- Press <> NBA Boards <> Advertise <> About US <> Write for us <> HOME -

MENU
> HOME
> General NBA info
> Awards
> Records
> Stats
> Player Facts
> Team Facts
> Other Leagues
> Message Board


> NBA history > NBA Rules >

Section I-Free Throw

a. After the ball is placed at the disposal of a free throw shooter, his attempt shall be within 10 seconds in such a way that the ball enters the basket or touches the ring before it is touched by a player. The free throw attempt shall be within that part of the free throw circle behind the free throw line.

b. A player shall not touch the ball or basket while the ball is on or within the basket.

c. A player who occupies a free throw lane space shall not touch the floor on or across the free throw lane line, nor shall any player "back out" more than 3' from the free throw lane line. A player who does not occupy a lane space must remain 6' from the free throw line and/or 3' from the free throw circle. This restriction applies until the ball leaves the free thrower's hands.

d. The free throw shooter may not cross the plane of the free throw line until the ball touches the basket ring or backboard or the free throw ends.

e. No player shall deflect or catch the ball before it reaches the basket or backboard on a free throw attempt.

f. The free throw shooter shall not purposely fake a free throw attempt.

g. An opponent shall not disconcert the free thrower in any way, once the ball has been placed at the disposal of the shooter.

h. No violation can occur if the ball is not released by the free throw shooter.

EXCEPTION: Rule 10-Section I-f.

PENALTIES:

(1) In (a-f) above, if the violation is by the offense, no point can be scored. The ball is awarded out-of-bounds to opponents at the free throw line extended.

(2) In (b), (c), and (g), if the violation is by the defense and the throw is successful, disregard violation; if the throw is unsuccessful, a substitute free throw shall be awarded.

(3) In (e), if the violation is by the defensive team, the point is scored and the same player receives another free throw attempt. The additional free throw attempt is considered a new play. This can only occur when the ball will remain in play after the free throw attempt. If it occurs on the first attempt of multiple free throws, only the single point is awarded, and the second free throw shall be attempted.

(4) If there is a free throw violation by each team, on a free throw which is to remain in play, the ball becomes dead, no point can be scored and play shall be resumed by a jump ball between any two opponents at the center circle.

(5) The "out-of-bounds" and "jump ball" provisions above do not apply if the free throw is to be followed by another free throw, or if there are free throws to be attempted by both teams.

(6) If a violation by the free thrower as in (a) above follows disconcertion, a substitute free throw shall be awarded.

Section II-Out of Bounds

a. A player shall not cause the ball to go out-of-bounds.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to opponents at boundary line nearest the spot of the violation.

EXCEPTION: On a throw-in which is not touched inbounds, the ball is returned to the original throwin spot.

Section III-Dribble

a. A player shall not run with the ball without dribbling it.

b. A player in control of a dribble who steps on or outside a boundary line, even though not touching the ball while on or outside that boundary line, shall not be allowed to return inbounds and continue his dribble. He may not even be the first player to touch the ball after he has re-established a position inbounds.

c. A player may not dribble a second time after he has voluntarily ended his first dribble.

d. A player may dribble a second time if he lost control of the ball because of:

(1) A field goal attempt at his basket, provided the ball touches the backboard or basket ring

(2) An opponent touching the ball

(3) A pass or fumble which has then touched another player

PENALTY:Loss of ball. Ball is awarded to opponent at the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.

Section IV-Thrower-in

a. A thrower-in shall not (1) carry the ball onto the court, (2) fail to release the ball within 5 seconds, (3) touch it on the court before it has touched another player, (4) leave the designated throw-in spot, (5) throw the ball so that it enters the basket before touching anyone on the court, (6) step over the boundary line while inbounding the ball, (7) cause the ball to go out-of-bounds without being touched inbounds, (8) leave the playing surface to gain an advantage on a throw-in.

b. After a team has designated a player to throw the ball in, there shall be no change of player (or his substitute) unless a regular or 20-second timeout has subsequently been called.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the original spot of the throw-in.

Section V-Strike the Ball

a. A player shall not kick the ball or strike it with his fist.

b. Kicking the ball or striking it with any part of the leg is a violation when it is an intentional act. The ball accidentally striking the foot, the leg or fist is not a violation.

PENALTIES:

(1) If the violation is by the offense, the ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.

(2) If the violation is by the defense, the offensive team retains possession of the ball at the sideline nearest the spot of the violation. The 24-second clock is reset to 24 seconds and if the violation occurred in the backcourt a new 10-second count is awarded.

Section VI-Jump Ball

a. A player shall not violate the jump ball rule (Rule 6-Section V).

b. A personal foul committed after the ball has become alive during a jump ball shall be ruled a "loose ball" foul.

PENALTIES:

(1) In (a) above, the ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.

