NO ZONE – MAN TO MAN
The KBAJ now support a no zone philosophy for U14 and below but have not made it a rule. Our club strongly advocates for no zone and will encourage and support our coaches to teach man to man. We expect our coaches to commit to teaching man to man and will supply support to any coaches who would like assistance in teaching these principles.
NO ZONE PHILOSOPHY
The KBAJ now supports a no zone philosophy which means that a zone defence in the half court shouldn’t be played in the under 14 and younger competitions.
We actively encourage coaches of u14 and below teams to observe man to man defensive principles. We can’t control what other teams or clubs chose to do but we can prioritise the development of our younger players and promote our no-zone philosophy.
WHAT IS ZONE DEFENCE?
Any defence played in the half court which doesn’t incorporate normal man to man defensive principles shall be considered a zone. In a zone defence, players are taught to guard an area rather than a player.
The ‘no zone’ philosophy applies only in the half court. Zone presses and trapping defences are allowed if they fall back to man to man principles inside the three-point line.
The KBAJ has NOT introduced a no zone rule so there is no penalty for playing zone but we hope that with communication and education, the zone in these younger age groups will be eradicated.
WHY ADOPT A NO ZONE PHILOSOPHY?
We support and will actively encourage the no zone philosophy as we believe it:
– modifies the game to accommodate the youngest players,
– encourages the teaching of correct man to man,
– prioritises the development of players for the longer term; and
– enhances the development of both offensive and defensive skills
ZONE DEFENCE: PRIORITISING WINNING OVER DEVELOPMENT
We support the philosophy that in the younger year’s (under 10 – under 14), zone should not be used and players should be exclusively taught man to man. We will continue to advocate for this to become a rule in the KBA Junior Domestic competition.
Zone defence is banned in U14 and U12 MUVJBL games. If players want to play representative basketball they will have an easier transition if they have been taught man to man. Playing zone may get you a win but the cost to the players in your team is a lot greater. If you truly care about younger player’s development you will not revert to zone in the younger years. Prioritise development over easy wins!
Extract of email from Coach Mac:
“Youth coaches who exclusively use zone defense are setting their kids up for failure.
The defensive skills they miss out on developing (getting through screens, guarding different areas of the floor,
rotating to help, etc) are going to catch up to them when they need to start playing man-to-man defense.
It’s easy for a man-to-man defender to transition to a zone defense at the high school level or beyond.
It’s NOT easy for a zone defender to transition to a man-to-man defense.”
DOES COACH MAC HATE ZONE DEFENCE?
“I DON’T hate zone defense. Not at all.
I love watching HS, college, and pro teams use a zone defense to change the tempo of a game and to give their opponent a different look. (Remember when Dallas used a zone defense in the 2011 NBA Finals to upset LeBron, Wade, and the Heat? Brilliant) But when it comes to youth basketball…
Kids MUST learn the fundamentals of offense and defense first. My heart is 100% set on that. And playing man-to-man defense allows young players to learn and practice those fundamentals skills a lot more than a zone defense does.
Think about it…
When a youth team plays zone defense, this mostly consists of them packing 4 – 5 players in the paint and forcing the opponent to shoot long-distance shots from way outside the key (which they have very little hope of making).
There are VERY FEW youth teams who play a “good” zone defense. Which means…
There’s very little DEFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT…
Poor on-ball defense, Zero accountability, Rarely any closeouts, etc
There’s very little OFFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT…
Usually open on the perimeter, Difficult to penetrate, Forced to throw up distance shots, etc
Overall, it’s simply a terrible idea.
It would be much better for the players involved if all coaches (and leagues) would commit to playing man-toman defense 100% of the time.”
NBA, USA Basketball recommend…..
USA Basketball and NBA recommend NO ZONE for younger players. From USA Today Sports in March 2018. USA Basketball and the NBA recommended some key rules and standards “to enhance the development and playing experience for young athletes by helping them learn the fundamentals of the game and achieve greater on-court success.”
“When little boys and girls enter the sport, we want them to have success early. We think that can be achieved with some of these standards.” The recommendations are part of a joint effort by the two influential groups to “develop best practices for young players” and “to make the games better, more enjoyable and more accessible”.
“The intent here is to create an age-appropriate set of rules and standards that prioritize skill and development and health and wellness and that also allow kids to have early success in the sport,” NBA vice president of youth basketball development David Krichavsky said.
MATCHING UP– BASIC PRINCIPLE OF MAN TO MAN DEFENCE
Watch a game of basketball with young, beginning players and you will usually see a “scrum” of players (both offensive and defensive) following the ball.
IAN STACKER – NO ZONE CLINIC
VJBL No-Zone Clinic
Add that VJBL run these at the start of every new rep season – late in the year and early in the new year – domestic coaches are welcome to attend
HOW TO COACH, TEAM AND USE THE BASKETBALL MAN-TO-MAN DEFENSES
MASTER COACH SESSIONS: IAN STACKER: CREATING MAN TO MAN DEFENSE
COACH MAC MAN-TO-MAN DEFENSE
ARTICLES WORTH READING
What Defense Should You Teach Youth Players (Zone, Man, Press)?? –
Zone Defense is Terrible for Youth Basketball
Three Reasons NOT to Play Zone Defense