Here’s a complete list of basketball fouls and violations

Here’s a complete list of basketball fouls and violations

Understanding the fouls and violations of basketball fouls and violations is as important as knowing the rules. To become a better player on the team, you need to understand what fouls and violations are.

What is a foul? A foul is a violation of basketball rules that results in illegal personal contact or unsportsmanlike behavior. There’s four types of fouls.

  • Personal
  • Technical
  • Flagrant
  • Foul play by the team

Fouls and Basketball Violations

Understanding the fouls and violations that occur during games and practices is an important part of coaching basketball. These fouls will help you be a responsible and honest player.

24-Second Violation

All NBA teams must make a shot in 24 seconds. Failure to do so will result in the loss of possession.

8. Second Violation

The offensive team has only eight seconds to get the ball over the line at the mid-court after a team makes the basket.


After the practice or game is over, players try to position their bodies so that the opponent cannot win. The defense team players are the ones who do most of the blocking.


This is an offense team foul. One of the players from the offensive team runs into one of the defender team’s players, who has already established their position.

Defensive Foul

A defensive foul is when a player makes unnecessary or illegal contact with the ball, or away from it.

Defensive Foul

Double dribble is when an offense player dribbles, stops and starts dribbling again.


Any team can do elbowing. This refers to a player who swings their elbows forcefully and excessively. This is when the elbowing player comes into contact with his or her opponent.

Five-Second Violation

If the ball is not inbound by the player who is supposed, it is deemed a five-second throwin violation. A five-second violation usually results in the team losing the ball.

Flagrant Foul

This refers to a serious contact foul in which a player intentionally and unnecessarily makes contact during a game. Flagrant foul usually results in the loss of 2 free throws and possession of the ball out-of-bounds. The flagrant foul-committing player is automatically disqualified.

Floor Violation

This refers to a player who is in violation of the rules, but does not commit any foul or hinder his opponent. The penalty for floor violations is usually a change in ball possession.

Foul Trouble

One or more players who have picked up too many fouls during a track game are considered to be “foul trouble”. All players who have collected more than 5 fouls during a high school or college game or six fouls in a NBA game will be removed from the game. All teams should not accumulate more than six fouls per half.


The defense team’s player is usually responsible for this violation. A player interferes with a shot at the rim or a down-path to the hoop. This violation usually results in the shot of the offense team being taken in and they receiving a basket.

Hand Check

This is a personal foul committed by the defense team member. If he/she uses his/her hand(s) to touch the opposing player with the ball.


You can be in either a defense or offense side and use your hands to restrict your opponent’s movement. This is a holding foul.

Illegal Screening

The screen is set by a player who does not move when the defense player comes in contact with it. Illegal screen refers to a form of blocking that prevents the defender from moving around the screen.

Intentional Foul

The defense team’s player commits this foul to stop the clock. In college basketball games, the foul team usually gets 2 free throws and the possession of the ball.

Lane Violation

If a player is allowed to enter the lane during a free throw, it will be considered a lane violation. The penalty for lane violations is usually a turnover or another free throw.

Offensive Foul

This is a personal foul by the player on offense. The offensive team player charges the player with the ball in their hands.


A player who leaps on and over his opponent’s back while trying to rebound with the ball.


The palming violation is when a player places his/her hand under the ball and scoops it up while dribbling.

Reaching In

If a player attempts to steal the ball from a player on the offense team, the player will extend his or her hand and reach out to the player with the ball.

Shooting Foul

Foul is when a player is fouled while shooting the ball. The player who misses the shot gets 2 to 3 free throws, depending on the original shot.

Technical Foul

Technical fouls are any misconduct or violations that endanger the game. Technical fouls are usually punished with a free throw for the opposing team.

Three in the Key

Defense and offense players cannot stay in the lane longer than three seconds at a stretch. The violation can lead to the loss of possession.


This violation is committed by the player of the offense team who has the ball and takes too much time anywhere on the court without dribbling it.


Tripping foul is when a player uses their foot or leg to cause the opponent to lose or fall during a game.

Unsportsmanlike Foul

The unsportsmanlike foul is committed by any player or team who plays unfairly, unethically and/or dishonorably. These fouls usually result in a free throw for the opposing team.

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