Open gyms provide basketball coaches with a good look at potential talent for a new team. Although normally unstructured, an effective open gym needs rules and games in order for coaches to get the best look at the assembled talent.

Open Gym Rules and Games

One of the most difficult aspects of coaching remains the integration of unstructured time either in practice or during preseason. Too often, open gyms lead to players not working hard and poor decisions being made. It’s rare that an open gym features any kind of meaningful defense.

These runs end up looking so different from a regular season game that it’s sometimes hard to recognize your team.

But players love the freedom of an Open Gym set up.

What our basketball program did several years ago was implement a set of rules or games players can use to improve specific skills during an open gym.  They can play regular 5-on-5 and then pick a couple of these rules.

I remember the days of playing entire games during the summer and only using my “weaker” hand or only shooting baseline jumpers. I was trying to work on specific skills while still playing with my friends. (Those were the days when we used to go to the park and play, bring our boom box, and the big milk jug of water.  Remember those days…)

That is how with the help of other coaches I came up with the MAGIC 25.  Let me know if I am missing anything? (

Here are the Magic 25 Open Gym Rules and Games

  1. No Dribble 5-on-5
  2. Zone On Makes, Man On Misses 5-on-5
  3. 5-on-5 Hockey (ball has to be dribble across half court by the person who rebounds it)
  4. 5-on-5 Run an Action
  5. Beep Beep 5 on 5 (Have to shoot in 5 seconds)
  6. Everyone must Touch before you can score.
  7. Post must touch
  8. Weak-hand Layup is worth 3-Points
  9. 1-2-3- Paint shots are 1 point, 3’s are worth 2, mid-range is worth 3 points
  10. NBA Three is worth 4 Points
  11. No 3 point shots- everything is worth 2 points
  12. Everyone must cross Half Court if not the Offense Keeps the Ball, vice versa Offense doesn’t cross everyone the Basket doesn’t count.
  13. 10 Minute Games
  14. Games to 1, 3, 5, 7 Points
  15. 21 players 3 Teams Of 7
  16. No dribbles on Offense until the ball get inside the 3 point line
  17. No inbound on Made basket
  18. Every Foul is one Free Throw
  19. No ball screens
  20. After each make you get to run an Out of Bounds Play under ( 1 shot)
  21. Switch all screens
  22. Offense must score on ball screen or post pass
  23. Must dribble only with your “weak” hand
  24. Offense can stay on offense even on a made if they get the ball.
  25. Must switch the type of defense you run each possession

What am I missing?  Email me at

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Looking for the Perfect Defense?  Funnel Down Defense