Basketball Is A Big Game Of Competitive #5S

Posted on July 2, 2013 | in 5S, Basketball, Lean Tools, Sports | by
michael jordan

Michael Jordan applies “a place for everything and everything in its place” with this basketball.

If you’ll recall, 5S is a workspace organizational tool that maintains a standard level of cleanliness, material availability, and consistency between workspace users. The 5S tools are:

Sort: Keeping just what is needed in the workspace and removing what is not needed
Set-In-Order: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Everything kept in the workspace has a designated location for storage while also keeping it within easy access of the work being done
Shine: Maintaining a standard level of clean that maximizes functionality and usefulness of the space
Standardize: Everyone following the first three phases the same way every time
Sustain: Following the standardized method of using the first three phases long enough that using 5S overall is engrained in the culture

Did you know basketball is a big game of competitive 5S? Here’s how!


– There are only ten people allowed on the court during play at any time, five players from each team. If teams use referees, then they’re allowed as long as they are out of the way and not interfering with progress of play.

– You’re only using one basketball during play. More than one, and chaos ensues.

– Coaches aren’t really allowed to step on the court during play. If they do, they might receive a technical foul.


– The objective of the game is to put the basketball into the cylinder over and over, a cylinder that is very small relative to the size of the court. The more a team puts the ball where it belongs, the better their chances of winning the game.

– If a player with the ball steps outside the boundary lines, it’s a turnover. If a player loses the ball outside the boundary lines, it’s also a turnover.

– During free throws, there are designated locations outside the free throw lane for players to stand.


– If the court or hoops/backboards ever become messy and unusable, measures are taken to rectify the issue so that standard playing conditions are maintained.

 Most players try to keep the court cleanliness and playability maximized. There are some exceptions.



bobby knight chair throw


– The basketball court the Utah Jazz use has the exact same dimensions as the court the Chicago Bulls use – free throw lane, three-point lines, boundary lines are all the same.

chicago bulls united center basketball court

– The objective of each player and each team is the same for every play and every game – put the ball in the cylinder as often as possible and try to keep the opponent from doing so themselves.


– Teams that more consistently put the ball in the cylinder than their opponents will win more games, and the more games a team wins the greater the chances they’ll win their league title and championship.

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One Response to “Basketball Is A Big Game Of Competitive #5S”

  1. Mark Graban says:

    A basketball court is a great example of something that’s standard-IZED but not identical. The things that matter are identical (dimensions, etc.) but there’s leeway for the design, graphics, etc. Too many people, in a process or workplace context, think standardized has to mean “completely identical” so they get freaked out unnecessarily.

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