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

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 The Blue Devils are excellent offensively and have found a defensive identity ever since switching to a primary zone defense in the last month and a half. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Quick scout: A conflicted prediction for KU's Elite Eight game vs. Duke | The Kansas City Star," 25 Mar. 2018 Duke coach Mike Kryzyzewski employed a lot of zone defense last season, which would have been unthinkable for him 20 years ago. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Duke's Grayson Allen has plan to keep key question from NBA execs from tripping him up | Charlotte Observer," 17 May 2018 Both teams played a gritty, collapsing zone defense and Faith held Little to four points in the first half. Bill Gronvold,, "OCP tops Faith, Bishop Moore edges Eustis, Blakeney torches G-League | Basketball," 24 Jan. 2018 Self is right in this instance: The zone defense was a curveball. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Here's the 'fool's gold' for this KU basketball team | The Kansas City Star," 1 Feb. 2018 So is the zone defense a safety net or does Kentucky's staff view it as a long-term option that will continue to be employed this season? Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Three questions facing UK basketball going into matchup against Texas A&M," 8 Jan. 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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Last Updated

9 Oct 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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