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It's Not You, It's 32!

It never fails, I am on the court shooting by myself and a couple of random dudes walk in and the question gets asked, " you wanna get up a 32?" My response is always the same, "i'm good, not interested but thanks for asking" then I get the look like I just shot their best friend. It's like some guys take it personally which I totally have nothing personal against them, all I want to tell them if they give me a chance, I would tell them "it's not you, it's 32............the game" I do have something against the game itself though.

For those of you who don't know what it is, thirty two is a game that is basically the old game we all played as kids of 21 except the difference is that there are no freethrows, you just get the ball back at the top of the key. Now my issue with this game is that the game was never really meant to be played by more that three people. What the people at my club do is that they try to have as many people as they can playing the game. Sometimes there are 8 or 9 people playing. It just doesn't make any sense. There is no value when it comes to working on the game or even just trying to get some exercise.

All it becomes is a social time where a bunch of dudes standing around the basket talking trash while the person with the ball is going 1v1 with the one person elected to play D (last ball, first D). However this changes when someone gets close to winning and that is when at least two or three decide to come out and play defense. Now if i wanted to play 1v1 (which I do alot) then I would call someone out and go at it with them.

There are other things you can do with a large number of people. The least of which is to play an actual game of 2v2 or 3v3 or whatever. But because most people can't count or are stuck with an odd number they feel that 32 is the only solution. They say it's so everyone can play but as I just described, it rarely happens like that.

Here are a few suggestions for alternatives to 32:

1. "42" - This is a three point shooting game where one person takes a shot from each of the five usual spots(made shots are worth three points with a possible 15 in each round). The other(s) are under the basket waiting for the rebound. If one of them can tip a missed shot then they get one point. Each player gets to take their 5. When everyone has, you just go back the other direction and do the same thing. The first player to reach 42 points wins. If the player ahead of you gets to 42 first, you have a chance to tie or win if you are within 15 otherwise the game is over.

2. "King of the Hill" - It is simply 1v1. Play starts by having the defender roll the ball out to the offensive player and the game begins. You can put limits on the number of moves you get to score. If the offensive player scores, then the defender goes off and the next defender steps up and has their shot. If the defender can steal the ball or prevent the offensive person from scoring and gets the rebound then the defender moves to offense. This keeps going until someone reaches the prescribed number of points (usually 10 or 15, depending on how long you want to keep this up)

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun and get some exercise. I always caution my players that I train to not play 32. Besides it not having any productive value, there is always the risk of injury. In 32, since anyone can play and every person is for themselves, you never know how the other person is going to play and there is always a chance that they may not know how to play or they just don't care how they play and could hurt you. That is why I made the above suggestions so you can actually play, get some exercise and perhaps even work on your game.

Now get out there and have some fun!

Stay Forever Strong



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