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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.



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