Basketball Rules – Fouls & Penalties
You got to know the rules to break them.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Here's the info on what's what, so you know what's going on.
THE DEADLIEST SIN. Basketball' s most severe rules infractions are labeled fouls, of which there are two distinctly different types: (a) the personal foul, involving illegal player contact with an opponent, and (b) the less frequent technical foul, which is an infraction of the game' s administrative rules by a non-player or a player without player contact on a live ball or with player contact on a dead ball. The best example of a technical foul involving nonplayers in recent years has been the two-shot penalty leveled against coaches displaying improper bench decorum.
PERSONAL FOUL. For all its enforcement complexities, a personal foul is simply anything that violates basketball' s no-contact principle: holding, pushing, tripping, charging into or physically impeding the progress of an opponent, even laying a hand on an opponent, except as incidental contact.
Ah, but here' s the rub-when two players collide, whose fault is it? So the official rules book attempts to explain the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage.
PERSONAL-FOUL PENALTIES. The wrongdoer is charged with a foul in the scorebook, and for the fifth foul, including personal, unsporting and contact technical fouls, the player is disqualified for the remainder of the game. Also, the offended player is awarded one or more free throws as follows:
One free throw, plus a bonus try if the first is successful, starting with the seventh foul of the half, including personal, unsporting and contact technical fouls. Two free throws are awarded starting with the 10th foul of the half.
Two free throws for a foul against a field-goal shooter whose two-point try or tap fails.
Three free throws for a foul against a field-goal shooter whose three-point try or tap fails. If the foul is intentional or flagrant, the ball also is awarded out of bounds to the offended team at the spot nearest to where the foul occurred.
Two free throws plus possession of the ball out of bounds for an intentional or flagrant foul. Three free throws if committed against a player attempting a three-point shot.
TECHNICAL FOUL. The relative rarity of the technical foul call is a notable tribute to the discipline of the modern game, because the list of "shall nots" is astonishingly long.
Team infractions include failure to supply proper lineup data to the scorers, having more than five players participating simultaneously, calling an excessive timeout, maneuvers that delay the game and even occupying the wrong players' bench.
For the player, however, there are even more opportunities for a technical foul. Some of the things a player must not do are:
Wear an illegal number or change jersey number during the game without reporting the change to the scorers, or, for men, dunk the ball during game practice or warm-up (player may be disqualified).
Grasp, slap, strike either basket or cause either ring to vibrate. A player may never place a hand on the backboard to gain an advantage. A player may grasp the basket if, in the judgment of an official, the player is trying to prevent an obvious injury to himself or herself or another player.
Leave the court for any unauthorized reason, or purposely delay returning to the court after being out of bounds.
Interfere with the ball after a goal, or fail to promptly pass the ball to an official when called for a violation.
Gesture in such a manner as to show resentment, or knowingly attempt a free throw to which the player is not entitled.
Enter the court as a substitute without both reporting to the scorers and being beckoned to the court by an official.
Interfere with a free throw.
Disrespectfully address or contact an official.
Use profanity, abusive, vulgar or obscene language, bait an opponent or hand-block an opponent' s vision.
Those last two apply to coaches as well and other nonplaying personnel, who also may not object to an official' s decision by rising from the bench, gesturing or inciting crowd reactions; nor may they enter the court or leave the coaching box without an official' s permission. All technical fouls charged to bench personnel shall be assessed to the head coach as well as the offender and count toward a team' s foul total.
TECHNICAL-FOUL PENALTY. With the exception of double technical fouls, two free throws are awarded for all technical fouls plus possession of the ball to the offended team at either end of the division line.
If a technical foul is committed by bench personnel, team attendants or followers, the offended team shall be awarded two free throws; and the foul shall be assessed to the head coach or co-head coaches.
For any flagrant technical or flagrant personal foul committed by a coach, squad member, team attendant or follower, two free throws shall be awarded; and the offender shall go to the team' s locker room until the game ends. A double flagrant technical foul results in no free throws being awarded and automatic ejection of both offenders.
Any squad member, coach or team personnel who participates in a fight shall be assessed the penalty for a flagrant foul. The first time that individual participates in a fight during the season; the individual will be suspended from participating in the team' s next game. If the same individual participates in a second fight, that individual will be suspended for the remainder of the season, including tournament competition. Any player, coach or team personnel who participates in a fight during his or her team' s final game of the season will be suspended from playing in the team' s next regular-season game for which that individual would be eligible. Any player, coach or team personnel under suspension for fighting may not sit on the team bench.
The third technical foul charged to a coach, squad member or any bench personnel shall be considered a flagrant technical foul.
The second technical foul for unsporting conduct that is charged directly to a coach, squad member or any bench personnel shall be considered a flagrant technical foul, which leads to ejection.
The referee may forfeit the game if any individual fails to comply with any part of these penalties.
Photo Credit: WENN