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Basketball Traps

What is a trap in basketball? When should the defense set a trap? Traps are used to force the dribbler near the boundary lines. Get ready to learn about traps in basketball.

Traps In Basketball

A trap in basketball is a defensive strategy used to force a turnover by trapping the ball-handler at a specific location on the court making it difficult for him to escape. On a trap, two or more defensive players will surround the ball-handler and wave their arms in the air to prevent any escape or pass attempt. Here are the main spots on the court to set a trap:

Basketball Trap

REMEMBER: The goal of any trap is to force a turnover.

Boundary Line Traps

Traps are usually placed near the boundary lines because they don't give the dribbler a lot of room to move without the possibility of stepping out of bounds.

Basketball Boundary Lines

Coffin Corner Traps

Setting a baseline trap in the corners is effective because you are trapping the ball-handler in between the sidelines and baselines. The baseline traps in the back court are called coffin corners because they are the worst place to be stuck with the ball.

Basketball Coffin Corner

Backcourt Traps

A trap that is setup in the back court, is especially effective since teams only have eight seconds to get the ball to the front court or they risk being called for a backcourt violation.

Basketball Backcourt

Inbound Pass Traps

A throw-in, also known as an inbound pass, is a method of putting the ball into play after a dead ball. Traps are especially effective directly after the inbound pass is made. On an inbound pass trap, two defenders rush the player that gets the pass and force him to the sidelines.

Basketball Press

Pressing in basketball is a strategy that adds pressure to the opposing team to force a turnover. Traps exemplify this type of strategy since they have a high chance of forcing turnovers.

How To Escape A Basketball Trap

Escaping a trap is not easy. If you find yourself in a trap, you can try and escape by following these key tips:

  • call a timeout
  • get low to the floor and don't turn your back
  • pass the ball to a teammate
  • try and break through the trap by going in between the players
  • spin and pivot around the defenders

REMEMBER: You will be called for a held ball violation if you keep possession without passing for longer than five seconds.

How To Trap In Basketball

When designing your trap follow these steps to be effective.

  1. Pick a location to set the trap.
  2. Decide when to execute the trap, either on an inbound pass or when a specific player gets the ball.
  3. Have one or two players move into position and surround the dribbler.
  4. Stand your ground and wave your arms in the air creating an unbreakable wall that the dribbler can't escape.

Cons Of Traps In Basketball

Since trapping often requires two or more players to surround the dribbler it leaves an extra offensive player open on the court. If the dribbler breaks through the trap or makes a pass to a teammate, the offense will have an easier time scoring.

Pros Of Traps In Basketball

There are lots of pros to utilizing traps in a basketball game.

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