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Best Basketball Halftime Contest Ideas

Best Basketball Halftime Contest Ideas

Both players and fans of basketball love the halftime entertainment.  From high-flying dunkers, to unique, synchronized dance moves, to magicians wowing the crowd with magical feats and sleight of hand performances, to the simple, and the crowd favorite, the half-court shot attempt.

Whatever your personal preference and favorite, the halftime show is meant to be a crowd pleaser and one that should keep the audience members engaged while the players are back in their locker rooms. 

Below, we’re going to discuss and give you the best basketball halftime contest ideas to put on in your arena.  Whether you are working with a large or small budget, these halftime contest ideas can be used for a multitude of differing situations.

Why Have a Halftime Contest in a Basketball Game?

Many owners and basketball arena personnel wonder what the purpose of a basketball halftime contest is.  Without a doubt, the number one reason why it is important to not only provide entertainment and contests during a basketball halftime is to help keep the audience and spectators engaged with the game.

Oftentimes, a basketball halftime can run anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  While not a long time by any stretch, it is enough time where a spectator or member of the audience can lose interest in the game and the going on’s of the game.

While the halftime entertainment and contest do not have to be directly related to basketball, it is oftentimes better and more preferred for them to be.  This will help to keep audience members engaged and will also be a safe bet as to what will interest the crowd.

Lastly, another great reason to have a halftime contest or additional entertainment during halftime is the simple fact that doing so will attract and bring in more crowds.  As an arena manager, owner, or member of the personnel, you will want to maximize the number of seats sold to any game.

By having a halftime contest or entertainment, you will attract larger crowds and members of the public hoping to be the lucky one to participate in the contest.  In addition, with the advent of social media, you will have additional content for both yourself and the audience to share with others.

Best Prizes for the Halftime Contest

While halftime contests are fun for the general audience, the stakes are significantly higher when there is a prize attached to the contest.  Below are some great and simple ideas for prizes to provide to a member of the audience who can complete the halftime contest successfully.

  • Prize Money (can range from $20 to a million dollars, dependent on how large of a venue it is and how much budget you have)
  • Free tickets to the arena
  • A television
  • A smartphone
  • Free food and drinks from the arena
  • A gift card to a local store
  • Free food from a local restaurant establishment
  • Autographed and signed basketball from the home team
  • Autographed and signed basketball jersey from a popular player
  • Being featured on the arena’s social media accounts

The Half-Court Shot

By far, the single most favorite basketball halftime contest is the half-court shot.  While the half-court shot requires skill, it also requires just a bit of luck as well.  It is one of the most difficult shots in the game and one that wows the crowd when made.

To run the half-court shot as a contest, simply decide on a particular seat in the crowd to have a member participate in the contest.  Once chosen, have the audience member line up at the half-court line.  With 15-seconds on the clock, hand them the ball and let them take the half-court shot.

4 Shots, 45-Seconds

Another great and favorite basketball halftime contest idea is the 4 shots in 45-seconds.  This drill is even more  difficult than the half-court shot and is a great way to get the crowd and audience members engaged in the halftime entertainment.

To perform, choose a random member from the audience.  Have them stand at the half-court line.  Hand them the basketball and have the audience member dribble the ball and make a layup.  They should grab their own rebound and dribble to the free-throw line, where they should make a free-throw show.

Once they have made the free-throw shot, let them get their rebound and dribble to the three-point line, where they should successfully score a three-point shot.  Once completed, have them dribble to the half-court line and make a half-court shot.

This halftime contest is significantly more difficult than the half-court shot alone.  If you do run with this halftime contest idea, you’ll definitely want to increase the reward amount due to the sheer difficulty of completing alone.

2-Person Free-Throw

The 2-person free-throw is a simple halftime contest idea but is also one that will get the crowd involved and excited.  To complete, simply choose two random members from the audience.  Place one audience member on either free-throw line and the other audience member on the opposite free-throw line.

With 60-seconds on the clock, have each audience member attempt to make as many free-throws they can.  Whichever member of the audience makes more free-throw shots in the allotted time wins and will be rewarded with the halftime prize.

Dunk Contest

A bit of a more difficult halftime contest to complete but still a crowd favorite is the dunk contest.  To perform, you will need to choose three random members of the audience.  Lower the rim from 10-feet to 6-feet.  Have each player attempt to dunk the basketball in a stylish, unique, and cool manner.

As you don’t want to seem biased, the contestants should be judged by the crowd.  Let the crowd cheer and yell the loudest for the participant they believe had the best dunk.

Although the dunk contest is the most difficult halftime contest to complete, it is one of the audiences’ favorites.  The audience will likely engage really well with the idea and they will cheer and yell loudly for their favorite dunker.