While we are strong advocates for running the motion offense at the youth level, we also think it’s okay to have a couple quick-hitters in your arsenal out of timeouts or in special situations. In this post, we go through a few of our favorite youth basketball plays.

Layup or 3-Pointer

This is a simple youth basketball play that your team can run to get a post player a layup on the block, or a good shooter a 3-pointer at the top of the key.

Alignment: 1-4 high set. Forwards on the elbows, guards on the wings.
youth-basketball-playsThis action starts with the point guard throwing the ball to the guard on the wing. The ball-side big man floats down to the block, and weak-side big man cuts to the top of the key for reversal. The point guard cuts to the opposite block.


The 2 will now reverse the ball to the 5. As that is happening, the 1 cuts out to the wing to replace the 3, who is now going to set a screen for the 4 on the opposite block.


The ball is reversed to the 1, and his first option is to look at the 4 coming off of the screen from the 3. That is your first scoring option for a layup. After the 3 sets his screen for the 4, he receives a down-screen from the 5 after he reverses the ball to the 1. The 3 pops to the top of the key for a look at a 3-point shot. This is your other scoring option.

If you don’t have a shot off of the first action, this play can turn itself over and you can continue running it until you get a good look.

Backdoor Play

This play is great for special situations, like the end of the quarter, out of timeouts

basketball backdoor play

This play’s alignment starts with a double stack at the elbows. Both guards start on the right elbow, and both bigs start on the left elbow.

basketball backdoor play

The action starts with our 1 dribbling to his right, about lane-line extended. This triggers the 3 man to clear through to the left side and come off of a double screen from the 4 and the 5.
The 1 crosses over and starts heading left to make it look like he’s looking for the shooter coming off of the double screen. This clears out the entire right side for the 2.
basketball backdoor play
The one will stop about lane-line extended on the left side. The 3 will pop out to the wing and call for the ball, and then back cut his man.
The 1 will pass-fake to the 3 when he calls for the ball, and then throw him a bounce pass for the layup on the back-cut.

Curl Cut Continuity Offense

This is a man-to-man continuity that repeats curl & blast cuts.

This play starts in a 5-out set, with the wings and corners occupied. We typically want to start with our center on the wing, and throw opposite of him so that he’s the first curl cut to the block.

The 1 throws the ball to the 3 on the right wing, and then screens away for the 5. The 5 curls off of the screen looking for the ball.

The 1 immediately sets a screen for the 2 after screening for the 5, and the 2 blast cuts up to the top of the keey off of the 1’s screen.
If the 5 doesn’t receive the ball on the curl, he curls all the way through to the corner on the side he came from.
After the 1 sets his 2nd screen, he pops to the wing.

Then, we reverse the ball, and we are right back into the continuity of curl & blast cut.

Elevator Screen Play

This play starts with the 1 on the right side of the floor. The two is on the right wing, with the 3 on the right block. The 4 is on the left elbow and the 5 is on the left block.

The two sets a downscreen for the 3 to pop out to the wing.

After the 2 sets the screen, he comes through an elevator screen from the 5 and 4. The 1 dribbles over and passes to the 2 for a shot.

These are some great youth basketball plays for your team to run!

FREE Bonus: Download ‘Basketball Plays That Work’ eBook! (Download Now!)

Let us know if you have any questions, or tell us your thoughts on these plays in the comments!

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