Basketball Screens

Chapter 11.2

What is a screen? What are they used for? Get ready to learn about screens and why a team will choose to use this strategy in a basketball game.


We've already learned in past chapters that basketball does not allow for much physical contact. Players risk getting called for a personal foul if they do not adhere to the rules of the game.

REMEMBER: A player cannot impede the movement or progress of another player. A personal foul will be called on a player who uses his/her body to push, hold, or run into another player.

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


A screen is a strategy in basketball used by the team on offense to create openings on the court for shooting, passing, or moving closer to the basket.

Rookie Road Basketball Screen Image

How Does It Work?

A screen works by having an offensive player legally block a defensive player.

The Screener

The player that sets the screen is called the screener. The screener will typically signal that he/she is going to perform a screen notifying his fellow teammates that they should prepare for it.

Rookie Road Basketball Screener Image

Once the screener has signaled that a screen is coming, he/she will get into position and plant his/her feet wide apart and remain stationary so that a personal foul cannot be called.

The Open Teammate

Now that the screener is in position, his/her teammate will run around the screener with the hopes of having the screener block the defensive player.

If successful, this player should have time to make a pass, catch a pass, shoot, or move toward the basket.

Screen Strategy

There are lots of ways to incorporate a screen strategy in the offensive play book of a basketball team. Once such play is called a pick and roll, which we will learn about next.

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