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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball


Inbounds Plays for Youth Basketball

Inbounding is an essential part of basketball. It happens every time the ball goes out of bounds, after the opposing team scores a basket and after many types of fouls as well. Usually it's pretty easy, especially in a youth league. One player on the court just has to get open so the person inbounding the ball can pass it to them, but every once in awhile you'll need to inbound the ball below the basket, and all of your players will be guarded. On top of that, they'll only have five seconds to get the ball inbounds. That's why you're going to need a few good plays to make this task easier.

The first play is simple. It's called the stack, and it's typically easy to set up. One player, the inbounder, stands out of bounds with the basketball, just to the side of the backboard. The rest of the players line up behind one another about 5 feet (1.5 meters) across from the inbounder and face him [source: Adkins et al.]. Now, you'll need a signal. Slapping the ball is usually a good one. When the inbounder slaps the ball, the three players who are closest to it run across the lane in the opposite direction from the ball. The farthest player runs toward the ball so the inbounder can pass it to him for an attempt at scoring.

Another common inbound play is called the box set. Once again, the inbounder stands out of bounds with the basketball just to one side of the backboard. The other four players line up in a box, two about 5 feet (1.5 meters) off the baseline on either side of the backboard and the other two at opposite sides of the free throw line [source: Adkins et al.]. This time, when the inbounder slaps the basketball, the two players lined up in front of him run toward the players opposite them and set screens. The other two players run toward the screens and use them to get open. The first option is the player closest to the inbounder, who should be open for an easy layup, and the second option is the player up top at the free throw line, who should be open for a shot.

Mastering these inbounds plays will help your team be effective from underneath the hoop, a situation they're likely to find themselves in often. Hopefully, at this point you feel like you have a basic understanding of how to coach youth basketball. For more information, check out the links on the next page.