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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 07:55 

Posts: 4
I have been using this site to help organize my practices, develop skills drills, game strategy, etc for the last 2 plus years (3rd and 4th grade and now my 5th grade team). The article about “What’s Wrong With Your Youth Basketball Leagues” ( http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/developmental-league.html ) caught my attention a couple of years ago…especially the part about rules regarding zone defenses and full court pressure for these young kids. I didn’t think much about it as our league doesn’t allow pressure until 5th grade and the last 2 years we played smaller everything with no pressure until the last 2 minutes. So, this year we enter 5th grade and now we are using regulation size balls, 10’ goals, full regulation size courts, full court pressure, man/zone defenses, etc. Wow! What a difference. In our second game, I quickly saw that essentially we just end up with fast breaks and full court pressure all game long so kids are running up and down the court…chaos as you can imagine. I remembered this article, reread it again this year and thought now I get it. So, I sent the article link and the league progression example to the board of our league my boys play and in and they are very interested in considering rule changes. Now they have asked me to their next meeting to discuss these ideas. I’m think, what did I get myself into at this point? :o) Seriously, I’m just an ordinary dad that played baseball, soccer, track, and basketball in high school and loves coaching his sons in every sport they play….not because I’m a good coach, but because in 2 more years they will have “paid” coaches and I will be cheering from the stands only. I was hoping the group could help “coach” me as I prepare to discuss the structure of our league and our league progression.
Here is the progression example I emailed the president.

8 to 10 Year Olds (3rd & 4th Grade):
Play 3 on 3 basketball.
No pressing, traps, or zone defenses.
Man to man defense cannot come outside 3-point line.
Equal Playing Time.
No 3-pointers
Height of Rim - 8 to 9 Feet
Junior Ball - 27.25" - 27.75" (8.75") - International Size 5

10 to 12 Year Olds (5th & 6th Grade):
Start to introduce 5 on 5, but still use 3 on 3 to teach basketball concepts in practice.
No pressing, traps, or zone defenses.
Man to man defense can come to half court. Full court man to man pressing is allowed in the last 4 minutes of the game. No organized presses (1-3-1, 2-2-1, etc.)
Equal Playing Time
No 3-pointers
Height of Rim - 9 to 10 Feet
Intermediate Ball - 27.75" - 28.5" (9") - International Size 6

I really appreciate any input.
Joe


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 08:17 
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Joe,

I like the progression you have here.... the only thing I would get rid of is the pressing in the last 4 minutes for the 5th and 6th graders ...... the 3rd to 6th grade should be all about teaching fundamentals and letting them have fun. Pressing is chaos so why ruin what you are working so hard to accomplish by allowing that in the last 4 minutes.... and essentialy everything you have been teaching goes out the window.... kids at that age cant handle that pressure.

JMO

The best youth team I ever had we brought along very slowly.... 6th grade ... all m2m and a non structured offense... 7th grade all m2m and added a little structured offense to the mix.... along with some m2m full court pressing. 8th grade we added a zone to the mix ... a simple match up as I didn't want to confuse them... we pressed full court m2m and zone.... and we tweaked the offense for them to make them better.

When I moved to the high school level I wished that all lower level coaches would teach m2m D so your program is well on the way to help your kids play at the next level and thats what its all about. Good luck.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 08:50 

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Thanks for the reply Coach Sar. I cannot take credit for that progression as that was in the article. I really like the idea of 3v3 as well but logistically might not be feasible.

Do you have any points that I should be sure to bring up when I present these ideas to the league? I'm reading all the stuff on why zones should be outlawed now. Just want to be fully prepared when I discuss why our league should consider changing. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 09:00 
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I might come across to strong for those people..... the GAME is for the kids.. first and foremost it has to be FUN, especially at that age.... or they will burn out or be dissappointed and quit after a few years.

MOST kids of that age don't shoot very well (not all - but most) so all zone defenses would encourage is shooting from the perimeter AND it really doesn't teach them anything about the game... how to handle the ball and read defenses... which is really tough at any age, but at this age... hard. So this is something they need to work on - learn the game and have some fun playing. I think that article put it much better than I am........

Do you have the Bob Bigelow DVD? He does a great job of explaing Youth Basketball and how it should be taught. I think Jeff and Joe have it on this site... but you can go to you tube and get a small sample of what he has to say.

The bottom line - ZONE DEFENSES are NOT in the BEST INTEREST of the KIDS. IF they are not in agreement with you... tell them to sign into this site and ask all the coaches that post here. They will give you the same answers I am giving. IF you ask any high school coach worth his salt, he will tell you or ask you to please teach m2m fundamentals.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 09:11 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Joe, way to take the initiative to better youth basketball in your area! Kudos to you.

Coach Sar, I understand your point on the man to man full court pressing for 5th & 6th graders in the last 4 minutes of the game. I don't think you should allow trapping. However, I found that kids were getting discouraged when I wouldn't let them pick up their man past half court when they were losing late in the game. Maybe I should have said, "well, if we play better, we don't have to worry about it." Maybe it should be last two minutes?

Hey Joe, 3v3 is actually more feasible than 5v5. You can fit 12 players on the court rather than 10. I probably didn't clarify in the article, but play 3v3 half court.

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http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/kc/


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 09:13 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Coach Sar, here is the link to the Bob Bigelow DVD that you mention: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/bigelow-youth-right-way.html

Yes, we sell it on our website and we highly recommend it.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 09:47 
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Joe, thanks for the link to the video - I hope that helps clarify that for Joe as he goes to the meeting.

Maybe a two minute pressing time would be a good compromise ..... I just wouldn't the game to turn into mayhem just for the sake of a W.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 09:58 
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Here's another rule to consider:

- For 3 on 3, a different player must enter (dribble) the ball from half court on each possession (so all players have an opportunity to improve their dribbling).
- For 5 on 5, you could do the same thing and require different players to bring up the ball.

Not sure if the league can make that fly but it definitely would be good for the players from a development stand point. I'm thinking about starting my own local player development league and I was going to implement that rule. But this would be my own league in a controlled environment, so I can do what ever I want. :) I also intend to stop play myself to fix fundamental issues during games and make sure they play the right way. (I got this idea from Jim McGannon. He says the parents love it because it makes the players better.)

Also, here is the link were we gave recommendations on specific rim heights based on age level:
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=343

BTW, I think it's awesome you are taking part in making these changes and improving the league.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 10:00 
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Oh yeah. You might want to limit the # of players per team. In games you only want about 8 or 9 players on the team. Anything beyond that makes it too hard to divide up minutes and give players meaningful minutes.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 10:26 
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I was thinking about the pressing issue.... and I think we have to step back and look at our goals... we all know the kids want to win... but at what cost? Thats why I am torn about allowing the press at that age level.

You have to come up with a good answer/philosophy ..... we dont allow that at your age because we are trying to TEACH you the right way to play this game and its not all about the W. Learn to play good solid half court m2m defense and at our level we wont need to worry about pressing in the last few minutes to save a game.

How many games does your team play Joe H. ?? Maybe you could say in the last 1/3 or 1/2 of the season we will be allowed to press for 2 minutes in the last quarter.

Thoughts?


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