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What do people think about defences 'zoning'?

Hi, what do people think about defences "zoning" - keeping their attacking player (GA or GS) out of the circle?

I notice not many teams use this strategy. Thank you.


i guess its a dying art.  even in the top leagues.  i think its more about zoning to keep your player from getting a better position than staying out of the circle.  but i too have noticed not many doing it.  

Interesting question! Like Leanne, I have noticed that not many people use it these days. My daughter who is 15 has started it as one of her coaches likes it for certain players. She plays GK mostly and isn't overly tall so she lets her player go out of the ring and then stops her from getting back in. It is very effective in this case as her shooters often have to shoot from quite a distance rather than under the post.

I agree with Allie. It's very effective if you are a defender who is not very tall. I tell my girls that if the shooter goes out of the circle, not to let her back in! It does frustrate some shooters who haven't come across it before & haven't learnt how to dodge properly.

I also tell my WD to zone the the WA out as well. By stopping the WA from running towards the goal third the WD is limiting passing options by taking the WA out of the game. This means the attacking C has to work extra hard to feed the ball to the shooters. I'm not keen on double zoning the GS as it leaves the GA free & most GA's can still shoot really well.

Hope this helps with your question.

Depends on the level of competition.  I'm not a fan of blocking a player out of the circle as skilled goalie can general work around a block and defence is left following the drive in.  Also partner goalie can set a screen on blocker to protect space behind for drive in and defenders need to be able to work very well together to see it coming and switch.  Prefer defenders to limit goalie's space and keep watching passer ready to intercept, contest, force errors etc.  Defending is all about creating opportunities to turnover ball especially in goals and the ball has to be passed for a turnover to happen however blocking can slow the progress of the attack down somewhat.

As a old school defender myself, I'm a big fan of 'zoning' as a coach. If a goalie goes out of the goal ring why would you make it easy for her to get back in? She can't shoot any goals out there! I'm trying (with moderate success) to drill this into my girls. It especially works if you have a dominant goalie who likes to get back to under the ring to shoot. If the mid court can't implement their usual pass to the goalie because she's still trying to work her way in, they are prone to making mistakes which can result in turn overs. Like anything else, if it isn't working, go to plan B.

I agree with Jemille. As a defender myself Im mindful of using any strategies that we can to restrict the attackers movement up court. I particularly like the centre dropping off her player at the last minute to set up a zone on the GA (especially if she is the dominant shooter) and restrict/slow her drive back into the circle.  Often this results in a contact call against the GA as they are not ready for it and go straight through the C, knocking her offside.  Either that or a"held ball" penalty as the team cracks under the pressure as their players are not where they had expected them to be, and they don't re-adjust in time.

Also agree with Jemille,we played a side where the g.a. was just running into circle  with our g.d. tailing after her. at the break , our g.d positioned out of circle blocked g.a. their system down the court not nearly as sure and we were able to get back into the contest.

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