Basketball fouls and violations are an important part of the game. They help ensure that the game is fair, fun, and safe for all players. Some fouls result in free throws, while others lead to technical fouls or ejections from the game! You can find a comprehensive list of fouls and violations below.

Every basketball player needs to know what each foul means (both how it’s conceded and its repercussions). This guide will break down every foul in detail so you’ll never have to wonder again!

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What are Fouls and Violations in Basketball?

Fouls are violations that lead to players being penalized by officials. Or assessed for certain types of free throws for scoring opportunities. These fouls can be committed as shooting fouls, held ball violations, backcourt violations, kicking/kneeing/elbow/tapping violations, or goaltending/basket interference violations. They also have different penalties depending on which violation has been called.

What are the Types of Fouls in Basketball?

basketball violations

Personal Foul

A personal foul occurs when a player commits an infraction against another player. There are several different types of personal fouls, and they’re all covered in more detail below.

Examples of a Personal Foul

Contact Foul

A contact foul happens when the perpetrator’s motion causes illegal bodily harm to their opponent (i.e., blocking or pushing). For it to be considered a “contact foul”. However, the opposing team must have been at least somewhat prepared for physical contact from that particular direction. Otherwise, it would just be normal play! Contact fouls result in two free throws plus possession of the ball if successful on both attempts by each player who is fouled during one sequence; only one shot attempt can come from outside the three-point arc per foul.

Closely Guarded

This foul occurs when a player is guarded closely for five seconds or more. And the defender does not give them enough room to receive a pass. It’s pretty self explanatory. As long as both teams are aware of this rule (which should be discussed beforehand), it shouldn’t cause any issues! Closely guarded violations result in one free throw plus possession; however, if three such fouls occur on each team during the same game. No foul will be called on either side until there has been an offensive rebound by either squad (i.e., only two players from opposing sides may stand within the key).

Charging

Charging fouls happen when a player runs into their opponent after having already picked up their dribble. Or when a player takes more than ten steps after picking up their dribble. It’s important to note that the foul occurs only if the offensive player is ahead of the defensive one once they’ve both reached a stationary position. Otherwise, it would just be a normal block! Charging fouls result in two free throws for each team and possession of the ball at half-court for non-fouled players; however, these fouls are often accompanied by unsportsmanlike conduct technical fouls as well (for arguing with referees).

Reaching In

Reaching in fouls occurs. When an offensive player makes any type of movement towards his opponent with outstretched arms. While holding onto the ball or dribbling it. In other words, attempting to steal the ball! This foul is often accompanied by unsportsmanlike conduct technical fouls as well (for arguing with referees).

Blocking

Blocking fouls occur when a player makes illegal physical contact with their opponent while trying for an offensive rebound. It should be noted that this foul occurs only if there was no legitimate attempt made on the part of the defensive team to jump and block or contest any shots taken during play. Otherwise, it would just be normal defense! Block/charge violations result in two free throws plus possession at half-court; however, they’re usually followed up by “unsportsmanlike conduct” technical fouls as well (arguing with referees).

basketball violations

Technical Foul

Technical fouls are called when players or coaches break that particular game’s rules. Unlike personal fouls, technical fouls don’t count towards a player’s total number of fouls in the game – instead, they usually result in one free throw plus possession for each team at half-court (if unsuccessful on both attempts by each team during sequence). Technical foul infractions generally fall into two categories:

Unsportsmanlike Conduct Fouls

These violations occur when something is said to the referees or another official which isn’t meant to be helpful toward resolving an issue on either side; examples include swearing and arguing with officials. Some unsportsmanlike conduct violations come along with automatic ejection from games after multiple offenses – it varies depending upon where the game takes place.

Excessive Fouls

These fouls occur when a player commits more than six fouls (including personal/flagrant fouls) or three team fouls in one half; they can also be called for multiple technical foul violations. If this happens, that particular player is ejected from the game until their total number of fouls drops below these limits – it’s important to monitor players’ foul counts carefully during games! Excessive foul violations result in two free throws plus possession at half-court being awarded to all non-fouled teams on either side – just like with other types of fast breaks following offensive rebounds.

