Determinants of the effectiveness of fast break actions in elite and sub-elite Italian men's basketball games

Daniele Conte
Terence G. Favero, University of Portland
Niederhausen M.
Capranica L.
A. Tessitore


The aim of this study was to examine the determinants of successful and unsuccessful fast-break (FB) actions in elite and sub-elite basketball games. Fifteen 1st-division (elite) and fifteen 3rd-division (sub-elite) Italian men’s championship games were analysed across two seasons (2012/2013 and 2013/2014). A binary logistic regression analysis was performed, and the fast-break outcome (successful vs. unsuccessful) was adopted as the dependent variable separately in both elite and sub-elite games. FB execution (initiation, advance and completion phases), typology (primary and secondary break) and the number of players involved (equal number or superiority) were used as independent variables. The results showed that the rate of success of FB actions was 63.5% and 59.7% in elite and sub-elite games, respectively. Moreover, successful FBs were more likely to be completed in the lane in relation to unsuccessful ones in both elite and sub-elite games (p < 0.05). Finally, descriptive statistics showed that both elite and sub-elite teams executed FBs similarly. This study highlighted that completion zone was the only predictor of a successful fast break in basketball, while the typology and number of players involved did not predict fast break effectiveness. Moreover, elite and sub-elite teams executed fast break actions similarly. These findings might be useful for basketball coaches to optimize the training of FB actions.