WHY 3 ON 3?
1) PLAYERS TOUCH THE BALL MORE OFTEN.
In 3 on 3 basketball with less players than 5 on 5 a player will touch the ball more. Possessions are shorter, with less time being wasted bringing the ball up-court . The more a player touches the ball the more their opportunity to improve their skills.
2) PLAYERS GET MORE SHOTS.
In 3 on 3 basketball more shots are available because there are less players on each team. There is more room for players to create their own shot or be involved in screening/cutting situations that result in a shot. Game shots help players develop game speed shooting skills.
3) MORE PASSES THROWN & RECEIVED.
In 3 on 3 basketball passing skills and court vision can be developed under game conditions. With fewer players on the court more successful passes can be thrown that aren’t intercepted or dropped, building confidence and a willingness to pass. If players know they will be getting a pass back or will soon have another chance with the ball they become much more willing passers.
4) LESS CONGESTIONS, BETTER SPACING.
In 3 on 3 basketball I would argue that the opposite is probably true. Due to the reduced number of players the court is less congested allowing more room for driving to the basket, team play, and making split second in game decisions that are critical to a young player’s development.
5) MORE TRANSITIONS FROM OFFENCE TO DEFENCE & VICE VERSA.
In 3 on 3 basketball there is more opportunity to transition from offence to defence and vice versa. Players have to quickly react to a change of possession. Although in most cases players won’t be changing ends of the floor (unless you play main basket to side basket to create a “full court” 3 on 3 game) they are still mentally and physically transitioning from offence to defence and back more often.
6) ALL PLAYERS BENEFIT, WHETHER ADVANCED OR BEGINNER.
This seems almost counter-intuitive, but anytime all of the above factors are in play it makes sense. The more opportunities any player has with the ball, but particularly an advanced player, the more likely they are to improve and have fun. It is easy for a player to get lost in a 5 on 5 game and rarely see the ball. That doesn’t happen in 3 on 3. All players stay involved and advanced players are central to most of the action that takes place.