by David Penelas & Héctor Castro
Streetball or street basketball is a variation of the sport of basketball, typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less by way of formal structure and enforcement of the game’s rules. As such, its format is more conducive to allowing players to publicly showcase their own individual skills.
No referees are employed, so almost invariably a “call your own foul” rule is in effect, and a player who believes he has been fouled, simply needs to call out “Foul!”, and play will be stopped, with the ball awarded to the fouled player’s team (few to no free throws are awarded in streetball).
A popular variation of street basketball is 21, also known as Hustle, American, St. Mary’s, a V or Varsity, Roughhouse, 33, or Crunch. 21 is played most often with 3-5 players on a half court, typically when not enough players have arrived at the playground to “run 3’s” (play 3-on-3). However it is possible to play “21” with only two players, or more than 5.
Streetball is often generalized as a “pick-up game”, where players may or may not know one another, and is for the most part recreational.