3.1 Understanding diagrams in this book

The following symbols are used in the diagrams in this book:


Coaches often need to be actively involved in practice sessions, for example as a passer or defender.

Cone or Marker

This is placed on the court to designate a spot on the floor. It may identify a reduced area on the court for an activity or it may signify where an athlete should be.

Hand Off

A player runs past a teammate that has the ball and is given the ball. They run close to their teammate and the teammate holds the ball with one hand on top and one hand on the bottom. This makes it easier for the teammate to grab the ball.

Defensive Player

The defensive player is numbered to show both who they are defending (Player 1) and also their position:

  1. Point Guard
  2. Shooting / Off Guard
  3. Small Forward
  4. Power Forward
  5. Centre

A defensive player may be shown on an angle, to represent a direction they face.

In the example shown, the defender is facing the left hand side of the page.


A number usually signifies an offensive player and again, the number may indicate position. In some activities however, the number may simply designate a sequence for players to be involved in.


The dotted line shows the path of a pass, here from Player 1 to Player 2.
It is also used to designate a shot, when pointing to the basket.

Player Dribbling

The path of a player dribbling is shown by a zig-zag line.

Player Moving

The path of a player moving on the court is shown by an arrow.

Player with the Ball

A player with the ball is shown either as a circled number or by the use of a small dot next to the player.

This is also used if, for example, a coach has a ball.

Screen / Block Out / double-team

A screen is shown by a vertical line at the end of a horizontal line. The horizontal line shows the path that the player setting the screen moves along on the court.

Also used to show a defender “blocking out” an offensive player in a rebounding contest.

Finally, it is used to show defensive players that are double teaming or “Trapping” a player with the ball.

Player’s feet

The position of a player’s feet are shown with two dots.

Movement of feet is shown with arrows and numbering.

A pivot is shown as only one foot moving.