1-3-1 Patterned Offense: Basic

The 1-3-1 Patterned Offense is a simple offense that can be useful as a starting set for young teams or can be the basis of a number of variations for more senior teams. The 1-3-1 Patterned Offense is a continuity offense which means it will continue to be run from one side of the floor to the other providing players maintain their spacing and position.


Don’t be fooled by the 1-3-1 Patterned Offense’s simplistic nature as it contains a number different elements which many more complex offenses strive to achieve through more complicated movements. The initial cut by the point position provides excellent opportunity to score over or under screen depending on the read from the defence which is a very difficult option to neutralise.


The other strong point about the 1-3-1 Patterned Offense is the easy set-up for high-low interior post offense. Because of the position of the post players much of the defence, even in help positions will be above the double block area. This makes isolation in the low post easier for the offense while still allowing good opportunities through post to post passing.


The 1-3-1 Patterned Offense’s simplicity for younger teams will be a huge advantage in helping younger players understand the offense quickly. For coaches trying to find something that is simple and effective then this offense has a lot to offer. As mentioned earlier it bring the defence away from the basket which for younger teams will only serve to move players away from those areas younger players need to be able to score such as driving lanes and mid-range shooting opportunities.


The 1-3-1 Patterned Offense can also be used by senior teams but as a vehicle to start building variations and creating a system for your team. The true nature of offenses is that they can be changed and altered to house any number of options. If you think about offenses as only having a one dimensional function and you will truly never unlock the full potential of an offense like the 1-3-1 Patterned Offense.


As with all offenses there are some crucial aspects to this play. The first is the ability for players to utilise screens well. With the simplicity of the offense comes the risk of defences being able to anticipate movements where scoring opportunities will be. Having the ability for your players make reads of the defence off of a screen will result in a difficulty to contain offensive players and limit scoring opportunities.

1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 1
1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 1

One (1) passes ball to wing (Three).


Five (5) sets screen, One (1) leads away then cuts ball side of screen to low block.


Option 1: Three (3) passes ball to One (1) for scoring opportunity.


Option 2: Three (3) passes ball to Five for drive or shot opportunity.

1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 2
1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 2

Five (5) sets screen for Two (2).


One (1) sets screen for Four (4).


Two (2) cuts over screen to the point position.


Four (4) cuts over screen to opposite low post.


Option 1: Three (3) passes the ball to Four (4) for a scoring opportunity.


Option 2: Two (2) curl cuts off screen towards basket for scoring opportunity.

1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 3
1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 3

Three (3) passes ball to Two (2).


One (1) cuts form weak side low post to weak side wing.

1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 4
1-3-1 Patterned Offence Basic Diagram 4

Two (2) passes the ball to One (1) and offence starts again.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

2 Comments on “1-3-1 Patterned Offense: Basic

  1. Used this offense for a championship game, worked like a champ against a man to man defense. Best part, taught it to my kids in one practice.

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