. This is going to be everything from official rules to just etiquette too.

1. Establish scoring rules right away and don’t change. If more than 10 people play to 21 by 2s and 3s, win by 2.
Pretty standard here. Just establish the scoring rules. I know most people are used to playing 1s and 2s as I am too. But if you have more than 10 people, just play by 2s and 3s. Actually, you should typically always play by 2s and 3s. If you play by 1s and 2s, 2s are worth way more, that just leads to a bunch of jacked shots. No one wants that. If you do play by 1s and 2s I suggest playing to 12, win by 2 or first to 15. Keep the game moving.

2. Don’t intentionally foul – unless it’s game point
Simple rule here. Don’t be the guy just intentionally fouling when it’s 10-6 and there’s a 2 on 1. No one likes that guy. However, there’s an asterisk to this rule. If it’s game point and you’re the guy under the basket. You foul. Make them earn that last point. That’s called being a good teammate.

3. Speaking of game point – don’t be the asshole launching threes
I can’t stand this person, legit might be my least favorite pick up person to play with. If you’re playing to 21 by 2s and 3s and you have 17, 19 or 20, don’t be the idiot that’s launching threes. I can’t believe I have to type this, but I play way too much with this guy. Learn how scoring works. Unless it’s a wide open three on a kickout and rotation, drive.

4. Don’t run zone
This falls in line with the Noah/Booker beef above. Don’t run zone. I don’t care how out of shape you are. You can’t be sitting there calling out a 2-3 zone when you’re running in a local school gym. Man to man always, double late in the game.

5. Don’t cherry pick, no matter how out of shape you are
I was a defensive-minded player, so perhaps this is me speaking on that. Don’t you dare be the guy refusing to get back on defense and then call for the ball. I will not pass you the ball. You can’t ask me to play 4 on 5 defensively and then want to throw an outlet pass so you can get that layup. Note the difference between a run out and cherry picking.

6. Know your role
This might actually be the most important one. This can make or break a game for a group. Know your role. If you’re a big, don’t stand at the 3pt line. Come set screens. Get rebounds. Do stuff that bigs do. If you can’t shoot, don’t launch a bunch of jumpers. It doesn’t matter what level of pickup your playing, this one is across the board. If you’re playing pickup I assume you have some idea of just how good people are in basketball. Use your brain.

7. Gotta pass first on a checked ball
Probably the oldest rule in the book. If there’s a foul/ball out of bounds and you check the ball up top, you have to pass first. No dribbles, no shots. Not one that should be talked about, but if you don’t play this I don’t want any part of your Rock n Jock shit game.

8. If you get dunked on or fall over on a cross, pack your shit up and leave
If you are playing in a regular game and something happens like you get dunked on or crossed over so bad you fall you know you’re about to go viral. In pickup you just get mocked. You have to take your shit and walk right out the door. Everyone understands and it doesn’t get talked about in a week. Sorry but rules are rules.

9. When it’s game point, contest fouls because SOMEONE is cheating
It’s pretty simple here. This is where you can contest foul calls. Someone is going to cheat when it’s game point. It doesn’t matter what team we’re talking about so start contesting shit when you think something fishy is going on. It’s going to happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing with your 9 best friends or strangers. Someone is cheating at that point.

10. Have a way to settle foul calls – whether it’s the arrow or a free throw
I’m a big fan of the ball don’t lie argument. If you have two guys that are refusing to budge on a call, the offense shoots a free throw. Ball don’t lie. If it goes in offense wins the call. I say free throw because more often than not it’ll be a big challenging a call. Don’t penalize them for not being able to shoot threes.