Space Creation Dynamics in Basketball Small-Sided Games

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Space creation dynamics (SCDs) describe actions players perform to create a scoring opportunity. This study compared SCDs and types of offense during three different three versus three (3vs.3) basketball small-sided games (SSGs) played in half court: 3vs.3 with man-to-man defense in half playing area (3vs.3HALF), 3vs.3 with man-to-man defense in full playing area (3vs.3FULL), and 3vs.3 with reduced shot clock (3vs.3RT). We also investigated the efficacy of SCDs in all SSGs and the reliability of SCDs in 3vs.3HALF. While the efficacy of SCDs did not differ among these SSGs, 3vs.3RT presented significantly more “space creation with ball dribbled” and “shot clock violations,” and less “on ball screens.” 3vs.3FULL presented no differences in the SCDs and types of offense compared with 3vs.3HALF. Reliability within 3vs.3HALF was higher for “space creation with ball dribbled,” “space creation without the ball,” “set offenses,” “fast breaks,” and “loss of ball during passing or dribbling.” We concluded that 3vs.3 basketball SSGs with different rules can be used for training different tactical behaviors important to formal games, especially since the 3vs.3HALF presented good reliability for many variables related to tactical behavior.

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