Box and 1 Zone

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The Box and 1 is a hybrid defense that combines elements of man to man and zone to try to confuse opposing offenses. This defense is great as an "change of pace" style defense or as a gameplan technique to shut down an opposing team that has an offense primary run through a single player. Primarily the Box and 1 will want to be used against teams that shoot poorly from the perimeter as the box focuses heavily on keeping the ball away from the basket. It's a great option to use to cool down a player who got hot from an opposing team or to throw off an offense that is performing well. Coaches may not want to utilize this for an entire game as eventually opponents will adjust, instead using it at key times or situations.


BasketballWiki.Net Broadcast #2 - Box and 1 Hybrid Zone Defense


"One" Defender"

The " One " man guarding the offensive player you are looking to stop has the following responsibilites:

  • Closely guarding and frustrating the offensive player to prevent offensive rhythm.
  • Defender does not help off the offensive player at any time.
  • If offensive player does not have the basketball, denying hard to prevent a catch.
  • Defender must fight through any screens utilized to get the offensive player open. Zone defenders must communicate well.

Zone Setup

Nothing is concrete but generally use a setup simila to a 2-3 Zone where you have guards on the elbows and forwards on the blocks. Zone players are responsible for:

  • Preventing dribble penetration.
  • "Showing" on a closeout. The athleticism and length of your players will determine how far you want to extend the box. You may not want to extend it at all in some cases. Showing means a soft closeout to the ball.
  • Don't overextend - this creates weak spots in the middle and underneath the zone.
  • Shade to the basket line when the ball is on the weak side to them.
  • Prevent a pass inside the box. Passes to a player inside the paint will cause big issues for the zone.


There are minimal rotations in a box zone but it's important to know your team and opponent while implementing it. Extending the box too far will make easily penetrable gaps that can be exploited. We advise players to "stay home" and guard their quarter soft while maintaining guarding the basket as a priority.

  • Play a soft help side on basket line when the ball is on the weak side.
  • Step to help if the weak side defender gets beat, top defender must rotate down to help the helper.
  • If top defender is engaged, other defender shades middle to prevent a high post entry.
  • Ball in the corner is the responsibility of the baseline defender. Strong side elbow defender drops a step or two and other baseline defender goes basket line.