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Zone Defence / Zoning

Hi,I coach an U17 - Div 2 team, very strong team of girls.I want to introduce zone defence into our play. Can anyone please recommend some drills, or explain how zoning works or any advise or layouts would be great.Thanks!

Hi Bethany,

Zoning can be a very popular and successful method of defence if executed correctly. The way zoning works is instead of each player marking their own opponent (man to man marking) you essentially mark the space. This therefore makes it difficult for the opposition to see the space available and is more likely to force a held ball or unforced error.

In the diagram attached you can see a diamond zoning defence has been set up. Once the ball has been passed to the WD the defending players (GS, GA, WA and C) have dropped back to form a zoning defence. As you can see they are not marking their individual players, but instead the space. Therefore if for example the GD tries to cut through the zone, the GD and GA can close them down. Likewise, if the attacking C tries to drive forward they will be closed down by the WA and C (if they went left). 

You can set up a zone at any time on court, however for it to be effective each player must be committed to the zone and have strong communication. 

NOTE: You are unlikely to use the zone defence when defending within the circle - a man-to-man approach is more likely to be successful here. 

Hope this helps. 

Diamond - backline zone

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  • or access our tried and tested plans