impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
"block an attack"
draw someone's attention away from something
"The thief distracted the bystanders"
"He deflected his competitors"
turn aside and away from an initial or intended course
turn from a straight course, fixed direction, or line of interest
- turn away
prevent the occurrence of
prevent from happening
"Let's avoid a confrontation"
"head off a confrontation"
"avert a strike"
- head off - stave off - fend off - ward off