A switch is a defense in basketball where two defenders will switch places. Teams used this defensive technique to disrupt the flow of the other team, hopefully. This technique is best used by a team with players who hold multiple and versatile positions.

Switching Best Used to Distract the Offense

Numerous National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and even college basketball teams, use the switch technique to negate most teams’ offense. The offense system usually revolves around placing the ball in the hands of an open shooter. With the switch defense, a point guard can distract a center while a center can hang around a point guard without compromising the gameplay.

Switching will distract the offensive team. They will most probably get frustrated with switching the roles, so their momentum will definitely be disrupted.

Qualities of Players Who Can Switch

Players referred to as valuable team members who can use the switch technique must be around 6-6 to 6-9, are athletic, and have a great grasp of the defensive strategy. He should play against guards, centers, and even the players who are the same size as him.

Example of Switch Defense in Basketball

One of the most common switch defenses used is the Screen Over Switch. Here, the defender guarding the screen says the word “screen.” Such will alert the teammate of the impending switch. The alerted teammate will then hedge “over” to block the pathway of an offensive player. “Switch” will then occur when the assigned screener becomes the guard while the guard becomes the screener.

Another is the Off Ball. In this type of switch defense, the offensive team’s screening action will be disrupted by attacking the passing lanes. These lanes include over the top of the head, the side of the defender’s head, either side of the defender’s feet, and under the defender’s arms. Another player will deny the catch and the jump shot by an offensive player.

Is the Switch Defense Easy to Execute?

It is not. First, you must have a particular set of players who can do the switch defense. They must have a high level of concentration to execute this defense properly. If the players do not have this mastered by heart, it can cost you the game.