The Rule of 3 basketball offense provides coaches with a concise offensive set up to help your team succeed. This offensive approach works against man and zone defenses and makes operating on that side of the floor easier. Some continuity offenses can be difficult to digest, but the Rule of Three basketball offense remains clear with straightforward principles. Using the basketball terms for the Rule of 3 is key.

What the Rule of 3 offense does for a basketball coach is provide a pared down approach that highlights the strengths of a given team. The key to any good offense is finding the openings, and this does just that. This offense remains predicated on ball movement, player movement, and spacing to create scoring opportunities.

Rule of 3 basketball

The Rule of 3 Offense Basketball Terms

Learning the different basketball terms out there remains a challenges for many young players and new coaches. Understanding the key words for a variety of offenses and defenses, as well as the myriad rule violations, makes digesting this information often a daunting task. The Rule of 3 offense is no exception in regards to basketball terms.

So before you and your team dive into the ins and outs of the Rule of 3 basketball offense, you’ll want to know the key terms.

General Rules:
  • 5-Out
    • Starting position for the offense.
    • All 5 players are outside the 3-point line and spaced evenly: point, both wings and both corners.
  • Mesh Point
    • In the Rule of 3 offense this is the place where a pick occurs, and the picker and cutter need to read their defenders.
  • “Balance the Floor”
    • Coach call when too many players are on one side of the floor and not in the 5-Out positions.
Passer Options:
  • “Slip”
    • Rule of 3 picker option to cut to basket after setting pick for cutter.
  • “Pop”
    • Rule of 3 picker option to pop to the 3-point line after reading the cutter using the pick to cut to the basket.
Cutter Options:
  • “Slice”
    • Rule of 3 cutter option to cut straight to the basket when using pick.
  • “Curl”
    • Cutter option to curl into lane off the pick in the Rule of 3
  • “Fade”
    • Rule of 3 cutter option to fade to sideline rather than use pick to cut high.
Weakside Options:
  • “Interchange”
    • High and low weakside offensive players exchange positions to keep defenders busy.
  • “Up or Down Pick”
    • High and low weakside offensive players exchange positions by one picking for the other.
  • “Pin & Skip”
    • Weakside interchange with one man picking and the other fading to the 3-point line vs. sagging defenses.

Get started with the Rule of 3 Offense Course HERE!

Related: How to Promote Your Basketball Program


The Coach Unplugged Podcast

Cover for Basketball Coach Unplugged ( A Basketball Coaching Podcast)

Ep 1465 Rule of 3 Offense