Basketball X-Y-Z Zone

Basketball X-Y-Z Zone

In basketball, there are two main types of defense: zone and man to man. When referring to zone defenses, the "X-Y-Z" format is used. This shorthand notation refers to the position of the players in three layers: the X-, Y-, and Z-layers.

Basketball Zone Defense

Usage

Sorting players into respective "layers" helps organize a defense because it creates a quick and easy way to express how many players should be in each layer of defense. Some examples of the X-Y-Z zone format include:

The X-layer always refers to the area of the frontcourt that is farthest from the baseline, while the Z-layer contains the set of players closest to the baseline. Not all three letters need to be used to describe a formation. For example, the 2-3 zone only uses two layers, but it is still a well known and commonly understood formation.

Basketball 2-3 Zone Defense


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