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

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

> NBA history > NBA Rules >

Section I-Basket/Backboard

a. A team's own basket is the ring and net through which its players try to shoot the ball. The visiting team has the choice of baskets for the first half. The basket selected by the visiting team when it first enters onto the court shall be its basket for the first half.

b. The teams change baskets for the second half. All overtime periods are considered extensions of the second half.

c. All parts of the backboard (front, sides, bottom and top) are considered in play when struck by the basketball except the back of the backboard, which is not in play.

Section II-Blocking

Blocking is illegal personal contact which impedes the progress of an opponent.

Section III-Dribble

A dribble is ball movement caused by a player in control, who throws or taps the ball into the air or to the floor, and then touches it once before it touches the floor. a. The dribble ends when the dribbler:

(1) Touches the ball simultaneously with both hands

(2) Permits the ball to come to rest while he is in control of it

(3) Tries for a field goal

(4) Throws a pass

(5) Touches the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor

(6) Loses control

(7) Allows the ball to become dead

Section IV-Fouls

a. A personal foul is illegal physical contact which occurs with an opponent after the ball has become live.

b. A technical foul is the penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct or violations by team members on the floor or seated on the bench. It may be assessed for illegal contact which occurs with an opponent before the ball becomes live.

c. A double foul is a situation in which two opponents commit personal or technical fouls against each other at approximately the same time.

d. An offensive foul is illegal contact, committed by an offensive player, after the ball is live.

e. A loose ball foul is illegal contact, after the ball is alive, when team possession does not exist.

f. An elbow foul is making contact with the elbow in an unsportsmanlike manner.

g. A flagrant foul is unnecessary and/or excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.

h. An away-from-the-play foul is illegal contact by the defense in the last two minutes of the game, which occurs (1) deliberately away from the immediate area of the ball, and/or (2) prior to the ball being released on a throw-in.

Section V-Free Throw

A free throw is the privilege given a player to score one point by an unhindered attempt for the goal from a position directly behind the free throw line. This attempt must be made within 10 seconds.

Section VI-Frontcourt/Backcourt

a. A team's frontcourt consists of that part of the court between its endline and the nearer edge of the midcourt line, including the basket and inbounds part of the backboard.

b. A team's backcourt consists of the entire midcourt line and the rest of the court to include the opponent's basket and inbounds part of the backboard.

c. A ball which is in contact with a player or with the court is in the backcourt if either the ball or the player is touching the backcourt. It is in the frontcourt if neither the ball nor the player is touching the backcourt.

d. A ball which is not in contact with a player or the court retains the same status as when it was last in contact with a player or the court.

EXCEPTION: Rule 4-Section VI-f.

e. The team on the offense must bring the ball across the midcourt line within 10 seconds. No additional 10-second count is permitted in the backcourt.

EXCEPTIONS: (1) kicked ball, or (2) punched ball, or (3) technical foul on the defensive team or (4) delay of game warning on the defensive team.

f. The ball is considered in the frontcourt once it has broken the plane of the midcourt line and is not in player control.

g. The defensive team has no "frontcourt/backcourt."

Section VII-Held Ball

A held ball occurs when two opponents have one or both hands firmly on the ball.

a. A held ball should not be called until both players have both hands so firmly on the ball that neither can gain sole possession without undue roughness. If a player is lying or sitting on the floor while in possession, he should have an opportunity to throw the ball, but a held ball should be called if there is danger of injury.

Section VIII-Pivot A pivot takes place when a player who is holding the ball steps once or more than once in any direction with the same foot, while the other foot-called the pivot foot-is being kept at its point of contact with the floor.

Section IX-Traveling Traveling is progressing in any direction while in possession of the ball, which is in excess of prescribed limits as noted in Rule 10-Section XIV.

Section X-Screen A screen is the legal action of a player who, without causing undue contact, delays or prevents an opponent from reaching a desired position.

Section XI-Field Goal Attempt

A field goal attempt is a player's attempt to shoot the ball into his basket for a field goal. The attempt starts when the player begins the motion which habitually precedes the actual shot. It continues until the shooting effort ceases and he returns to a normal floor position. The term is also used to include the movement of the ball in flight until it has become dead or has been touched by a player.

Section XII-Throw-In

A throw-in is a method of putting the ball in play from out-of-bounds in accordance with Rule 8Section 111. The throw-in begins when the ball is at the disposal of the team or player entitled to it and ends when the ball is released by the thrower-in.

Section XIII-Last Two Minutes

When the game clock shows 2:00, the game is considered to be in the two-minute period.

Section XIV-Disconcertion of Free Throw Shooter

Disconcertion of the free throw shooter is any of the following:

a. During the first of multiple free throw attempts, an opponent may not, while located on the lane lines, be allowed to raise his arms above his head.

b. During any free throw attempt, an opponent who is in the visual field of the free throw shooter, may not (1) wave his arms, (2) make a sudden dash upcourt, (3) talk to the free throw shooter, or (4) talk loudly to a teammate or coach.

Section XV-Live Ball

A live ball commences when the ball is placed at the disposal of a free throw shooter or thrower-in or is tossed by an official on a jump ball. A live ball becomes alive when it is released or legally tapped.