by Kevin Veit
St. Dismas Girls Coach


The offensive and defensive system I use is a man-to-man defense and a 1-2-2 offense. I believe this is a good, simple system for a young team for these reasons:

  1. It's Different - Most teams will play a 2-1-2 zone defense and possibly a 2-1-2 offense. This system presents a different look and will confuse the other team.

  2. Simplicity - Each position is given a number (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) and has well-defined responsibilities on both defense and offense. Once the players learn the system, you only have to tell them what number they are playing, and they will know where to go.

  3. Defense - Man-to-man defense requires each player to learn defensive skills such as proper stance, guarding a player while watching the ball, help and recover, and more. Defense is not a place to rest, but a placer to work hard.

  4. Offense - The offense will work equally well against a zone or a man-to-man defense.


The system is defined by the numbered positions, which do not correspond exactly to the standard guard/forward/center criteria. I always refer to the positions by their numbers. This makes it simpler for the players to remember. The positions are:

NOTE: Left-handed players will work best at positions #3 and #5.


The basic defense is an agressive man-to-man. The responsibilities on defense are as follows:


The transition from defense to offense is the key to the success of this system. The objective is to get as many fast break baskets as possible. The responsibilities on the transition are as follows:

NOTE: The fast break should also be done after an opponent's score. #5 should get the ball as soon as possible and throw it in to #1, while the other players hustle down the court.


The basic offensive play is very simple:

Responsibilities for each position are: