No Zone Defense – Full Version
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4th Grade, all levels, 5th Grade Girls, all levels, & 5th Grade Boys Silver & Bronze Divisions -
No Zone Defenses: Full Game:
Teams also cannot blatantly double team and trap the ball. If players help & they are temporally in a double team, they must play one man only as soon as possible. Players can help and recover from the weak side; however, coaches must avoid always keeping their better/bigger defensive players in the lane. No player can have more than 1 foot in the paint if the player they are guarding is outside the lane.
The defense does not have to extend beyond the arc at any time, except for the defensive player covering the offensive player with the ball.
Players can help but must recover to their man. Full court zone traps will be allowed during the pressing portion of the game but must return to man in the offensive front court.
Please remember this is player development
Defenses can only pick up their man, after they cross mid-court completely. The defense cannot stand at the division line to prevent access to the front court. The ball & the ball handler must have front court status before they can be defended.
The objective of this is to give the young player opportunities to learn man to man defense, the basis for all other defenses.
It also helps negate size issues and opens the game up to all players. “Packing in the paint” teaches nothing.
1st Offense - Coach warning.
2nd Offense - Technical foul if coach is not reacting. No Technicals will be issued due to a “novice player” not knowing what to do. Officials will be instructed to help. If players help & they are temporally in a double team, trapping the ball, they must play one man only as soon as possible. Players can help and recover from the weak side; however, coaches must avoid keeping their better/bigger defensive players in the lane at all times. Player can help but must recover to their man.
Why do we have a no zone rule anyway? Because at this young age, for 4th Grade, all levels, 5th Grade Girls, all levels & 5th Grade Boys Silver & Bronze Divisions, we are a Developmental league trying to teach the kids the fundamentals of man-to-man defense.
Policing this rule can be tricky, and somewhat subjective. We’ve asked our refs to address the rule in the pregame discussion. Bottomline, the refs will be arbiters. To assist both coaches and refs, the following pictures provide examples of legal defensive positioning, and what is a zone.
You cannot put in writing a perfect definition of a zone offense. It’s one of those things, you know when you see it.
While a coach can provide their opinion, politely, about a whether a no-zone infraction has occurred, the refs will be the arbiter.