In this tutorial, we will learn about a basics of zone formations.
A zone formation in basketball is different from a man to man formation. Instead of having each player be assigned another player on the opposing team, a zone formation assigns each player to a zone or area on the court.
Pros of Playing Zone Formations
The following are advantages of a zone formation:
- protecting players in foul trouble
- doesn't rely on player match ups
- more flexible than a man-to-man formation
Cons of Playing Zone Formations
The following are disadvantages of a zone formation:
- harder to get rebounds since boxing out is easier in a man-to-man formation
- requires more communication and coordination between players
- the offense can force player match-ups
Types of Zone Formations In Basketball
X-Y-Z Zone Formation
An X-Y-Z zone formation is a generic phrase to describe where players should position themselves in a zone formation. The X, Y, and Z denote how many defensive players are in each area of the court starting at the top of the key.
2-3 Zone Formation
A 2-3 zone is a classic zone used by many college basketball teams. In a 2-3 zone, two defensive players are positioned near the elbows. Three defensive players are behind them, one in the paint, and one on each side of the paint. 2-3 zones are so effective, because they keep the dribbler out of the lane and at the critical shooting locations like the the high post and low post. A good 2-3 zone will force the offense to shoot three-pointers around the perimeter when the shot clock expires.
3-2 Zone Formation
A 3-2 zone is like a 2-3 zone but reversed with three defensive players on the three-point line and two defensive players near the paint. The 3-2 zone is less effective than a 2-3 zone at the corners and once the dribbler breaks through a gap into the lane. However, a good 3-2 zone will keep the dribbler outside of the three-point arc.
1-3-1 Zone Formation
A 1-3-1 zone formation consists of three defensive players on the three-point line, one in the paint, and one near the midcourt line. 1-3-1 zone formations are great for setting traps but fail when the dribbler breaks through the the paint.