General Principles

There are a number of key principles when playing against a zone defence:

  1. “Gap the Zone”. Simply, stand in between two defenders rather than directly opposite one. For example, 3 is between x2 and x4.
  2. “Posts Behind the Zone”. For example 5 is in the low post, and 4 is in the “long corner”
  3. “Flashing from behind the Zone”
  4. Use dribble and Post Play against the zone
  5. Screening the Zone.

Flash Cut from Behind the Zone

  • "Behind the Zone” is simply further away from the ball than the defender.
    For example, 5 is “behind” x3.
  • Often defenders in a zone, will turn to focus on the player with the ball, and this is a cue for a player to “flash” or cut towards the ball – the key to remember is that if you can see the back of a defender’s head, they cannot see you!
  • Here 3 cuts from behind the ball to a gap at the free throw line.

Similarly, 5 cuts to the free throw line.

Using the Short Corner

  • Having a post player step to the short corner can help to “stretch” the zone and create gaps inside.
  • 4 flashes from behind the zone as 5 steps to the short corner. A rule for the post players is “one gets the ball, one goes to the basket”.
  • This “rule” is shown here, as 5 receives the ball in the short corner (drawing x3 towards them), which creates a space for Player 4 to cut to the basket.