100 LEVEL:
The player has very little command of shooting or ballhandling form, and should focus on related drills. This player is not suited for advanced team play.

200 LEVEL:

The player requires more floor game work within a team and one-on-one atmosphere. The player lacks comfort handling ball with head up seeing floor, requires more controlled and relaxed, consistent shooting form, and the ability to anticipate or feint defenders. Passes are telegraphed. On defense, relies more on hands than footwork, uncommunicative, and susceptible to fakes.

300 LEVEL:

The player is developing a sense of creating space to shoot, and working on adjusting form to distance. Able to work without ball for uncontested shots against and among players on similar levels. Growing familiarity with positioning for defense on ball, and boxing out prospective rebounders. Well suited for pickup games, introductory level tournaments and charity games.

Possible shortcomings: scoring with off hand when contested; quickness and fluidity of shooting release, inconsistent ballhandling in transition; limited decision making ability as a contested passer.

400 LEVEL:

The player is fairly consistent shooting medium range contested shots, though not as comfortable adjusting shot angle, ball height, or changing hands on contested drives at basket, depth, pace or altering distance of shots. In strong two-on-two tournament field would be second option.

Possible shortcomings: change of pace dribble not yet “natural”; challenged guarding ambidextrous drivers; sometimes hesitant in scoring position under the goal.

500 LEVEL:

The player has increased comfort with long, medium, and inside shots, including hard drives with the off hand. Still not very smooth ball faking or jab stepping to create space for shots in five-on-five situations. Needs more confidence to coordinate footwork and head fakes into sync with wide variety of shots from range of distances and angles. More comfortable driving with dominant hand, and passing with both hands than off dribble. On defense, must master reading screens, switching, and anticipating angle of rebounds.

Possible shortcomings or strengths: Here is the level from which it may be determined the ultimate upside and ceiling of a ballplayer. 500 players seeking to develop further, must incorporate aspects of spacing, observation of tempo, and anticipating opponents’ moves into their games. This is where the cerebral acumen of the player begins to distinguish itself, or does not.

600 LEVEL:

The player has command of a wide range of outside, inside, and medium range shots from a set position, a catch, a contested catch, or off a dribble. The player understands the effect of backspin and rotation on their shots, and shots for potential rebounding.
The player forces turnovers via anticipation, baiting the offensive player, observation of tendencies, or playing passing lanes. May turn basketball over if double teamed or trapped, or if not anticipating same. Sets, and uses screens effectively.

Possible strengths: few mental errors; second shot opportunities, passes well in both transition and half-court.

700 LEVEL:

700 players has control of the ball with either hand in transition and against pressure, has strong footwork demonstrated in change of direction, stutter steps, and spin moves. Has also learned to exploit own strengths, and based on opposition, minimize impact of shortcomings. Open twenty footer from distance is dependable, and still reliable if contested. Does not have the touch or muscle memory to be consistent with shots when altering body position, or when jostled. Energetic defender, including switches.

Possible strengths: can affect game away from ball on offense or defense; cognizant of and able to cover own weaknesses; is an opponent for whom teams must plan.

800 LEVEL:

The player has commanding shooting touch on which their teammates can depend. Is also skilled dribbling and creating offense against pressure, traps, and zones. Player is able to score on reverses, off spins, jumpshoot out of a crossover, one hard dribble jumper, two hard dribble jumper when contested, and free self from defenders with head, ball feints, or feet.
Possible strengths: Strong offensive decision maker, adept team defender in individual or zone sets, skilled passer off dribble, on break, and with either hand. Judges passing angles well.

900 LEVEL:

The player demands defensive attention anywhere beyond half court, as a ballhandler or eventual shooter. Player recognizes teammates, opposition, and floor well enough to largely dictate outcomes during many possessions.

Possible strengths: can hit offensively at any time; can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive situations;  can be depended to score after missed baskets or rebounds under duress.


A 1000 player generally has extensive experience at a level beyond secondary school play (e.g. higher education, military, semiprofessional, international or organized summer), or has obtained a national player ranking in their country. Many 1000’s, in their physical prime, are world class players.

(Developed by Bijan C. Bayne)

Bayne In The N.Y. Times: Should Pete Rose, Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens Be Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Here my latest for the N.Y. Times- whether Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens should be admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: