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July 2, 2009 10:34 PM   Subscribe

BasketballFilter: History of the games "21" and "Utah"?

I grew up in Indiana, where we played 21 as THE playground basketball game-- basically every person for himself, free throws after making a shot (and, if three consecutive free throws are made, the scorer gets the ball at the top of the key), play until someone scores 21 points. I've played 21, with a variety of different rules (i.e. if you don't hit 21 exactly you go back to 14 on your next made basket; two-handed tips send the shooter back to 0, and a one-handed tip knocks him out of the game; etc.), all over the country.

But when I moved to NYC, everyone seemed to play Utah: every person for himself, three-pointers after making a shot (or free throws, but the ball can't touch the backboard, or else it's a live ball), play to 100, each basket worth 5 points.

I wondered if anyone knew some good books/links about the histories of 21, Utah, or any other every-player-for-himself playground basketball games (excluding HORSE, although I'd welcome any links about that, although I imagine they're easy to find). I'd imagine that there are tons of regional variations on 21, Utah being one of them, but it just now struck me that I totally don't know the game's lineage.

Any help?
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure about the history, but in Baltimore suburbs we had 21, but also 100 (or 50), which was also called "Westside" for some reason.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:42 PM on July 2, 2009

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