A coaching friend of mine coaches a group of U13 players in a youth league here in the Greater Vancouver area. He asked me for some advice a couple weeks ago because he was having some problems on offense with his team. He had been using the Backdoor Trap continuity offense and it had been working OK, but he said the problem was that it got worse and worse as the game went on. I actually had never heard of the Backdoor Trap offense before so I had to look it up.

I went to one of their games and after awhile I could see what the problem was. As the game progressed, the offense was still being well-executed but the defense naturally began to anticipate the backdoor flex cuts. This in itself wasn't the problem though, because at U13 most players never get used to defending the backdoor cut, they're always ball watching. The real problem was spacing. Because 4 players were playing inside of the 3-point line, the defense simply contracted such that the possibility of making any successful backdoor pass was nearly impossible:

I went back home and drew up a modification to the Backdoor Trap offense, that I call the 4-out 1-in Motion Backdoor Trap Continuity Offense. It is essentially, the same continuity but with better spacing and incorporating some DDM and other motion principles. So it's not really true motion, DDM, or Backdoor Trap, but a combination of all of them. I gave it to my friend to use and he's saying it's helped them alot, the extra spacing gives them a lot more options and forces the defense to stretch and cover.

The setup of the offense is 4-out 1-in. The wings can start below or above the free-throw line extended. They should v-cut or l-cut to the ball though and receive it above the free-throw line. The post should play opposite of the ball for spacing. The first play should be a wing pass and the point cuts to the ball-side corner. The other top player (02) shifts over ball-side as the safety.

This is where the main action takes place. The post (O5) goes to set a wing-flex backscreen for the wing (O4). If O3 can take his defender off the dribble, he does so. If O1's defender comes to help, O1 should be open for the corner 3-pointer. As O3 drives, or even if O3 does not, O4 should be coming off the backscreen and if open O3 can hit him for the open layup. O5 pops out to the wing after the backscreen,

If O3 does nothing with the ball, the ball is reversed to O2 up top, O5 comes up to receive the ball (v-cut or l-cut) and O2 cuts to the ball-side corner after the pass,

In this sequence, the action repeats from the left side of the floor. As an option, if O4 has a favorable post matchup, O5 can make a post entry here for a 1v1 post up for O4. Otherwise, O1 clears out from the weak-side corner and comes up as the safety. O4 clears out to the weakside and sets a wing-flex backdoor screen for O3. O5 should dribble drive if possible. All the way to the rim, to O2 on help defense, or to O3 on the backdoor just like previously on the right side of the floor,

I just wanted to show this final sequence because you can incorporate any of your regular motion cuts and ball screens using audibles from the bench or from your PG. For example, after passing to the wing, the point can set a ball screen for the wing and play PNR. Or on the weakside wing, the wing can fake the backdoor and instead come over the top for the elbow jumper. Basically, anything you normally teach in 4-out 1-in motion can be used here,

Hope that helps out with you coaches out there looking for a little variety in your flex, motion, or halfcourt sets. For more motion and backscreening ideas, take a look at Matt Painter's 4-out 1-in Motion Offense. Coach Painter is the head coach of Purdue.


  1. Evets  

    December 29, 2009 at 7:25 PM


    I run this offense for my Jr High girls team! I love the open Post offense but it does not have the formal post up opportunities I would like. The feel the Back Door trap has much of the spacing characteristics of the Open Post but with a better post presence.

    Do you have any more information on your particualar implentation (drill ideas, etc.)?