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a player in team sports (soccer, hockey, handball, water polo, basketball, volleyball) whose basic task is to stave off the opponents’ attack.
In soccer, hockey, and other games involving the use of goalposts, the defenseman guards the approach to the goal; in basketball he blocks shots at the hoop; in volleyball he handles balls sent by the opponent. During a game the task of the defense periodically might be executed by players of other positions as well, including forwards, halfbacks, goalkeepers (infrequently), centers (in basketball), and setups (in volleyball). In addition to his basic task, the defense also organizes the attack (most often irf its initial stage, but sometimes later on). There are several basic methods of play for the defense, including zone defense, man-to-man defense, mobile defense, and press.