(2) In (a) above, if there is a violation by each team, or if the official makes a bad toss, the toss shall be repeated.

(3) In (b) above, free throws may or may not be awarded, consistent with whether the penalty is in effect (Rule 12B-Section VIII). In all violations of this rule, neither the game clock nor the 24-second clock shall be started.

Section VII-Three-Second Rule

a. A player shall not remain for more than 3 seconds in that part of his free throw lane between the endline and extended 4' (imaginary) off the court and the farther edge of the free throw line while the ball is in control of his team.

b. Allowance may be made for a player who, having been in the restricted area for less than 3 seconds, is in the act of shooting at the end of the third second. Under these conditions, the 3-second count is discontinued while his continuous motion is toward the basket. If that continuous motion ceases, the previous 3-second count is continued.

c. The 3-second count shall not begin until the ball is in control in the offensive team's frontcourt.

PENALTY:Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline at the free throw line extended.

Section VIII-Ten-Second Rule

A team shall not be in continuous control of a ball which is in its backcourt for more than 10 consecutive seconds.

EXCEPTIONS:

(1) A new 10 seconds is awarded if the defense: (1) kicks or punches the ball, (2) is assessed a technical foul, or (3) is issued a delay of game warning.

(2) A new 10 seconds is awarded if play is suspended to administer Comments on the Rules-11. Basic Principles-P.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the midcourt line, with the ball having to be passed into the frontcourt.

Section IX-Ball in Backcourt

a. A player shall not be the first to touch a ball which he or a teammate caused to go from frontcourt to backcourt while his team was in control of the ball.

b. During a jump ball, a try for a goal or a situation in which a player taps the ball away from a congested area, as during rebounding, in an attempt to get the ball out where player control may be secured, the ball is not in control of either team. Hence, the restriction on first touching does not apply.

c. Following a jump ball, a player who secures a positive position and control of the ball in his frontcourt cannot pass the ball to a teammate or dribble the ball into the backcourt.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the midcourt line, with the ball having to be passed into the frontcourt. If the violation occurs on a throw-in, the game clock shall not start.

Section X-Swinging of Elbows

A player shall not be allowed excessive and/or vigorous swinging of the elbows in a swinging motion (no contact). When a defensive player is nearby and the offensive player has the ball, it is considered a violation.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline, nearest the spot of the violation. If the violation occurs on a throw-in, the game clock shall not be started.

Section XI-Entering Basket from Below

A player shall not cause the ball to enter the basket from below.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline, at the free throw line extended.

Section XII-"Stick-um"

A player is not to use "Stick-um" or any similar substance.

PENALTY: Fine of $25 for the first violation, doubled for each subsequent violation upon notification to the Operations Department by an official.

Section XIII-Illegal Assist in Scoring a. A player may not assist himself to score by using the ring or backboard to lift, hold or raise himself.

b. A player may not assist a teammate to gain height while attempting to score.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the free throw line extended.

Section XIV-Traveling

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

b. A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may use a twocount rhythm in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball. The first count occurs: (1) As he receives the ball, if either foot is touching the floor at the time he receives it. (2) As the foot touches the floor, or as both feet touch the floor simultaneously after he receives the ball if both feet are off the floor when he receives it. The second occurs: (1) After the count of one when either foot touches the floor or both feet touch the floor simultaneously.

c. A player who comes to a stop on the count of one may pivot, using either foot as the pivot foot.

d. A player who comes to a stop on the count of two, with one foot in advance of the other, may pivot using only the rear foot as the pivot foot.

e. A player who comes to a stop on the count of two, with neither foot in advance of the other, may use either foot as the pivot foot.

f. A player who receives the ball while standing still, or who comes to a legal stop while holding the ball, may lift the pivot foot or jump when he shoots for the goal or passes, but the ball must leave his hands before the pivot foot again touches the floor, or before either foot again touches the floor if the player has jumped.

g. In starting a dribble after receiving the ball while standing still, or after coming to a legal stop, a player may not jump before the ball leaves his hands, nor may he lift the pivot foot from the floor before the ball leaves his hands.

h. A player who leaves the floor with the ball must pass or shoot before he returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball.

i. A player who falls to the floor while holding the ball, or while coming to a stop, may not make progress by sliding.

j. A player who attempts a field goal may not be the first to touch the ball if it fails to touch the backboard, rim or another player.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline, nearest the spot of the violation.

Section XV-Isolation

If the offensive team positions three or more players above the tip of the circle, on the weakside, a violation shall be called.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the tip of the circle extended.

Section XVI-Offensive Screen Set Out-of-Bounds

An offensive player shall not leave the playing area of the floor on the endline in the frontcourt for the purpose of setting a screen.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opponent at the sideline at the free-throw line extended.