Man to Man


“Clarifications for allowable Man to Man Defense for use in N.I.G.F.B.A games.”


In this document (PDF format) I will try and answer as many questions as possible on what is and what is not man to man defense.  The reality is that I cannot answer all the questions regarding this issue, and will rely on the coaches understanding the difference between a zone and Man to man and teaching accordingly.


Good Man to Man defense teaches:

  • All defensive players know where the ball is at all times
  • Each defensive player is responsible for 1 offensive player and THE BALL
  • Defensive Players play up to the ball while away from the ball  1 pass away in deny position two passes away they are over to help line (center of court) in help defense
  • Direct the ball handler to their weak hand
  • Not to get beat off of dribble, flatten out (square up) when faced with a good ball handler or someone who is much faster than you the defender
  • Turn head and shoulders or open up to protect from getting beat backdoor
  • Many option for low post defense
    • Front the low post (play between ball and defender with whole body)
    • Top side (play half of body around offensive player from top side)
    • Low side (play half of body around offensive player from low side)

Good Man to Man Defense Allows:

  • The ball to be trapped
  • Rotating players when there is a trap applied
  • Playing on help line away from the ball
  • Switching players when screened

Zone Defense Teaches

  • Each Defensive player has an area assigned to cover
  • Defensive players pick up whatever player enters their “Zone”
  • Trapping can be done out of a zone  (1-3-1 most common ½ ct trap)

How to recognize a Zone

  • Players standing in one area picking up whoever comes into their area
  • Post players never chasing on offensive player out of the lane area
  • Common Zone sets 2-1-2 , 1-3-1, 2-3 or 3-2  there are many others but these are most commonly taught

“If you are not teaching a zone, the kids will not be playing a zone!!”