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 For extended minutes in their 111-101 victory over the Pistons on Wednesday, the Timberwolves employed a 2-3 zone defense. Chris Hine, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves' switch to zone defense was surprisingly effective in opening victory," 25 Dec. 2020 Oakland's 1-3-1 zone defense did well to force turnovers and prevent Michigan State from making a game-breaking run early. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan State basketball flipped the switch to beat Oakland," 13 Dec. 2020 Arizona shut down the Sun Devils in the first half to lead by 16 and picked apart their zone defense with crisp passing. Chronicle News Services,, "Dons score an easy win over Long Beach State," 10 Dec. 2020 Red zone defense is one of the keys for this week against the Bears, since Chicago is New Orleans' polar opposite. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "Saints fans 'Ask Amie:' Secondary woes, red zone defense issues, receiver depth," 30 Oct. 2020 As most opponents have tried to do vs. South Alabama’s zone defense this season, William Carey stayed in the game by shooting from the perimeter and getting offensive rebounds. Creg Stephenson |, al, "South Alabama basketball holds off William Carey, 80-67," 9 Dec. 2020 Tulane flustered them by pressing full court at times and playing much more aggressively in Hunter’s trademark matchup zone defense than a year ago. G Smith,, "Hoops notebook: Tulane winning with defense while offense remains a work in progress," 4 Dec. 2020 The Hoosiers shot just 5-of-20 from deep despite getting open looks at times against the Bulldogs’ zone defense. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, "IU women's basketball finds reasons to nitpick after blowout win," 4 Dec. 2020 The Huskies jumped out to a 10-5 lead on a 3-pointer from Cole, his first points in a UConn jersey, but Central hung around, as Marshall had his team playing precise offense and a zone defense that kept the young UConn players off balance. Dom Amore,, "UConn men shake off rust, breeze past Central Connecticut 102-75 in opener," 25 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for zone defense

Time Traveler

The first known use of zone defense was in 1927

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Statistics for zone defense

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zone defense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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zone defense


English Language Learners Definition of zone defense

chiefly US, 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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