Man to Man vs Zone defence in youth basketball, Why is it such a hot topic amongst coaches?

Man to man (m2m) and zone defences in youth basketball is always a hot topic on coaching forums world wide.

Coaches normally split into 2 sides,

M2M ONLY or It doesn't matter.

In my experience defences like a 2-3 zone work against bad teams but get destroyed against good teams, especially anywhere under varsity/U18s.

But why?

Hold up, before we dive into this, let me just be clear on what I'm talking about.


When we talking about zones at the youth level it's normally one of these two. A 2-3 zone and a 3-2 zone. There are others but these are the main ones.

I haven't included the offence because it doesn't matter. Regardless of the ball, those players that are in the key way, will always be there, especially in youth hoops. The other players move to the ball and then back.

Now you guys know what type of defence I'm talking about let's get into it.