What Is A Box Out In Basketball


What Is A Box Out In Basketball? Box Out is a protective rebounding position a player takes near the basket to block an opponent..

If you are an individual who plays or watches basketball, then you must have heard a lot of terminologies related to the game. There are numerous terms and slang words existing, that might make things a bit confusing for you, mostly if you are not in the loop, and ‘Box Out’ is one of such phrases.

In the following sections, we will go over what is a box out in basketball. The breakdown will not only shed light on the term/phrase, but on how it is done, its fundamentals, and when it should be utilized as well.

So, if you are wondering and curious to learn what is a box out in basketball, then you are at the right place.

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Box Out: A Definition

The phrase ‘box out’ also known as block out, basically refers to the protective rebounding a basketball player gets into around the hoop with the aim of blocking or preventing an opposing player from having a clear lane to the basket. 

What Is A Box Out In Basketball

It helps in blocking them to get to the ball and puts you in a better position for a rebound in case of a missed shot. 

The box-out movement is highly necessary, and each player is required to learn it in the early stages of their basketball career. This drill is helpful in preparing the young players to visually deduce how a missed shot can bounce off the rim or backboard.

Repetition and consistent practice of these types of basketball drills, mostly at the youth level of basketball, allow players to learn court awareness and proper body positions. These are some important aspects of gameplay that are not just helpful in improving the odds for ball possession but also get translated to other basketball skills, such as passing and dribbling.

Like every other sport, basketball is a game of possessions. If you are able to grab a clutch board and give the team an opportunity to get back the ball, it might change the momentum and turn the flow of the game at any critical moment. 

How To Box Out In Basketball

Here’s how you can box out in basketball – 

  1. You will have to get closer to the backboard when an opposing player is taking their shot. This will set you up for boxing out the opposing player and getting a rebound.
  1. You will have to position yourself in between the opposing player and the basket. It will allow you to anticipate the direction of the rebound.
  1. You will have to choose an opponent whom you want to box out on the basis of your defense. The player you are wanting to box out can vary based on what defense is being played.
  1. You will have to lower your hips while keeping your feet wide apart. This will allow you to utilize your base and core for keeping the opposing player away.
  1. You will have to spread both of your arms straight out at your sides. Putting your arms up and straight out wide will make it harder for the opposing player to get around you.
  1. You will have to push backward using your butt. It is one of the most effective ways for getting the opposing player out of your zone.
  1. You will have to watch and focus on the ball during the process of boxing out. Once you have successfully boxed out the opposing player, it is time for you to go for the rebound. 
  1. You will have to extend both of your arms to the highest extent and then jump for the ball. Now will be the time to get that rebound.
  1. You will have to chin the ball. ‘Chinning’ is the most effective tactic for securing the ball after the rebound.
  1. You will have to move away from the basket to the sideline and then look for your teammate to pass the ball. The focus will be on you now, so you will have to get rid of the ball by passing it to an open teammate. 

The Fundamentals Of Boxing Out

The process of boxing out an opposing player is pretty easy, but boxing someone out well is a completely different story. 

What Is A Box Out In Basketball

You are required to get a proper position so that you can effectively block the opposing player whom you are guarding against getting a rebound. Only putting your body in front or into them or aimlessly turning around at the time of a shot would not get the job done.

For doing an accurate and solid box out, first, you are required to position yourself in between the person you are on and the net. Once you notice the shot going up, you will have to move, so the opposing player can’t get by you to the basket. 

From that point, stock your legs and back into their torso to prevent them from moving.

After making contact, you will need to get your hips low while keeping your feet wide apart. This guarding position will make sure the opponent would not be able to push through you or slip from the side. 

Then, you have to move both of your arms out to the sides, which will give you more control. 

Now, you have to keep your eye on the ball. It is one of the crucial parts of boxing out that frequently gets overlooked. You have to track where the shot might end up, and do not let the opposing player get in that place before you. 

If you are able to successfully keep in contact, you should be the one who gets there first.

On that matter, it is also vital to keep the opponent on your body. It is very easy to get overly excited and run for a rebound, but disengaging with the opposing player whom you are guarding will allow them to move around freely. A good box out requires you to keep them with you all the time.

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When To Use Boxing Out In Basketball

Rebounding in basketball is a significantly essential skill for learning on each end of the court – means whether you are playing offense or defense. The offensive players can beat out the defensive players along with attaining possession of a shot missed by a teammate. 

In case a power forward or some other post player gets the offensive rebound, they may gain a second shot opportunity or an easy layup. 

These second-chance possessions can pay dividends all through the game, and the team that will have more offensive rebounds will definitely have a distinct advantage in scoring.

At every level of play between the NBA and high school, the shooters are more likely to maximize the percentages of their three-pointer field goals on an exponential level. 

What Is A Box Out In Basketball

For combating this high accuracy of shooting, the defensive players are required to close out and oppose the perimeter shot. 

A defender should have the ability to transition from a close-out to a box-out move for sealing off the shooter from having access to the ball on a long rebound. A strong defensive rebound is helpful in limiting the second chance possessions for the opponents and allowing the defensive team to score in a fast-break transition. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the correct way to box out in basketball?

Here is the correct way to box out in basketball – 

  • Choose a player for boxing out. In the case of man-to-man defense, this is generally the person you are guarding, and in the case of the zone, it can be the closest person to you. 
  • Get as close as possible to the basket without being too far underneath where there are no chances of a rebound falling towards you.
  • Face the basket directly in front of the opposing player whom you are boxing out.
  • Utilize your butt for distancing yourself from the opposing player. This is a vital step, as blocking the other player from getting well-positioned guarantees success, more or less.
  • Spread your arms out on both sides and wave them up and down, to prevent the opposing player from reaching through.
  • Block or prevent the opposing player from moving towards the net.
  • Once you see the ball in the air coming at you, move into the proper position and grab it.

2. Why is it called boxing out?

Boxing out refers to the protective rebounding position a player takes around the hoop for blocking an opposing player. 

Many people think you are required to be tall or jump high for being a good rebounder, however, in fact, some of the best rebounders are the smallest players who are able to position themselves effectively prior to the rebounding happening. This skill is called boxing out.

3. How do I counter a box out in basketball?

Here are 5 offensive rebounding strategies that you can use to counter a box out – 

  • Wait and pounce

As the defender (an opposing player) will run to box out you (the offensive player), you will have to wait and force the defender to come to you. 

Rather than trying to make an instant move of the release of the shot, you will have to delay. 

Then, as the opposing player will be still occupied with trying to push you back, you will have to monitor the rebound and pounce on it. 

  • Bulldoze

As the shot goes up, you (the offensive player) will have to get low and drive the defender (the opposing player) underneath the rim.

  • Swim move

As the defender (the opposing player) will be attempting to make contact on the box out, you (the offensive player) will have to simultaneously slide to the side and use your arms for sweeping the defender out of the lane.

  • Drive the shoulder

This is a hybrid of the bulldoze and swim move. It needs you (the offensive player) to attack one of the opposing player’s shoulders at an angle. 

  • Fake retreat

You (the offensive player) will have to retreat back on defense for a moment. Once the opposing player (the defender) turns back around for locating the ball, you will attack the boards.

The defender (the opposing player) will assume that you are out of the play, so you will have a free lane for crashing the glass.

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