Basketball Rotations

Chapter 11.1

Rotations are critical to maintaining the high performance of a basketball team. Get ready to learn some basic strategies around rotations in basketball.


We've already learned in past chapters that basketball allows for unlimited player substitutions when the ball is 'dead'. This allows for teams to get creative with their rotation strategies.

In this chapter, we will learn about the basics of rotations.


A rotation strategy in basketball is used for substituting players from the player benches to the floor.

Rookie Road Basketball Player Bench Image

Rotation strategies differ at all levels of play depending upon the rules of the league. In youth basketball, coaches may be required to give equal playing time to all players. However, at the higher levels of the game (college and pro), a coach may decide to keep his/her best player in for the entire game.

Factors To Consider

There are lots factors to consider when creating a rotation strategy for a basketball team:

  • Depth of bench
  • The opponent
  • Player foul count (foul trouble)
  • Resting time for players
  • Playing time for players
  • Player injuries
  • Team chemistry

Avoiding Foul Trouble

Although all of these are important, the most important factors mentioned above are keeping players out of foul trouble and maximizing the output of the best players on the team.

We can go on talking about rotations, but this should be enough for any new fan to appreciate the complexity and importance of this strategy in basketball.

Search Results