What is Basketball Scrimmage?

Do you have issues knowing the ideal time to let your players practice? Or you’re not always sure of the best time to stop and dish them some relevant nuggets?

As a result, you spend specified days for practicing, and some days you talk more and dish out instructions?

It’s understandable to get trapped in the mix,—a lot of coaches, especially high school coaches, are in the same trap. You don’t have to get frustrated; after all, it’s a hard balance to strike.

But, here’s the good news.

You can have training sessions that incorporate your drills and instructions at once—with the aid of basketball scrimmage.

In this article, we’ll be talking expansively about basketball scrimmage and listing out six ways to apply it in your basketball team.

What Exactly Is Basketball Scrimmage?

Straight to the point;

It’s a five against five basketball game that a coach uses to create a strong bond between new teammates, evaluate new skills or practice plays in a game setting. It usually happens when teammates engage in pickup games or against a different team.

It’s fun for players and crucial for coaches to engage in scrimmages. Plus, it enables players to play an actual basketball game without fans—during training.

But there’s more.

Team coaches use the scrimmage period to take notes, discover the talents of new players as well as the weaknesses and strengths of their old players—allowing them to put their team tactics into a real game.

7 Fantastic Ways to Maximize the Basketball Scrimmage in Your Team

The following concepts can bring structure to your five on five divisions in practice.

Moreover, it will enable your players to get used to the game like transition and still allow you to instruct and teach as a coach.

1. Playing 4-Minute Games

If you want to improve some aspects of your team as a coach, then you should consider having 4-minute mini-games for your players.


The mini-games would help your players to make the best use of their effort between time-outs. If you reset the scoreline after every session, you’ll be doing a lot of good to your players. That will train them to win every 4-minute session they play. As a result, players will focus more on possession.

2. Score! Stop!! Score!!!

Divide your players into various sessions and call them to execute defending and scoring for three successive possessions. If a team doesn’t complete one of the three possessions effectively, then the drills will blow dead.

As a coach, you should take time to score the ability of the team that executed all three phases. If a team can complete more than five of these drills in every game, they win.

It’s like leading with 20 points against the opposition in a real game when you get your players to get five or more 4-0 runs.

3. Situational Drills

This drill enables your players to train at a specific time and score situations. That way, you’ll be increasing the awareness and intelligence level of your players during game situations.

Also, you’ll be able to determine how each player handles different situations.

4. SLOB and BLOB Sets

You can have your players engage in SLOB and BLOB sets during your scrimmages.

How does that work?

Once again, you split your players into different teams. Then give each team the task to execute inbounds set versus a live defense—it’s an excellent simulation to games.

The teams can keep the drill rolling until any of the teams don’t have a shot off of the initial action. Before blowing the drill dead, allow the defense to convert to offense and get a chance to score if the defense team gets a stop.

5. Play the Game with Special Rules

Having a lot of special rules can reduce your scrimmage. Nonetheless, using one or two special rules can help your players emphasize specific areas they are lacking.

For instance, you see a lot of improvement; if you award a team an additional point for every dribble penetration or intercepted pass, they carry out in the paint.

There’s more.

Give the offense an additional point every time the defense fails to challenge a shooter, and you’ll see more contested shots.


You can choose an area you want your players to pay attention to and build a scoring system that rewards the players when they implement it in a scrimmage.

6. Play from a Free Throw

For your team to set up full-court press offenses and defenses, it’s advisable to utilize your free throw situations.

Also, for the team to set up half-court trap action or full-court defense, your player should come to the line and convert the FTs. Plus, the offenses must respond simultaneously to the defensive pressure.

How do you handle this?

You can play one possession on an offensive score but allow the defense to convert their stop before cutting the drill dead. Most teams find it hard to switch a defense off a missed free throw except they get enough practice.

7. Record Statistics for Practice Scrimmages

It’s crucial to take records of your scrimmage drills as it can help you monitor your team’s progress. You can get an assistant coach chart to record missed block-outs, callouts, amongst others. Do the same for the offensive end.

Record and call out—when your players fail to go for their offensive rebounding spots. The trick is to pick an area where your team needs to pay more attention to and become their best.

Final Words

You can enhance the quality of your team by applying the scrimmage techniques listed in this article. Moreover, you’ll be able to detect your team’s weaknesses and build on them.

We’d love to hear from you. Which of the Scrimmage techniques are you willing to start with your team? Do you have other fantastic scrimmage techniques you’ll like to share with us? Let us know your comments and suggestions!

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