Basketball Equipment

Violations The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot, passed between players, thrown, tapped, rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running). The ball must stay within the court; the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds forfeits possession. The ball is out of bounds if touches or crosses over a boundary line, or touches a player who is out of bounds. This is in contrast to other sports such as football, volleyball, and tennis (but not rugby or American football) where the ball (or player) is still considered in if any part of it is touching a boundary line. The ball-handler may not step with both feet without dribbling, an infraction known as traveling, nor dribble with both hands or hold the ball and resume dribbling, a violation called double dribbling. Any part of the player's hand cannot be directly under the ball while dribbling; doing so is known as carrying the ball. A team, once having established ball control in the front half of their court, may not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. The ball may not be kicked, nor be struck with the fist. A violation of these rules results in loss of possession, or, if committed by the defense, a reset of the shot clock (with some exceptions in the NBA). There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in FIBA and the NBA; 10 seconds in NCAA men's play and high school for both sexes, but no limit in NCAA women's play), before attempting a shot (24 seconds in FIBA and the NBA, 30 seconds in NCAA women's and Canadian Interuniversity Sport play for both sexes, and 35 seconds in NCAA men's play), holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds), and remaining in the restricted area known as the free-throw lane, (or the "key") (3 seconds). These rules are designed to promote more offense. No player may touch the ball on its downward trajectory to the basket, unless it is obvious that the ball has no chance of entering the basket (goaltending). In addition, no player may touch the ball while it is on or in the basket; when any part of the ball is in the spacious cylinder above the basket (the area extended upwards from the basket); or when the ball is outside the cylinder, if the player reaches through the basket and touches it. This violation is known as "basket interference". If a defensive player goaltends or commits basket interference, the basket is awarded and the offending team gets the ball. If a teammate of the player shooting goaltends or commits interference, the basket is cancelled and play continues with the defensive team being given possession. Fouls The referee signals that a foul has been committed. Main articles: Personal foul (basketball) and Technical foul An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through physical contact is illegal and is called a foul. These are most commonly committed by defensive players; however, they can be committed by offensive players as well. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again, or receive one or more free throws if they are fouled in the act of shooting, depending on whether the shot was successful. One point is awarded for making a free throw, which is attempted from a line 15 feet (4.6 m) from the basket. The referee may use discretion in calling fouls (for example, by considering whether an unfair advantage was gained), sometimes making fouls controversial calls or no-calls. The calling of fouls can vary between games, leagues and even among referees. A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship, such as by arguing with a referee or by fighting with another player, can be charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. The penalty involves free throws (where, unlike a personal foul, the other team can choose any player to shoot) and varies among leagues. Repeated incidents can result in disqualification. A blatant foul involving physical contact that is either excessive or unnecessary is called an intentional foul (flagrant foul in the NBA). In FIBA, a foul resulting in ejection is called a disqualifying foul, while in leagues other than the NBA, such a foul is referred to as flagrant. If a team exceeds a certain limit of team fouls in a given period (quarter or half) four for NBA and international games the opposing team is awarded one or two free throws on all subsequent non-shooting fouls for that period, the number depending on the league. In the US college and high school games, if a team reaches 7 fouls in a half, the opposing team is awarded one free throw, along with a second shot if the first is made. This is called shooting "one-and-one". If a team exceeds 10 fouls in the half, the opposing team is awarded two free throws on all subsequent fouls for the half. When a team shoots foul shots, the opponents may not interfere with the shooter, nor may they try to regain possession until the last or potentially last free throw is in the air. After a team has committed a specified number of fouls, it is said to be "in the penalty". On scoreboards, this is usually signified with an indicator light reading "Bonus" or "Penalty" with an illuminated directional arrow indicating that team is to receive free throws when fouled by the opposing team. (Some scoreboards also indicate the number of fouls committed.) If a team misses the first shot of a two-shot situation, the opposing team must wait for the completion of the second shot before attempting to reclaim possession of the ball and continuing play. If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is unsuccessful, the player is awarded a number of free throws equal to the value of the attempted shot. A player fouled while attempting a regular two-point shot, then, receives two shots. A player fouled while attempting a three-point shot, on the other hand, receives three shots. If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is successful, typically the player will be awarded one additional free throw for one point. In combination with a regular shot, this is called a "three-point play" or "four-point play" (or more colloquially, an "and one") because of the basket made at the time of the foul (2 or 3 points) and the additional free throw (1 point).