The 5-Out Motion Offense: Overview and Key Rules

The 5-Out Motion Offense is a unique system that has proven to be extremely effective for longtime Villanova head women’s basketball coach Harry Perretta. The versatile offense revolves around a number system that specifies particular actions to be made by the players. This “No Mistake” offense also allows teams to play loose yet aggressively, plus gives them the ability to easily spread the floor and put control in the hands of players.

In this week’s team development feature, you’ll learn basic sets of the offense, key rules, strategies, and options within the system. See what you can pick up and then start immediately implementing with your own squad.

5-Out Motion Offense: Brief Overview

The 5-Out Motion Offense involves five people leaving and filling spots through typical basketball cuts and movements. Each one of the specific cuts is numbered. For instance, 1 is a basket cut, 2 is a curl cut, 3 is a backdoor, 4 is a slip, 5 is a back screen flare, 6 is a pick and roll, and 7 is a handoff.

The object of the numbers is to communicate with the players what you want them to do without having to call a timeout or stopping the flow of the game. Villanova is big on continuous play, so the less the team can prevent stoppages, the more confusion the they can cause for the defense. By using the numbers, Coach Perretta can also say, “start using more 2’s, or mix in some more 3’s.” You can also play where you use a combination of numbers within a possession.

The basic set of the offense is a 1-2-2. It’s important that you keep the court as spread out as possible. Additionally, you’re looking to get more drives out of this offense and get defenders running at you, so keep the lane open. Also, get drives even though you may not be quicker than opponents to force defenders to have to run at you.


Remember, there are no mistakes in this offense. If you make a technical mistake, you just have to fill one of the spots. Once you fill all of the spots, you just continue play from there.

As for the basics, let’s start with the point guard passing to the wing and making a 1 cut or basket cut. The elbow player fills the spot. Next, the player with the ball passes to either one of her nearest teammates. If we are still doing 1 cuts, the players keep making 1 cuts and players continue to fill the spots.

If you make a wing pass and then screen opposite, you’ll want to make a curl cut. So as the screen comes, the opposite player makes a curl cut around the screener. Then we replace.

Rules for the 5-Out Offense

As we are running this, any time the ball gets passed up top, the direction that the ball came from is referred to as the strong side. So we tell players up top to often look back to the strong side (the action seems to work better). Meanwhile, the players on the weak side should delay. Next on the strong side, there’s a screen down by the wing player to the corner player. The corner player makes a 2 cut. If this isn’t open, we can then look back to the weakside because of their delay and we get a chance to go both sides.


All the while, you can play two different ways within the offense. The first is that the players are allowed to play options, where they can play and pass the ball using whatever number they want.

The other way is that you can play where the coach calls out a sequence of numbers, especially if he/she notices that the opposition is trailing on all screens. So the coach may say “do all 2’s” or may say “go with 25”.

With 25, you’ll start by doing the first number twice. Now the kids know that 2 is the first number, so start the top kids a little tighter and the bottom players a little wider for better screening angles. Next, the top players come and screen down and the first move is 2. They curl and replace and hit someone with the pass.

The second time around we do another 2. Now look back to the strong side and then the weakside delay. Now you should move to the second number which is a 5 or flare screen.

Tip: Teach your kids to set opponents up on screens. Also, have the players call out the numbers to each other.

Offensive Keys & Slips

Look to use the numbers 1-5 together, and 6 and 7 as separate. Villanova uses any sequence of 1 to 5. Coach Perretta likes how in the flow of the game, he can change things up without disrupting the action. In this case, Coach will run through “15” quickly to show you it looks and keeps the flow together. Check it out in the video below:


Note: You can use a 4 (slip move) any time you want aside from when curling or backdooring (or else you will run into each other). If you do 4 but there’s nothing open, simple fill the spot, pass, and get the ball up top. The 5 play can also lead to a lot of slips.

The previous clips can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “The Unstoppable, ‘No Mistake’ 5-Out Motion Offense.” To check out more videos featuring set plays and specific systems, simply visit our basketball DVD library


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