Best Zone Inbounds Plays

Maria Garcia
• Sunday, 25 October, 2020
• 9 min read

Highly-Effective Zone Out Of Bounds (Inbounds) Plays Scoring on zoneinboundsplays can be the difference between a loss and a win. Often, coaches dismiss zone out of bounds plays and their goal is just to get the ball inbounds.

inbounds baseline box zone members vs versus
(Source: members.ebasketballcoach.com)


While getting the ball inbounds is very important, why not try to score in these opportunities. Also, most opposing teams don't spend a lot of time defending inbound splays during practice, so you might be able to catch them off guard for a few easy buckets before they can make an adjustment.

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You could use 2 to cut to the ball side corner or as a release if the other options are well defended. These two baseline inbound plays are selected from the HoopS coop e-book BestZonePlays in NCAA” playbook.

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A basketball inbound play occurs at the beginning of every period, except for the first, after all made baskets and following any stoppages in play such as a dead-ball turnover (when the ball goes out of bounds), non-shooting foul, violation, inadvertent whistle, timeout or jump ball. The referee will take the ball to the location near the half-court line or to either side of the backboard where the play will begin.

basketball drills movement ball pick roll offense dribble guard plays using
(Source: www.online-basketball-drills.com)

One player on the offensive team will step out of bounds behind the baseline or sideline and is given 5 seconds to pass the ball to a teammate. After a made basket one of the five players now on the offensive team will take the ball out of bounds on the baseline.

The inbound passer may run back and forth or even pass to a teammate who is also behind the baseline in order to throw it in. For non-shooting fouls and violations, the inbound spot will either be on the sideline or baseline depending on whether the foul or violation occurred inside or outside the imaginary “Inbound Triangle” which runs from the corners of the baseline to the elbows of the free-throw line and includes the top of the key.

The diagram below shows the “Inbound Triangles” as the shaded regions on either side of the court. The arrows outside the triangle indicate which sideline the ball will be spotted depending on if the foul or violation occurred on the left or right side of the court.

In this situation the goal of an inbound play is to successfully pass the ball into a teammate in to begin breaking the press, or successfully advancing the ball, by dribbling or passing, through the full-court pressure and past half court. If the ball is taken out in a spot on the sideline that is on the side of half court nearest to where a team is trying to score, it is common to see inbound plays designed to get the ball in to set up the offense or to use the inbound situation to run a designated play to create an open shot.

The diagram below represents the locations (marked with an X) at which the ball will be taken out for an inbound play due to a foul or violation. Player 4 will then run off the screen, cutting to the basket to catch a pass from the in bounder for a layup.

basketball drills offense plays double team coaching down
(Source: www.online-basketball-drills.com)

If the play is being run on the sideline, Player 4 will then just cut to open space to secure the pass and begin the offense. The box is most commonly used as a baseline out-of-bounds set to create an open shot or scoring option.

In a standard box set the four players who are inbounds will stand on both blocks and both elbows. Teams can run many plays out of a box set, but there are three basic plays best used for beginners and youth.

After setting that screen, Player 4 will turn and cut to the basket for a second layup option. Finally, a chest pass can be used in any situation to get the ball in quickly to an open teammate anywhere on the court.

The best way to practice inbound splays and get your team to run them successfully is first to make sure your players know how to set a solid, legal screen. This will involve them standing with their feet set and hands placed properly to protect themselves and not turn the ball over due to an illegal screen.

This will give your team the best chance to score by creating situations that will force the defense to communicate and switch, hedge or trap and make it difficult for the defense to prevent open looks. Against a zone defense, hard cuts and good screens are also very important to get an offensive player into open space.

It is the perfect time to run a set offensive play, and give your team a great chance to get a quality shot. Unless it is an end of game situation, and you are simply trying to inbound the basketball, you should always be trying to score on baseline out of bounds plays.

Secondly, you need to teach your players the importance of setting good screens and cutting hard, even if they aren’t going to be the one shooting the ball. The reason why this is so important is because most baseline out of bounds plays are going include misdirection or some kind of screening action, and the only way an open shot is going to come is if all the players are a threat to score.

This is a great inbounds basketball play run by the Boston Celtics, and it is going to allow the offense to get the ball in, and then quickly get into a quality action. This mid post basketball play is going to be run our of a dead ball situation from the baseline, and is going to be set up by a pin down action.

This baseline out of bounds basketball play is designed to get your offense a great look at the basket off of the inbounds pass. For this double stack basketball play, there will be two cutters that curl off the action, and it will be up to the in bounder to pass it to the open player.

This baseline out of bounds basketball play will start out in an elbow double stack formation, and is going to look to get a shot on the inbounds pass. This flare screen basketball play is going to be run from a baseline out of bounds set, and can be used to get a good shot after a dead ball.

This baseline out of bounds basketball play is going to involve a post pin down curl which should hopefully end up in a great look at the basket. This BLOB stack back screen basketball play is going to give your team a chance to get a quality shot off of the inbound pass.

This basketball play is going to be out of the four flat formation, and it is going to involve a ball screen slip action to take advantage of an over show. This baseline out of bounds double screen basketball play is going to try to get the shooter a 3 point shot on the backside of the defense.

This double stack basketball play is going to be use from a baseline out of bounds set, and is designed to get a quality shot for your team. A basketball team can have a lot of players, but only five can play in a game at any one time.

The power forward does many of the things a center does, playing near the basket while rebounding and defending taller players. The point guard runs the offense and usually is the team’s best dribbler and passer.

The shooting guard can make shots from long distance and also is a good dribbler. A running back bursts through a hole, an offensive tackle prevents a 300-pound lineman from advancing, or a quarterback throws a perfect spiral over the defense and into the hands of his receiver.