Flagrant Foul

Flagrant fouls occur when a player makes illegal contact with an opponent which is both:

  • excessive and unnecessary; and
  • not likely to result in or cause injury. Essentially, this means that it’s treated as if the foul was committed at full strength (in terms of severity). E.g., no injuries occurred as a direct or indirect result of foul play on either side.

Flagrant foul violations are usually accompanied by automatic ejection from games after multiple offenses. However, they can also be downgraded to technical fouls for players who commit flagrant under great duress (i.e., while being fouled themselves). If anyone team commits three flagrant fouls (flagrant plus unsportsmanlike fouls) during a single game. That team is ejected from the contest.

Flagrant fouls always result in free throws plus possession at half-court for non-fouled teams on either side. They’re usually followed up by “unsportsmanlike conduct” technical fouls being called against players who commit flagrant under great duress (i.e., while being fouled themselves). Flagrant foul violations are not to be confused with charges taken out of frustration/anger. Where no injuries occurred as a direct or indirect result of foul play on either side; these were previously known as “unnecessary contact” personal fouls and have been reclassified accordingly!

Team Foul

Team fouls occur when a team amasses seven or more fouls (including personal/flagrant fouls) during one half. They’re also called whenever five players on the court commit foul violations at once. Team foul infractions result in two free throws plus possession at midcourt being awarded to all non-fouled teams on either side. However, if both sides manage to avoid fouling for 30 seconds of game time following such an advantage. Play is resumed as normal and any penalty points are waived.

Player Foul

Such fouls occur when a player amasses six or more fouls (including personal/flagrant foul violations) during one game. Player foul infractions result in two free throws plus possession at half-court being awarded to all non-fouled teams on either side; however, if both sides manage to avoid fouling for 30 seconds of game time following such an advantage, play resumes as normal and any penalty points are waived.

What are the Types of Violations in Basketball?

basketball violations

Traveling Violation

Traveling violations in basketball occur whenever a player:

  • takes more than one move while holding the ball; or
  • gathers momentum by taking steps without dribbling.

In both cases, traveling fouls result in loss of possession – if committed during fast breaks, they also give non-fouled teams on either side “clear path” opportunities to score from any spot within their offensive end’s key (i.e., free-throw line extended). If a team has already been awarded multiple clear paths off turnovers before this violation/advantage is called, only one is given and penalty points are waived. Traveling fouls can be called against players who attempt field goals from behind the backboard or its arena wall – these infractions are typically accompanied by one foul shot in addition to possession at half-court to compensate for the (usually missed) attempt.

Palming Violation

This foul occur whenever a player palms the ball without dribbling it. Palming basketball violations are not infractions per se – they can be called or waived by referees as they see fit during games, but only if they judge that no advantage was gained from doing so (hence why this foul isn’t included in official basketball rules). If palmed while holding the ball at waist-height or lower, these fouls have to result in loss of possession; any other instance results in turnover and non-fouled teams on either side being awarded “clear path” opportunities to score from near half-court (i.e., free-throw line extended).

Double Dribble Violation

Double dribble fouls occur whenever a player:

  • touches or attempts to touch the ball after both feet have left its playing surface; and/or
  • catches it for an instant before bouncing, throwing, or shooting it again.

Both infractions result in loss of possession – if committed during fast breaks, they also give non-fouled teams on either side “clear path” opportunities to score from any spot within their offensive end’s key (i.e., free-throw line extended). If a team has already been awarded multiple clear paths off turnovers before this violation is called, only one such chance is given and penalty points are waived. The NBA used to allow double dribbles as long as neither offense nor defense gained an advantage from them – this foul was only introduced as a rule in 1954.

Double dribble fouls can also be called against players who attempt field goals from behind the backboard or its arena wall – these infractions are typically accompanied by one foul shot in addition to possession at half-court to compensate for the (usually missed) attempt.

