Connect Four is an interesting game. I know that sounds weird to say, but it really is. You take a grid and the goal is to connect four spots in a row. Who came up with this and why did they decide on four? Why is the board as big as it is?

It’s an interesting yet simple game that has so many questions attached to it. At some point in time, someone must’ve asked: why isn’t there a basketball version of this?

In 2012, Ricky Rubio played a basketball version of it. In 2017, it’s becoming a mainstream game.


So before I watched that video I had a couple questions. Once I watched the video, my questions were answered:

1. What happens if you miss? It’s simple, you skip your turn. In the normal board game version of connect four, it’s pretty hard to miss. But in basketball, it’s a little bit easier.

2. How do you determine who goes first? You can do this using a similar method people use for the board game such as a specific color, draw out of a hat, rock paper scissors, etc. In the video, they determine who goes first by seeing who can make a shot on the middle basket first, which is genius.

3. How hard is it to make the shots? Pretty hard. Plenty of shots were missed in that video and it’s easy to understand why. These guys aren’t shooting on a normal regulation shoot or a normal backboard by any means.

4. How hard is it in general? Again, pretty hard for a simple reason: you can aim for a column, but if you miss in general or it bounces into another you could be screwed. In the normal board game version you drop your piece into the exact spot you want, but in the basketball version that’s not the case. Let’s say you are a ball away from winning and so is the person you’re playing against, what if you miss your shot? That gives the next person an easy shot to win possibly.

In the normal original game of Connect Four, you needed the following to be good:

  • Strategy
  • Critical Thinking

In the basketball version? Well you need a lot more to win:

  • Strategy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Good hand eye coordination
  • Be a good shooter to help your own cause
  • Be a good shooter to hurt your opponent’s cause
  • Be a good shooter to not miss in general

What’s great about this version too  is multiple people can play it. Yes you can with the normal version too, but because nobody misses it’s a little tougher. With how much easier it is to miss in the basketball version, you could play with a ton of people.

One final note, think of how many ways you can spruce this game up even more?

  • Add a shot clock
  • Everyone has to shoot from a single spot (taking away the ability to line up in front of a basket)
  • Making it like Horse where if you make your shot you pick where the next person shoots from (assuming you shoot from there too)
  • Blindfolds
  • Shoot with your non dominant hand

Who wants to play this weekend?

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.