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Match-Up Zone Defense

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Match-Up Zone Defense

When coaching at the youth basketball level, while a man-to-man defense is preferable, a team might want to play a zone defense if the opponent has trouble running its offense against a zone, if the team struggles to defend the opponent with man-on-man, if the team needs to control the opponent's dribble penetration, or if the team wants to put a defender in front and back of a very good post player. If you're worried about giving up open shots, you might want to play a match-up zone, which has principles of both man-on-man and zone defenses. Here are some general match-up rules that you might want to institute:

  • The defense should "match-up" and take the shape of the offense's alignment.
  • Everyone guard one: don't have two defensive players on the same offensive player.
  • Constantly point to the man that you will be responsible for on the next pass and talk to your teammates.
  • Keep your inside players defending on the inside and perimeter players defending on the outside.
  • The post player can come out in emergencies only. For example, when the offense has five players along the perimeter or when you have to defend an excellent perimeter shooter.
  • Do not deny passes out to the perimeter, but do pressure the ball.
  • Stay with the dribbler and switch screens or exchanges to keep bigs in and smalls out.
  • Only guard to the three-point arc in order to keep the zone "tight." This allows you to protect the lane and high post area while giving help in the post.
  • Defenders opposite the side of the ball should be inside the opposite lane line.
  • Guards should dig into the post to help force the ball back out onto the perimeter.
  • Contest every shot without fouling.
  • Block out, pursue the ball, chin the rebound.



6/10/2011 9:06:18 AM
charbel saba said:

thanks a lot for these great informations about the deffense in basketball . regards from lebanon , basket is in our blood . i love you all and 10x again.


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