What Is An Up And Down In Basketball? How To Utilize This Winning Strategy

three men playing basketball


What Is an Up and Down in Basketball?

In basketball, there are a variety of terms and phrases used to describe the game. One term that is often heard but not always understood by newcomers to the sport is “up and down.” This phrase can mean different things depending on context, so we’ll take a look at what it means in basketball.

The Basics of an Up and Down

An up and down is when one team has possession of the ball for a sustained period of time. This usually occurs during an offensive play when the ball handler holds onto the ball while their teammates move around them looking for open shots or lanes to drive through. During this time, both teams will be trying to gain position on each other as they anticipate where passes will be made or shots taken from.

When Are Up and Downs Used?

Up and downs are most commonly seen in half-court situations such as pick-and-rolls or isolation plays where one player holds onto the ball until they find an open teammate or spot up for a shot themselves. They can also occur in full court situations such as fast breaks when one team takes control of possession quickly after gaining control over defensive rebounds or steals from their opponents.


Overall, understanding what “up and down” means in basketball is important for anyone wishing to become more familiar with how teams strategize against each other during games. It refers primarily to sustained possessions by one team during either half-court or full court scenarios which involve players looking out for open spots on the court while maintaining tight defense against opposing teams who seek to stop them from scoring points throughout plays