Block (sport)

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A block is an action in various team sports that is intended to prevent the opponent from successfully completing a game action.


There are two types of blocks in basketball . A block in defense (also called shot block ) is when a defender prevents the attacking team from throwing a goal by blocking or hitting the thrown ball in the air with his hands. However, this is only allowed as long as the ball still has an ascending trajectory.

When blocking in the attack (also called screen or pick ), the player in possession of the ball is separated from his direct opponent in that another player from the attacking team stands in the defensive path and blocks the defender away so that the player in possession of the ball can pass. This type of block is part of the pick and roll move that is often used in basketball .


Defense with three blocks.

In volleyball , one speaks of a block when players of the defending team touch the approaching ball over the edge of the net. As with any other action on the network, the network must not be touched. After the number of players involved, a distinction is On the one or single , twin or double and triple block , the latter two groups block are called.

A touch, even multiple touches, also by several players in the course of a block action does not count as touch, which means that the defending team has the usual three touches available afterwards. The next touch after a block may also be made by a player who touched the ball immediately before during the block action.

Only players in front, i.e. players in positions 2, 3 and 4, are allowed to execute a block. The player in position 3 is usually called the middle blocker , is usually tall and can jump, which gives him advantages in the block game.

If the ball does not touch any of the blocking players, one speaks of a blocking attempt . The Libero may not take part in a block attempt or in an executed block.

Blocking is only allowed after an attacking stroke, i.e. when the trajectory of the ball is directed towards the half of the field of the defending team. In particular, this means that a pass must not be blocked and the ball must not be touched before or at the same time as the attack hit. A serve may also not be blocked.

A viewing block is not an actual block, in the sense of an action by the defending team near the net, but the unauthorized attempt to take away the opponent's view of his own server and his serve. One speaks of an individual vision block when one or more players swing their arms, jump or move sideways during their own serve. One speaks of a group viewing block when several players stand close together in order to hide the view of the accepting team. “Close to each other” does not only mean when the players are standing at the same level, but also when they line up one behind the other and slightly offset from one another.

beach volleyball

Single block.

In beach volleyball , a block, or a block attempt, is usually only performed by one of the two players. In principle, it can be carried out by both players. It differs from volleyball in that a touch when blocking also counts as a touch, so that the defending team only has two touches left.

A viewing block ("screening") is not permitted in beach volleyball either, but is not automatically counted as a mistake there. However, the players of the receiving team can ask the players of the serving team to clear the view of the server and his service. These then have to change their position to the side.


With fistball , the block is often used as a defense technique when playing in the hall, because there, in contrast to playing outdoors (sports field), the pass can be played particularly precisely near the line delimiting the field. Often the run next to the playing field is narrowly limited by the walls. If the player manages to put the ball exactly over the line during the pass, the batsman can hit it against the wall at the feet of the opposing attacker with a bounce ball. The only antidote to these attack balls is the block. Here, a player of the defending team tries to reach the ball placed on the line with his arm or fist at the same time or before the attacking player and thus to prevent the bounce ball.

Since the blocking player is missing in the defense chain, the remaining four-man defense bar is pulled apart. The blocking batsman can also decide at the last second to return to the defense because he sees that the opposing ball was badly passed. For his four team-mates, this means that they can go into the old defensive position within seconds. This includes a strong understanding of the game and good coordination within the team.

American football

In American football , one speaks of a block when a player blocks the path of an opponent with his body. Special forms are clipping (below the belt) and the illegal chop block by two players.


In foosball , one speaks of a block when the defending figure prevents a direct shot straight ahead.

Martial arts

In various martial arts one speaks of a block when an action by the opponent is prevented or weakened by a defense technique. There are two different types of blocking: passive and active blocking. The passive block is the blocking of a direct line of attack, as can typically be observed with double coverage in boxing . The active block is more aggressive, it implies the redirection of opposing attacks, in that the defending body part goes directly towards the attack. A block can become very painful for the practitioner, especially when blocking a leg technique (kick) with the arms. This can even lead to bone fractures on both the defending and the attacking side, such as B. occasionally in Muay Thai . In some Chinese styles there are very aesthetic forms of blocking, and active defense is particularly important in karate and taekwondo .

Table tennis

In table tennis , the block describes a stroke technique on an attack ( topspin ) by the opponent. Here, the club is only tilted slightly forward (closed) in front of the approaching ball. Immediately after hitting his own half of the table, the player simply lets it bounce back on the opposing half of the table. The block is a defensive striking technique. The advantage lies in the very early acceptance of the incoming ball, which should put the opponent under time pressure. One of the players who mastered the block game perfectly was Wilfried Lieck .

In the last few years this technique has been modified somewhat, in that the player moves the club a little upwards at the point where the ball hits the ball and closes it a little more. This gives the ball a little forward spin, which gives this defensive shot a little more offensive character. This technique is known as spin block.


As originally the Basketball borrowed sport come in netball similar block actions used.

A basket keeper blocks a shot directly at the basket - there is no goaltending rule in basketball like in basketball.

In netball, defending players also have the option of knocking a thrown ball away with their hands or changing its trajectory so that the ball no longer leads to success in the basket. In contrast to basketball, there is no goaltending rule in netball. If she has sufficient jumping ability and height, a basket keeper who is the only player allowed to enter an area around her own basket ( basket circle ) tries to intercept or block an opponent's ball immediately before it enters the basket.

Similar to basketball, the tactic of blocking defenders' paths by an attacking player in order to allow the ball-carrying teammate to throw an unhindered throw is also used in basketball. This form of blocking is rarely used, however, as in netball the attacking team usually acts in the majority on the opposing circle and tries to gain free access to the circle primarily by means of a quick passing game against the mostly used space coverage.

See also

  • "Defense block"; the players on a team used for defense ; see example in handball .


  1. The majority results from the fact that a basket keeper usually also takes part in the attacking game around the opposing basket circle, while the defending basket keeper mostly tries to fend off throws in the basket circle or to block throws from there by approaching the attacker who is throwing.