Army Zone Offense Play - Brilliant Play Guaranteed to Create an Open Lay Up or Jump Shot

Here is a brilliant play for creating offensive advantages against the zone defense. You are almost guaranteed to get an open lay up or jump shot with this action.

This is a great play for high school, college, and pro teams. Some advanced youth teams might be able to use it as well.

You have multiple perimeter and post scoring opportunities based on how the defense defends the ball.

The decoy and misdirection action creates indecision for the defense and forces them to pick their poison.

The play is from Zak Boisvert of Army and was shared by Tyson Gipson of Half Court Hoops on Twitter.


You start with a player at the top with the ball (1), two wings (2 and 3), a player in the ballside corner (4), and a post player opposite of the initial pass (5).

1 passes to 2.


On the pass, 5 cuts to the top.

1 engages the top zone defender by cutting to the free throw line and making contact or setting a brief screen. This opens up 5 to receive the catch.

3 takes a few steps towards the baseline.

2 can dribble towards 5 if necessary to create better spacing for the next decoy action.

When 2 prepares to pass, 4 cuts to the wing area to set up the next part of the play.


2 passes to 5.

4 fakes a flare screen for 2. Then cuts to the pinch post / FT line area. (Tip: Make sure to have 4 raise their hand and do a quick jump stop before blasting to the FT line area.)

2 fades to the wing.

This flare screen decoy action is vital as it occupies x2 and x3. x2's instincts will take them with 2. And it creates indecision for x3. Do they stay with 2 or 4?

If both x2 and x3 collapse on 4, 2 is open for a perimeter shot or baseline drive.

Next, 5 passes to 4.


The bottom zone defender (x5) steps up to guard 4.

As soon as the pass is made and x5 steps up, 3 cuts along the baseline. If x4 freezes due to indecision or steps up to guard 1 on the wing, the baseline pass open.


Other times, the bottom defender (x4) defends the baseline cutter (3).

This leaves the perimeter shooter on the ballside wing wide open (1) for kick-out pass.

If the defense rotates to take away perimeter shots and the baseline cutter, this gives the player with the ball (4) at the free throw line plenty of space to attack the bottom defender (x5).



Zone Offense Resources:

Beating the Zone - Set Plays to Score Against Zone Defense

Continuity Zone Offense & Concepts To Beat Any Zone Defense with Don Kelbick



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