About 10 years ago, I visited my family overseas for the first time in my life. I finally got to meet the aunts and uncles that I talked to on the phone that I had never seen before! My father thought it would be a great life learning experience to live with my family for a year in the Middle East to learn the language and cultural traditions along, with getting better acquainted with my overseas family. Living there for a year meant that I needed to go to school in the Middle East… great. I could barely speak the language, and I didn't know anyone; not my formula for a great 6th grade year.
One day during recess, I saw some kids playing a game on the basketball court that I didn’t recognize. It involved lining up, taking turns shooting, yelling out “poison” …. and bowling? I watched for a few days until I finally gathered the confidence to ask to play, and they said yes! This game made me look forward to school every day and it helped me make so many friends! When I got back to the United States, I taught the game to my P.E teachers at school and they as well fell in love with it! It started the epidemic of Poison Fridays, where we played poison for the whole P.E. class!
Are you ready to learn the game???
What you need to play:
1. 2-10 players
2. 1 basketball
3. Basketball Hoop
4. Open Space to run!
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Step 1: Line Up!
Line up all the players starting from the free throw line in a single file line facing the basketball hoop.
Step 2: You First? Shoot First!
The first person in line is the one that starts with the ball. They will take the first shot to start the game.
Step 3: Make It, You Get It! Miss It, They Get It!
The first person will shoot that ball into the basketball hoop.
If he or she MAKES the basket, the ball must bounce ONLY ONCE on the ground after the ball goes through the basketball hoop, and then they must catch it. If he or she catches the ball after more than one bounce, than they are out. If he or she catches the ball right after the ball goes through the hoop (you must be super-fast to do that) than they are out.
If he or she DOESN'T MAKE the basket, then it’s the responsibility of the person next in line to catch the ball after ONE BOUNCE. After the missed shot, the shooter goes to the back of the line while the next person in line must chase the ball down. If the ball bounces more than once after the shot was missed, the person behind the shooter is out since they failed to retrieve the ball.
Step 4: Every Make, You Get It!
Every time the shooter MAKES the basket, he or she must let the ball bounce once on the ground after it goes through the hoop. They also must shoot from the exact spot that they rebound the ball from.
Step 5: Every Miss, They Get It!
Every time the shooter MISSES the shot, he or she must return to the back of the line and it’s the responsibility of the next person in line to retrieve the ball before it bounces more than once on the ground.
Step 6: 3 Makes? Yell POISON! Roll'em Out!
Now, here comes the fun part of the game. If the shooter MAKES the basket 3 times in a row, once they catch the ball after the third shot made, he or she must yell “POISON”. This means everyone that is playing must freeze, and the person with the ball will roll the ball at someone’s feet. If the ball touches a player, that player is out of the game
Step 7: Don't Get Tricked! Stay Close!
Before he or she yells poison, everyone that’s playing should run as far away as they can and hide from the shooter so they don’t end up being rolled out. They keep running until the shooter catches the ball after the third shot and yells “POISON”. However, the person behind the shooter should stay a little closer before the third shot goes in. Why?
If the shooter makes it TWICEIN A ROW, then he or she needs one more made shot to achieve Poison. However, a popular tactic is to PURPOSELY MISS the last shot if the person that's after the shooter is very far away because they’re anticipating the third shot to go in. Once the shot is missed, and the ball bounces more than once, than the person behind the shooter is out!
Step 8: You're Out! Line Up Again!
If someone is rolled out, then everyone will come back from where they are hiding and line up at the free throw line again. The order of the line will start with the person behind the person that was just rolled out.
Step 9: Survive to Win!
How does one win? Well, you have to be the last person standing after everyone is out. It’s a game of survival, tactics, shooting skills, and pure luck!
Step 10: Video: "How to Play Poison"
This is a fun instructional video made my yours truly on how to play "Poison"! We have a 10 and 13 year old playing the game and even though they were playing alone, they had lots of fun! Check it out! If you didn't understand the directions from above, you will surely understand this video!