zone defense


Definition of zone defense 

: a system of defense (as in basketball or football) in which each player guards an assigned area rather than a specified opponent

Examples of zone defense in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Smaller basketballs, lower rims, no zone defense and no three-point scoring for players 11 years old and younger. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA, USA Basketball recommend no three-pointers for players 11-and-under," 20 Mar. 2018 Smothered by Syracuse's zone defense and perhaps strangled by its own lofty expectations and stacked roster of talent, Michigan State once again came up short in the NCAA tournament. Michael Rosenberg,, "Michigan State Had the Draft-Worthy Talent, But its Loss to Syracuse Proved it Lacked Experience," 18 Mar. 2018 The Musketeers were 11 of 17 from distance • Chris Mack's deployment of the zone defense could prove key. Patrick Brennan,, "Florida State again blocking No. 1 Xavier basketball's path to NCAA Tournament Sweet 16," 17 Mar. 2018 Duke found a way to crack Syracuse's zone defense, and now the Blue Devils are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since the 2015 team won it all. Nathan Fenno,, "Texas Tech pulls away from Purdue in the final minutes to reach its first Elite Eight," 24 Mar. 2018 Louisville may incorporate more zone defense, too, but Padgett said that evaluation is ongoing. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Lineup adjustments may be in store for Louisville basketball after losses," 7 Feb. 2018 The Cougars also have had success against a zone defense similar to Auburn’s this season, as Pearl noted this week. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "2018 March Madness schedule: Friday's NCAA tournament times, TV guide, info," 16 Mar. 2018 Carter hauled in nearly a quarter of Duke's opponent's misses while still managing to block roughly eight percent of opponents' shot attempts, which is impressive considering the Blue Devils spent much of 2018 in a zone defense. Matthew Giles,, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 2018 Quarterback Nick Foles hit Agholor early on with a seam pass against a zone defense. Jeff Mclane,, "Eagles practice observations: Sidney Jones held back with 'soreness;' Carson Wentz dials it up; Darren Sproles takes mental reps," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zone defense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zone defense

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for zone defense

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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The first known use of zone defense was in 1927

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zone defense


English Language Learners Definition of zone defense

sports : a way of playing defense in football, basketball, etc., by having each player on a team guard a certain area of the field or court

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