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Basketball Fouls

Basketball fouls have been sectioned into different degrees of severity throughout the years and have changed designation constantly as players have gotten faster and stronger and could cause more damage to a player than in the past.

The basketball foul also allows the game to be played fairly and so that one large dominant player cannot throw his weight around and get away with it. I will go more in depth to the different types of fouls and the different types of severity associated with each one.

The most basic fouls in basketball include traveling and double dribble. These fouls are usually the easiest to call during a basketball game due to the fact that the rules clearly explain these top of fouls and there is no need for the referee calling the fouls to use judgment on these calls.

Traveling is when a player takes more than two steps with the ball or when a player changes his pivot foot after establishing his post move. Double dribbling is when a player stops his dribble and starts again. That is one of the easiest fouls to call, you will not see this as much at the pro level, but you will see it occasionally in the youth game.

Another level of fouls includes reach-in, over the back, charging, blocking, illegal screen, loose ball foul, and holding. These fouls happen a lot during the course of a game, however, there is more leniencies given with these fouls as these are called by the referee who uses his judgment on if in fact a foul was committed.

A reach-in is when a player goes for a steal, but touches the body of the player while doing so. An over the back is when a player goes for a rebound and jumps over the back of the player in position and uses his body to get higher in the air. Charging is when an offensive player knocks over a defensive player who has position by setting his feet anticipating the offensive move.


On the other end, Blocking is when the defensive player does not have position and his feet are moving and try to impede the progress of the offensive player regardless. An illegal screen is when a player on the offense tries to help out his teammate get more space by trying to block a defender from moving with him, but does not have their feet set. This is the same idea as blocking and charging away from the ball.

A loose ball foul is committed when neither teams has possession of the ball, this usually happens while teams are going for a rebound or chasing down a loose ball. Finally holding is simply when a player grabs the arm of a player while trying to shoot, this usually occurs next to the hoop when a defender is trying to ensure that a player cannot finish his shot.

A more severe form of basketball foul is the technical and flagrant foul. A technical foul can occur for many reason, this can be arguing with the referee, delay of game, or hanging on the rim. It pretty much penalizes the player for upsetting the tempo of the game.

A flagrant foul is when a player purposely fouls a player with more intent to injure the player or the foul could injure the player. This type of foul is seen most often when a player is going to the hoop and the defender doesn’t go for the ball but instead the body.

This type of foul is very serious and could cause major injury for either player because of the speed and strength of these players.



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