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Youth Basketball - Basic Rules for the Man/Zone Defense

  • Never guard space but look for an area to help.
  • Never give up the baseline.
  • Everytime the ball moves the defender moves, keep your eyes on the ball at all times.
  • Never let the opponent get the ball inside. Front the opponent within 8 feet of the basket.
  • Do not double team unless the pass penetrates the middle.
  • Crash the weakside rebound slot hard.
  • Pressure the ball hard within 18 feet of the basket for younger players 22-25 feet for older players. Whenever the offensive player has the ball within scoring distance a defender must be within arms length.
  • Hands must be up at shoulder height at all times.
  • Do not leave your feet on a fake shot or ball fake. It it's better to prevent the man in your area from getting the ball than it is to try and block a shot.
  • Don't lunge for the ball on a steal attempt this puts the defense at a disadvantage or creates fouls.
  • Be ready to help a teammae that is beaten by the opponents.
  • Talk is necessary for screens and cutters.
  • The wing players play man defense on a dribble to the corner from the wing position.
  • The weakside wing should retreat to a position in line with the ball and the weakside corner for a good rebounding position.
  • Do not let the dribbler penetrate.
  • Fight through all screens over the top.
  • Understand your rebounding responsibility and block out.
  • Use retreat steps to force a cutter wide and yell out "cutter".
  • Hustle back on defense harder than you hustle on offense.

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