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Zone defense is a type of defense, used in team sports, which is the alternative to man-to-man defense; instead of each player guarding a corresponding player on the other team, each defensive player is given an area (a zone) to cover.
A zone defense can be used in many sports where defensive players guard players on the other team. Zone defenses and zone principles are commonly used in basketball, American football, association football, ice hockey, lacrosse, Australian rules football, netball and ultimate among others.
The names given to zone defenses start with the number of players on the front of the zone (farthest from the goal) followed by the numbers of players in the rear zones. For example, in a 2–3 zone two defenders cover areas in the top of the zone (near the top of the key) while three defenders cover areas near the baseline.
Match-up zone is a hybrid man-to-man and zone defense in which players apply man-to-man defense to whichever opposing player enters their area. John Chaney, former head coach of Temple University, is the most famous proponent of this defense.Hybrid defenses also include Box-and-one, in which four defenders are in a 2–2 zone and one defender guards a specific player on the offense. A variant of this is triangle-and-two, in which three defenders are in a 2–1 zone and two defenders guard two specific offensive players.
Zone defenses are common in international, college, and youth competition. In the National Basketball Association, zone defenses were prohibited until the 2001–2002 season, and most teams do not use them as a primary defensive strategy. The NBA has a defensive three-second violation rule, which makes it more difficult for teams to play zone, since such defenses usually position a player in the middle of the key to stop penetration.The Dallas Mavericks under coach Rick Carlisle are an example of an NBA team that have regularly used zone defenses.
Frank Lindley, Newton, KS High School basketball coach from 1914 to 1945, was among the first to use the zone defense and other innovations in the game and authored numerous books about basketball. He finished his career with a record of 594–118 and guided the Railroaders to ten state titles and seven second-place finishes. Jim Boeheim, coach of the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team, is famous for using a 2–3 zone that is among the best in the NCAA. His zone, which typically features athletic, disruptive, and aggressive defenders, has become a prototype for use on other teams including the United States men's national basketball team, where he has spent time as an assistant coach.
Some of the reasons for using a zone defense are:
Playing a zone entails some risks.
While strategies for countering zone defenses vary and often depend on the strengths and weaknesses of both the offensive and defensive teams, there are some general principles that are typically used by offensive teams when facing a zone.
A zone defense in American football is a type of "pass coverage". See American football defensive strategy and zone blocking.
The zone defence tactic, borrowed from basketball, was introduced into Australian football in the late 1980s by Robert Walls and revolutionized the game. It was used most effectively by Essendon Football Club coach Kevin Sheedy.
The tactic is used from the fullback kick in after a behind is scored. The side in opposition to the player kicking in places their forward players, including their full-forward and centre half forward, in evenly spaced zones in the back 50-metre arc. This makes it easier for them to block leading players and forces the kick-in to be more precise, in effect increasing the margin for error which can cause a turnover and another shot at goal. As a result, the best ways to break the zone are for the full-back to bomb it long (over 50 meters), often requiring a low percentage torpedo punt, or to play a short chipping game out of defence and then to switch play as opposition players break the zone. The latter has negated the effectiveness of the tactic since the 1990s.
Another kick-in technique is the huddle , often used before the zone, which involves all of the players from the non-kicking team huddling together and then breaking in different directions. The kicker typically aims in whichever direction the designated target (typically the ruckman) runs in.
In ice hockey, players defend zones in the neutral zone trap and left wing lock.
In lacrosse, a zone defense is not as often as the normal man defense. It has been used effectively at the D-III level by schools such as Wesleyan University. They almost always use a 6-man “backer” zone, where they have three guys up top and three guys down low and they try to stay in their zone and not rotate as much as possible.When teams are man down, many teams employ a “box and one” zone defense, where the four outside players stay in their designated zone while the fifth player follows the ball while staying on the crease man.
Netball is a sport similar to basketball with similar strategies and tactics employed, although with seven players per team. Zone defense is one of the main defensive strategies employed by teams, along with one-on-one defense. Common variants include center-court block, box-and-two zone, diamond-and-two zone, box-out zone and split-circle zone.
Ultimate allows for a number of zone defence tactics, usually employed in poor (such as windy, rainy or snowy) conditions, to discourage long passes and slow the progress of the opposition's movement.
