Understanding Traveling In Basketball

Traveling in Basketball-featured image

Basketball traveling is a violation in the game of basketball. This article aims to explain traveling violations, what traveling is, and how traveling can be called during a match. All possible scenarios will be included so that you know exactly when traveling should be called.

What is Traveling in Basketball?

Traveling in basketball is a violation. It’s when a player dribbles the ball and takes too many steps without dribbling or passing it to another teammate. This traveling violation can also be called when the offensive player has taken several steps after starting to dribble.

Basketball traveling can also be defined as an infraction, where players who are holding onto the ball must not move their pivot foot from the ground before releasing the ball to another player.

The traveling violation is a formal rule in basketball. The traveling call can be called by the referee when he/she sees an infraction occur.

traveling in basketball

Examples of Travelling in Basketball

Euro Step

The Euro step is a traveling violation that can be called when there was no dribble before the player moves with the ball from one point to another. In this case, it means that they have not dribbled as part of their movement and therefore traveled during play.

Gather Step

The gather step is traveling that can be called. It happns when the player moves his pivot foot without releasing it from the ground before starting to dribble. This traveling penalty occurs anytime a player picks up their pivot foot off of the floor. And then puts it back down after stopping during an offensive play.

The gather step is also traveling because you cannot move your pivot foot at all for more than one second while holding onto the ball. So if they pick up their pivot foot, then put it right back down on top of where they were standing previously, there would have been no movement with their feet.

Step-back Shot

The step-back shot traveling violation can be called when the offensive player who is taking a shot steps back with one foot, turns away from their defender, and jumps to shoot. This traveling infraction occurs because there was no dribble before the step-back action that takes place during an offensive play.

A traveling violation might also occur if they are trying to use this move to drive past their defender. If the offensive player jumps off of only one foot, then that traveling violation is called because they are not allowed to jump without both feet leaving the floor before shooting during an offensive play.

Late Dribble

The late dribble traveling violation can be called when a player starts traveling while dribbling the ball. This traveling call occurs because there was no movement before starting to dribble or passing it to another team member during play. When you see this traveling infraction, know that they have started moving while holding onto the ball and therefore traveled without giving their opponents any type of advance notice that they were going to start traveling.

traveling in basketball

Spin Move

The spin move traveling penalty can be called when the player who is traveling spins around to lose their defenders. This traveling call occurs because there was no dribble before the spin move during play. So they have traveled without giving a warning that they were going to travel and did not allow enough time for their opponents to react accordingly.

Spin moves are traveling violations because traveling is not allowed to occur when the offensive player has stopped dribbling and does a spin move instead of passing it or shooting.

Up-and-Under

The up-and-under traveling violation occurs when an offensive player tries to dribble the ball and take a shot at the same time. This traveling call can be called by referees because there was no movement before trying to shoot during play. So they have traveled without giving their opponents any type of advance notice that they were going to start traveling.

The up-and-under traveling call can be called because traveling is not allowed to occur when the offensive player has stopped dribbling and does a spin move instead of passing it or shooting.

Jab Step

The jab step traveling violation can be called when the offensive player moves backward with one foot then quickly steps forward. This traveling call occurs because there was no dribble before stepping forward during play so they have traveled without giving their opponents any type of advance notice that they were going to start traveling.

Jab step traveling violations are penalties for traveling after stopping and starting again without dribbling the ball. This traveling call occurs because there was no movement before stopping during an offensive play. So they have traveled without giving their opponents any type of advance notice that they were going to start traveling.

The jab step traveling violation can also be called when a player uses it as part of a shot fake or pass fake since traveling is only allowed once a ball has been released from the hand.

traveling in basketball

What Happens When a Traveling Violation is Called?

Turnovers

Basic traveling violations that occur when traveling is called are turnovers and traveling calls for players on offense or defense. Hence, a traveling violation calls for possession of the ball to go over from one team to another, and play continues following this turnover under the official’s discretion.

Free-throws

Traveling can also result in free throw opportunities, if the opposing team has possession of the ball after a turnover due to traveling, then they will receive two free throws along with possession of the basketball following those shots being made from these fouls by referees officiating matches between teams.

NBA Rules about Traveling in Basketball (Rule No. 10 Section XIII – Traveling)

a. A player who receives the ball while standing still may pivot, using either foot as the pivot foot

b. A player who gathers the ball while progressing may take (1) two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball, or (2) if he has not yet dribbled, one step before releasing the ball. A player who gathers the ball while dribbling may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing, or shooting the ball.

  1. The first step occurs when a foot, or both feet, touch the floor after gaining control of the ball.
  2. The second step occurs after the first step when the other foot touches the floor. Or both feet touch the floor simultaneously.
  3. A player who comes to a stop on step one. When both feet are on the floor or touch the floor simultaneously may pivot using either foot as his pivot. If he jumps with both feet he must release the ball before either foot touches the floor.
  4. A player who lands with one foot first may only pivot using that foot.
  5. A progressing player who jumps off one foot on the first step may land with both feet simultaneously for the second step. In this situation, the player may not pivot with either foot and if one or both feet leave the floor the ball must be released before either returns to the floor.

c. In starting a dribble after (1) receiving the ball while standing still, or (2) coming to a legal stop. The ball must be out of the player’s hand before the pivot foot is raised off the floor.

d. If a player, with the ball in his possession, raises his pivot foot off the floor. He must pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball.

e. A player who falls to the floor while holding the ball. Or while coming to a stop, may not gain an advantage by sliding.

f. A player who attempts a field goal may not be the first to touch the ball. If it fails to touch the backboard, basket ring, or another player.

g. A player may not be the first to touch his pass. Unless the ball touches his backboard, basket ring, or another player.

h. Upon ending his dribble or gaining control of the ball. A player may not touch the floor consecutively with the same foot (hop).

  1. PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opposing team on the sideline. The nearest spot of the violation but no nearer the baseline than the foul line extended.

Conclusion 

We hope to have answered any questions you had about this topic, but if not please let us know. Do you agree with these rules? or do they make it too difficult for players to get open shots off of drives and cuts? Let us know below! Are you interested in more awesome stuff about basketball? Explore our entire section about it here.

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