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Basketball Violations…Make Sure You Know the Rules of the Game

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Understanding the various Basketball Violations is an important part of the game for players, parents and coaches! Basketball is a game where the players are constantly moving, cutting, dribbling and handling the ball. They are constantly in contact with the basketball throughout the game or practice.

When players are asked to move and handle the ball, they are likely to commit basketball violations. It happens! All players, regardless of how good they are with the basketball, commit violations.

Basically, a violation is an infraction of the rules that doesn’t result in a free throw; however, the ball is turned over to the opposing team for a throw-in.

There are two types of violations that I will describe below: Ballhandling Violations and Time Violations. Understanding what these violations are, helps reduce the player’s chance of committing them!

For a more thorough description of the rules of basketball and the various violations, please visit the National Federation of State High School Associations Page.

Basketball Violations – Ballhandling Violations

The following is a list of the most common ballhandling violations committed by players while they have possession of the basketball.

  • Double Dribble – When a player stops dribbling, holds the basketball, and then starts dribbling again. Also when a player dribbles the ball with two hands at the same time.
  • Over-and-Back – When a player crosses over the midcourt line into the frontcourt and then crosses back into the backcourt.
  • Traveling – Taking more than one and a half steps without dribbling while you have the ball. Also when you stop dribbling and then move or change your pivot foot.

Basketball Violations – Time Violations

Players must follow very specific time requirements throughout the game. This keeps the game moving at a good pace and prevents either team from having an unfair advantage.

  • Three-Second Rule – No offensive player can be in the free-throw lane for longer than 3 seconds at a time.
  • Five-Second Inbound Violation – When passing the ball inbounds after gaining possession, players have five seconds to get the ball to a teammate.
  • Five-Second Possession Violation – When a ballhandler is being defended within six feet in the frontcourt, and fails to get rid of the basketball within five seconds.
  • Lane Violation – During a free throw situation, if you enter the lane too soon, it’s called a lane violation and results in a turnover or the other team gets another free throw attempt.
  • Ten-Seconds In The Backcourt – When the offensive team takes ten or more seconds to move the basketball across the midcourt line into the front court.


I hope you found this information on the various Violations of Basketball to be helpful and informative. Learning and understanding the rules about each of these violations is an important part of developing a good knowledge of the game – for players, parents and coaches. The better you understand the game – the more you will be able to enjoy playing, watching and coaching it!