Basketball, colloquially referred to as hoops, is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one, two or three one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
There are various individual skills and team tactics needed to play effective association football. Football is in theory a very simple game, as illustrated by Kevin Keegan's famous assertion that his tactics for winning a match were to "score more goals than the opposition". However, well-organised and well-prepared teams are often seen beating teams with supposedly more skillful players, even over time. Coaching manuals and books generally cover not only individual skills but tactics as well. Some of the tactics include using a 4-4-2 formation which is often regarded as the standard formation, a formation of 5-4-1 which is more defensive and a 4-3-3 formation which allows for more attacking play.
Strategy forms a major part of American football. Both teams plan many aspects of their plays (offense) and response to plays (defense), such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, and the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent in order to win the game.
The pick and roll in basketball is an offensive play in which a player sets a screen (pick) for a teammate handling the ball and then moves toward the basket (rolls) to receive a pass. In the NBA, the play came into vogue in the 1990s and has developed into the league's most common offensive action. There are however many ways in which the defense can also counter the offensive screen.
Man-to-man defense is a type of defensive tactic used in team sports such as American football, association football, basketball, and netball, in which each player is assigned to defend and follow the movements of a single player on offense. Often, a player guards his counterpart, but a player may be assigned to guard a different position. However, the strategy is not rigid, and a player might switch assignment if needed, or leave his own assignment for a moment to double team an offensive player. The term is commonly used in both men's and women's sports, though the gender-neutral 'player-to-player' also has some usage. The alternative to man-to-man defense is zone defense, a system of defense in which each player guards an assigned area rather than a specified opponent.
Basketball moves are generally individual actions used by players in basketball to pass by defenders to gain access to the basket or to get a clean pass to a teammate to score a two pointer or three pointer.
Fast break is an offensive strategy in basketball and handball. In a fast break, a team attempts to move the ball up court and into scoring position as quickly as possible, so that the defense is outnumbered and does not have time to set up. The various styles of the fast break–derivative of the original created by Frank Keaney–are seen as the best method of providing action and quick scores. A fast break may result from cherry picking.
This glossary of basketball terms is a list of definitions of terms used in the game of basketball. Like any other major sport, basketball features its own extensive vocabulary of unique words and phrases used by players, coaches, sports journalists, commentators, and fans.
A full-court press is a basketball term for a defensive style in which the defense applies pressure to the offensive team the entire length of the court before and after the inbound pass. Pressure may be applied man-to-man, or via a zone press using a zone defense. Some presses attempt to deny the initial inbounds pass and trap ball handlers either in the backcourt or at midcourt.
The following terms are used in water polo. Rules below reflect the latest FINA Water Polo Rules.
A basketball playbook, like any sports playbook, involves compilation of strategies the team would like to use during games. The playbook starts as a canvas picture of the basketball court with all its boundaries and lines. On top of that, the playmaker can draw O's for players on offense, and X's for players on defense. Specifically however, the playmaker will need to number them for different positions. They are:
The dribble drive motion is an offensive strategy in basketball, developed by former Pepperdine head coach Vance Walberg during his time as a California high school coach and at Fresno City College.
The game of lacrosse is played using a combination of offensive and defensive strategies. Offensively, the objective of the game is to score by shooting the ball into an opponent's goal, using the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball. Defensively, the objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact or positioning.
The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.
The 1–3–1 defense and offense is a popular strategy used in basketball.
The 2–3 zone defense is a defensive strategy used in basketball as an alternative to man-to-man defense. It is referred to as the 2–3 because of its formation on the court, which consists of two players at the front of the defense and three players behind.
Line defense is a strategy used in basketball. It is referred to as the "line defense" because of its formation on the court, which consists of two lines of defense. Three players at the front of the defense and two players behind. The line was the first zone concept to be used in basketball. The line defense was developed to counter the fast break plays that were being developed, and adopted, at the time. The line defense was the catalyst of the future 3-2 zone defense.
The amoeba defense is a defensive strategy in the game of basketball.
Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.
Wheel offense is an offensive strategy in basketball, developed in the late 1950s by Garland F. Pinholster at the Oglethorpe University. It is a kind of continuity offense in which players move around in a circular pattern to create good scoring opportunities. The wheel offense is a popular offensive play, frequently used by teams from middle school to college levels because it can effectively work against any defense, including zone defense and man-to-man defense.