23 Zone Rebounding

Updated: Jun 9

Rebounding out of a Zone Defense can be a challenge. In this post, we'll look at our Defensive Rebounding teaching points out of the 23 Zone.

All defensive schemes provide you with both strengths and weaknesses. In choosing a scheme, we lean on its strengths and hope to find ways to mitigate the weaknesses. When it comes to zone defense your ability to make the offense stagnant, be in a good help position, and create steal opportunities would all classify as strengths. On the flip side defensive rebounding, defending the three-point line, and guarding the basketball could all be classified as weaknesses.

As a team that plays a significant amount of zone defense, we want to find ways to mitigate the weaknesses of the scheme. For teams that do not have great length on the bottom of their defense rebounding can become one of the weaknesses we need to pay attention to. In this post, we are going to use some screenshots, video clips, and diagrams to detail some of the defensive rebounding concepts that we employ to do just that.

23 Zone Rebounding
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Check Out our other Posts on the 23 Zone:

Defensive Rebounding Responsibilities -

The first thing that players must understand is that they will have a specific area of the floor that they are responsible for rebounding in. Just as we have an area of the floor that we are responsible for guarding, we will also be responsible for rebounding the basketball in that area we well. The details of which rebounding methods players should use we will get to later in the post.

Rebounding Areas -


The area of the floor that the Center is responsible for is roughly from the Free Throw Line to the Middle of the lane.

He needs to makes sure he gets out from under the rim and be in a position secure any rebound that lands in the painted area.


The Wings are responsible for rebounding the area surrounding the block on their side of the floor.

They may or may not have a player already occupying that area, so they need to be prepared to either fight for position, or complete a box out.


The Guards have an area of the floor designated as the "Guard Box". This is an area that surrounds the elbows at the top of the lane. As we will discuss in our next section they will required to either rebound that area of the floor or possibly box out a crasher.

Box Out Assignments -

Now that players know the area of the floor that they are responsible for, we need to discuss the methods they will use to secure rebounds. All coaches are familiar with the term "Boxing Out" and in this post we are using this term synonymously with the idea of "Making Contact". We would our defenders to make contact with the offensive player as quickly as possible and then focus on getting the rebound at its highest point.

Rebounding Methods:

  1. Box Out - traditional approach where we make contact, get low, get the defender on our back, and keep them from advancing towards the rim.

  2. Fighting to 50/50 - an approach used most often by our Wing Players who are occasionally attempted to rebound versus players who may have inside position. Our goal is to get even with the offensive player.

  3. Rebounding in Space - a concept used most often with our guards, where there are no crashers, and we are not over pursuing our area.