Skip to main content

Insane basketball rules in North Korea you never heard of

Honestly, as bizarre as these rules are, you are lying if you say you wouldn't pay to see a game played by them.

North Korea is a very secretive country, and not a lot is known about how life works there. But somehow, Dennis Rodman spent some time in North Korea as a basketball ambassador and a friend of Kim Jong Un bringing some light to the rules of basketball in the dictatorship. They are unique, to say the least.

It’s safe to say things are being done differently in North Korea. Even in basketball, they have their own bizarre rules, which were initiated by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. It makes hooping interesting, especially in some situations.

Slam dunks are worth three points 

The thinking behind this rule is similar to many rule changes in the NBA - fans love dunks, so let's incentivize them. Since slam dunks trigger more reactions from the crowd, North Korean players are given 3 points instead of 2 for every dunk. If they wanted to take it up a notch, why not 4 points for each poster?

Four points for nothing but net

They may love dunks, but the North Korean league is also a shooter's league. 3-point shots are worth four points if it swishes nothing but the net. One caveat here is referees don’t always have the clearest angles on shots, and they may need instant reviews to check if a 3-point attempt is worth four points or not.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

For every missed freebie, the team is deducted one point

Free throws really win games in North Korea. Even if they open up and democratize overnight, we can think of at least one Australian player who would never make it in the North Korean league. This one is for all the casual fans in our lives who never played, show up for a big game and keep saying, "I don't get it, they are paid millions to play the game, make the frikin' free throws!"

Here's a bonus fun fact - buzzer-beaters are worth 8 points! These strange rules create a wild game and reward high-stakes plays. Honestly, as bizarre as these rules are, you are lying if you wouldn't pay to see a game played by them. It would be amazing if a few exhibition games would have crazy rules like this.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games, and it's the first time in his career

Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games following their victories over the Portland Trailblazers and Milwaukee Bucks

Zach Lowe & Kendrick Perkins

Come on now Perk, I don’t want to fight with you Perk" - Zach Lowe goes in on Kendrick Perkins' MVP list

ESPN's Zach Lowe disagrees with Kendrick Perkins' MVP list that includes Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton and not Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley’s guarantee that the USMNT would beat the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup aged like sour milk

Barkley guaranteed that the US would beat the Netherlands, and promptly caught a lot of flak after they failed to do so

Stephon Marbury as a member of the New Jersey Nets in 2000

"They picked the wrong coach at the time" - Stephon Marbury on why the 2004 USA Olympic Team failed terribly

It is unknown if Starbury and Brown ever ended their feud which began at the 2004 Olympics.