Held Ball Violation

This basketball violations occur whenever a player holds the ball against an opponent, with no dribbling taking place. Held ball foul infractions result in loss of possession – non-fouled teams on either side are awarded “clear path” opportunities to score from any spot within their offensive end’s key (i.e., free-throw line extended). If both sides manage to avoid fouling for 30 seconds following such an advantage, play resumes as normal and penalty points are waived. Like traveling violations, players can be called out for double dribble violations after they have caught the ball but before they have released it.

Held fouls can also be called against players who attempt field goals from behind the backboard or its arena wall – these infractions are typically accompanied by one foul shot in addition to possession at half-court to compensate for the (usually missed) attempt.

Backcourt Violation

Backcourt fouls occur whenever a player crosses the halfway line into his team’s backcourt. Without dribbling or passing the ball, including during fast breaks. Backcourt violations are not infractions per se. They can be called or waived by referees. As they see fit but only if they judge that no advantage has been gained from doing so. Hence why this foul isn’t included in official basketball rules. If there is already foul play on either side when these turnovers take place. It results in “clear path” opportunities for non-fouled teams on either side to score from any spot within their offensive end’s key (i.e., free-throw line extended). Penalty points are waived both sides manage to avoid fouling for 30 seconds following such an advantage.

Backcourt fouls can also be called against players who attempt field goals from behind the backboard or its arena wall – these infractions are typically accompanied by one foul shot in addition to possession at half-court to compensate for the (usually missed) attempt.

Kicking Violation

Such basketball violations are called when a player kicks the ball with their feet or legs – this includes simple off-ball fouls in which they do not make contact with another player. Kicking foul infractions result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

Free Throw Violation

This basketball violations occur when a player signals to referees that they are fouled in the act of shooting by simply raising their arms. Free throw foul infractions result in one foul shot being awarded to the player who was fouled, either for specific free throws (which vary depending on which particular foul is called) or penalty points (if assessed at half court).

Special Rules

Special rules apply during “four-point plays”. Fouls committed while guarding an opponent with less than four personal fouls. But more than two can be considered intentional and penalized accordingly. Such violations also give opponents two shots instead of one if no advantage has been gained from committing them. If both teams have three players available after such foul play. It results in full clearance and possession being awarded to the non-fouled team. Regardless of foul count.

Goaltending Violations

Such basketball violations occur when a player illegally interferes with a shot attempt while it is on its upward flight toward the basket. Goaltending foul infractions result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

Three Seconds Violation

Three seconds basketball violatons occur when a player enters the key of their offensive team without touching the ball, basket, or another member on that side of the court. Three-second violations result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

5 Seconds Violation (Inbounding)

Five seconds foul is called when a player stands in the key (and this includes offensive players) for longer than five consecutive seconds. Five-second violations result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

5 Seconds Violation (Offensive)

Five seconds basketball violations are called when an offensive player remains in the key for longer than five consecutive seconds (offensive players must not remain at least part-way outside of their team’s key). Five-second violations result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

10 Seconds Violation

Ten seconds foul is called when a player stands in the key (and this includes offensive players, who must not remain at least part-way outside of their team’s key) for longer than ten consecutive seconds. Ten-second violations result in loss of possession and penalty points (assessed to both teams involved at half court).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the fouls listed above are all infractions. That can be incurred by either side during play. However, it should be noted that there are also penalties. That only apply to specific fouls depending on how they were committed. These penalties vary but usually consist of free throws or bonus shots given without any time spent dispossessing possession from an opponent.

If you’re just starting with basketball. Take some time to learn about the fouls and violations that will be called during your games. You can also find more information by looking up books. Or online resources such as this blog post!

Basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide. So players and coaches at all levels need to know what constitutes foul play. And how they should react when certain fouls are called. Are you ready to start playing?

Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers

Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the sneakers worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current sneakers, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out on these sneakers? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc. Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific sneakers.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?

Elite

Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.

Pro

On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.

Beginner

Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.

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