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Simple Youth Basketball Plays

Simple youth basketball plays should be a part of your game that your team understands and can set up during games. A set play, for example, is a pre-planned sequence of moves to get open for shots and to score points.
Set plays usually are used as quick hits to score points at strategic points in the game. Your offense will not depend on set plays, but they are useful in their place.

Set plays are designed to give the offense a twist to throw at the defense. It allows you to show the defense a different “look”, so it keeps them off-balance. Set plays are usually used in any of these situations: After time outs, when your offense is sluggish, at the beginning of games, after your secondary break, when you really need points, and at the end of games.

Another of the more simple youth basketball plays is the Double, which is used against a team who is playing a zone defense. It works best against a 2-3 zone. It can get you an easy score near the end of the game, or anytime you need a play to get you a good look at the basket.

In the double, player 1 passes to player 2, and player 3 starts out blocking on the left, but pops outside when the ball is passed from player 1 to player 2. Player 2 passes to player 3, and then player 3 returns the pass to player 2, and runs to the opposite corner.

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Player 4 sets a screen on the middle of the zone, and player 5 gets open for the ball. Player 1 passes the ball to player 5, and he takes the shot, or passes to someone who is open, if he doesn’t have a clear shot.

The play called Uni is one of the simple youth basketball plays to use when the other team is playing a man-on-man defense. Player 1 dribbles out to the left wing and then switches directions, without picking up the dribble.

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At the same time, player 4 steps out to the three point line to set a screen, and player 3 will go to the wing. Player 5 sets another screen for player 1, near the top of the key. After dribbling around that second screen, player 1 will have a moment when he can attack the basket. If he doesn’t have an open shot, he can pass to someone else.

The Overload is another play that works well against man-to-man defenses. It can give you a quick scoring opportunity in the post, but if that’s not there, your guards will have one side of the court cleared open for a dribble and drive.

In the overload, players 2 & 3 cut diagonally from the block to the wing. Player 1 passes to player 3. Player 3 will look to pass to player 5, but if that’s not open, he can pass it to player 4 who is on the high post position.

Player 5 should keep the defender on his outside hip, to create a lane to the basket. If there isn’t a shot there, player 3 passes to player 2, who will have the entire left side to drive into, or he can pull up for an outside shot. This play leaves many options open at once, and is difficult to defend.

These are all helpful and simple youth basketball plays to run in a Level One or Two game, and you should practice them in drills, so your team knows exactly how to run them in games.


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