One-on-one refers to a basketball game played between individuals After World War II, one-on-one basketball tournaments proliferated.[1] A usual basketball game consists of five-on-five. There is three-on-three, or even six-on-six.

Tracy McGrady's Ones Basketball League is a one-on-one basketball league.[2]

Features of one-on-one basketball which may differ from a normal game include "make it take it", where making a shot is rewarded with possession of the ball instead of giving it to the opposing team.[3] Also, when there is a change of possession, the player who just got the ball has to take the ball back behind the free throw line.[4] Often times in one-on-one a player is expected to "check" the ball, meaning to start a possession by passing it to the opposing defender, who then passes it back.[5]


  1. ^ Josh Chetwynd (10 May 2016). The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors. p. 47. ISBN 9781607748120.
  2. ^ Frye, Andy. "Tracy McGrady's Ones Basketball League Is Showcasing Basketball's 'Untapped' Talent". Forbes.
  3. ^ Make It, Take It. Cinco Puntos Press. 8 January 2013. ISBN 9781935955436.
  4. ^ "Recreational Services Intramural Rulebook: One-on-One Basketball" (PDF). Kansas State University. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  5. ^ "When Do I Check the Ball? | Edmonton Sport and Social Club's".