BBC Sport basketball

Related BBC sites

Guide to basketball

There are the eight personal foul offences.

Ruth Riley of the USA is held by New Zealand's Sally Farmer in a game during the Athens Olympics
In practice, some bumping and barging is tolerated

A personal foul results in either player taking free throws or a team surrendering possession.

HOLDING: When personal contact is made with an opponent which restricts their movement.

ILLEGAL GUARDING: Where a defending player makes contact with an opponent from behind.

BLOCKING: Any sort of contact between two players where an opponent's movements are impeded.

PUSHING: Called when a player moves or attempts to move an opponent with force, even if they do not have control of the ball.

ILLEGAL SCREENING: An attempt to slow down or stop an opponent who does not have control of the ball.

HAND CHECKING: When a defending player uses their hands on an opponent to slow their progress.

CHARGING: When a player, with or without the ball, pushes or moves into an opponent.

ILLEGAL USE OF HANDS: When contact is made by a player's hand on an opponent when they are attempting to play the ball.

Fouls in basketball not covered by the personal category are as follows:

TECHNICAL: Covers such things as bad language and other unsportsmanlike conduct.

DISQUALIFYING: Called if a player commits a serious foul, such as striking an opponent. They will be dismissed immediately from the game.

FIFTH FOUL: If a player commits five fouls, either personal or technical, they must leave the game and cannot return. They can be replaced by a substitute.

TEAM FOUL: Each personal foul committed by a player is also counted against his team; when a team goes over the limit, its opponent is awarded a free-throw.

In America's NBA, the limit is five fouls - personal or technical - in any one period, after which the opposing team get two free throws.

VIOLATION: Covers such things as an illegal dribble or spending more than three seconds in the restricted area. Possession is handed to the opposition, usually via a throw-in.

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.