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Basketball: Rules Violations

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Here is a list and description of non-foul violations in the game of basketball. The penalty for most violations is loss of possession of the ball.

Traveling (walking) Traveling
One of the basic ideas of the sport of basketball is that you have to dribble or bounce the ball while you are walking or running. When you have stopped dribbling one of your feet will become your pivot foot. You cannot move your pivot foot or lift it off of the ground. If you do, this is called traveling.
Double dribble Double Dribble violation
You only get to dribble once in basketball. If you stop dribbling you have to pass it to another player or shoot the ball. If you start dribbling again, this is called double dribbling.
Three seconds 3 seconds in the key
Offensive players are not allowed to stay in the free throw lane, or key, for more than three seconds. Anytime they leave the key or the ball hits the rim, the three second count starts over again.
Ten Seconds 10 second violation
The offensive team has 10 seconds to get the ball across half court. If it takes longer than 10 seconds, then they will lose possession of the ball.
Over-and-back Over and back
Once the offensive team has gotten the ball over half court, they cannot go back into the defender's half court with the ball. This is called over-and-back.
Carrying (palming) Palming signal in basketball
Carrying, or palming, is like a double dribble. Players may not put the palm of their hands under the ball or carry the ball in one hand for a long time. This is similar to holding the ball and a double dribble.
Lane violations Basketball lane violation

During a free throw shot, players will line up on both sides of the lane. If they jump into the lane prior to the shot, it will be called a lane violation. If it was an offensive player, a made shot will not count. If it was a defensive player, a missed shot will not count and the shooter will get another try.
Kicking Kicking violation
Players are not allowed to intentionally kick the ball. If a defensive player kicks the ball, the offensive team will get it out of bounds.


Goaltending is when a player interferes with a shot when it is above the rim, but still on its downward path to the basket, interferes with the ball while on the rim of the basket, or touches the net or rim while the ball is being shot. If goaltending is called on the defense, the shot is called good. If goaltending is on the offense, then the shot does not count and the defense gets the ball.

Out of bounds

The ball is considered out of bounds when it touches the ground outside the lines of the court. The lines themselves are considered out of bounds as well. It is also out of bounds if the ball touches a player who has any part of their body touching the ground out of bounds.

* referee signal pictures from the NFHS

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