Sometimes when the defense has your number, and you have to dig deep, a coach will then rely on deception by calling for a trick play. But over the course of the season, you will see teams dig deep in the playbook and whip up something crazy when the situation calls for it.

A lot of times this will be used in red zone situations because the receiver, though often a former high school quarterback or just a great athlete, is not going to be trusted to make an accurate deep throw. If it doesn’t go forward, bounces and stays inbounds, it’s a live ball that can be picked up by the defense.

Example : Michigan ran this play several times during the Lloyd Carr regime, as the video compilation below shows. It wasn’t the cleanest execution of the play, but clearly the Razorbacks knew how good of an arm Carlos Outlet had, because that was an amazing throw.

The quarterback drops back and hands it off or pitches it to a wide receiver who is running in horizontally from the side. The receiver, who is in full stride, then keeps running to the opposite sideline from the one he came from and tries to break free.

A similar version of this is an end reverse, in which the quarterback hands it off to the running back, who then makes a second hand off to the receiver. Similar to the hook and lateral, the objective is to have the ball carrier running full speed while the defenders are getting their feet back under them after changing direction.

This play is most effective for picking up short-to-medium yardage, as it is unlikely to lose yards because of how fast the ball carrier is moving, but it’s also difficult to get a big gain without some nifty footwork and great blocking. As you can see, the entire USC defense was running the direction that the quarterback was moving and got flat-footed when the ball was tossed back to Sherman Alston going the other way.

The result was only a couple of men to beat, and with his incredible speed, he made it to the end zone. This play is for a coach who wants to get greedy and thinks he can test his luck and catch the defense napping.

Sometimes three points isn’t enough, or you don’t trust your kicker to knock it down, so you want a first down or touchdown instead without making it obvious by keeping the offense on the field. Example : There are tons of options of what a team can do on a fake kick, so we will look at a running play and a throw.

This is an example of both getting greedy and not trusting your kicker, as Spartan coach Mark Antonio went bold instead of trying a 46-yarder for double overtime. The key here was some outstanding blocking by Michigan State to give holder Aaron Bates time to wait for tight end Charles Gantt to get open downfield.

The quarterback appears to not be ready for the snap to happen, as he is either calling out audibles or talking to the coaches or another player. It is legal for one player on offense to be in motion when the snap happens, so Boyd moving along the line does not constitute a false start.

If you follow him as the play develops, you’ll see that no one on the defense had any idea if they should be the one covering him, which is how he got so open. However, there is a lot of risk involved because if it fails, the receiving team essentially gains about half the field from where it likely would have started had the ball actually been punted.

Example : This one by Texas Tech was done perfectly, with the punter selling it well enough to get the defense to lay off him and then some great downfield blocking allowing him to score untouched. Roughing the kicker penalties can be worked to the kicking team’s advantage because the players will pull up instead of hitting the punter unlike, say, a quarterback pump faking who would get pummeled whether he releases the ball or not.

Because the defense sees the hand off happen, the corner backs and safeties often slow down or begin to move in to meet the running back if he breaks free. The biggest risk here is that it takes a precious few seconds to develop, giving the defensive line time to apply pressure when the quarterback gets the ball back.

The rise of play-action fakes have also made the flea flicker less effective, because the defense isn’t selling out to the run. By the time they change direction and start heading downfield, Switzer is long gone for the touchdown.

Example: Jeff Broom called up a fake flea flicker in Purdue's game against Rutgers in Week 8 of the 2017 season, and it resulted in a massive gain. As you can probably guess, this is a variation of the double pass, designed to dupe the defense into thinking it’s a run play.

Example : BYU won the 1983 Holiday Bowl on this play, as Steve Young received a pass after handing it off (that was very nearly a pick-six) and took it to the house. By the time Eddie Sennett released the ball, there were at least five or six Missouri players coming in on him, though the Cougars probably weren’t counting on the one hanging around Young and nearly picking it off.

After pulling it in, he laterals to a receiver coming full speed across the field from the other side, who tries to get to the edge and break free. The key is to have the player who receives the lateral going full speed when he catches the ball in order to break away before the defense has time to change direction and tackle him.

Example : Boise State executed the play flawlessly in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma (and, if you’re familiar with the game, you know it’s not the last time it will come up in this article). With 18 seconds left, down by a touchdown and facing a fourth-and-18, the Broncos threw a pass short of the first-down marker, where Oklahoma’s prevention defense was waiting in order to make sure the receiver didn’t cross.

However, with each defender moving in the direction that the pass-catcher was running in order to stop any forward yardage, the play worked perfectly. Gerard Rabbi received the pitch in stride and went untouched into the end zone to send it too overtime.

The team on offense hopes in this situation that the defense doesn’t realize where the ball went until it is too late. Being the heavy underdog, the Broncos did not want the game to go on much longer, so they opted to go for two in overtime instead of kicking an extra point to tie it.

The idea is to surprise the defense at the unusual formation, as well as the advantages from having so many blockers in order to pick up a few yards. However, because it is so obvious where the quarterback is going to throw the ball given that all of his receivers are in the same spot, an alert or athletic defense can blow the play up in the backfield.

The snap is taken laterally to a tight end in the pack, as the quarterback and running back take off the opposite direction.

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4 www.imdb.com - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047977/
5 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett,_King_of_the_Wild_Frontier
6 www.spectator.co.uk - https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/king-of-a-wild-frontier
7 www.bloomberg.com - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2007-12-19/a-king-of-the-wild-frontier
8 www.ebay.com - https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-Walt-Disney-s-Davy-Crockett-Card-1-King-Of-The-Wild-Frontier-A-EX-/154299955691
9 www.bigtattooplanet.com - https://www.bigtattooplanet.com/features/studio-profile/kings-cross-tattoo-parlour-kings-of-the-wild-front