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Improve Your Knowledge Of The Game By Learning These Common Basketball Fouls

A simple explanation of the most common basketball fouls.


As a new basketball coach, it is important that you develop a complete understanding of the rules of the game. This includes knowing what the most common fouls in basketball are and what the penalty is for committing them.



The more knowledgeable you are about all aspects of basketball, including the various fouls, the more successful you will be on the court. Do yourself and your players a big favor...don't overlook this important part of coaching basketball.

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Personal Fouls In Basketball

The following list includes the most common basketball fouls that players commit during games and practices. These are considered personal fouls and are called against the basketball player initiating the contact.

  • Blocking - When a basketball player uses their body position to prevent their opponent from advancing.

  • Charging - When an offensive player runs into a defender who has an established position.

  • Elbowing - When a basketball player swings their elbows in an excessive manner and makes contact with their opponent.

  • Holding - Using the hands to interfere with or limit an opponent's freedom of movement.

  • Illegal Screen - The basketball player setting the screen is still moving when the defender makes contact with them. This is a form of blocking which prevents the defender from moving around the screen.

  • Hand Check - When a defender intermittently or continuously uses one or both hands on an opposing player, usually the ball handler.

  • Over-the-Back - Jumping on and over the back of an opposing player who is attempting to rebound the basketball.

  • Reaching In - When attempting to steal the basketball, the defender extends their arm and hand and makes contact with the ball handler.

  • Tripping - When a basketball player uses their foot or leg to cause their opponent to fall or loose their balance.

Other Common Fouls In Basketball

The following list includes more common fouls that occur during basketball games.

  • Flagrant Foul - A foul committed in a violent and harmful manner.

  • Intentional Foul - A foul committed on purpose, usually by a defensive player, to stop the clock or prevent a basket.

  • Shooting Foul - When a defender makes contact with an offensive player who is in the act of shooting the basketball.

  • Technical Foul - Violations and misconduct that are detrimental to the game. These are penalized by free-throw opportunities.

Basketball Fouls And Consequences



When a basketball foul is committed, there is a consequence or penalty for the player (or coach) that committed the foul. The following list provides you with an explanation on the penalty that goes along with committing each type of foul.

  • Flagrant Foul - Two free throws and possession of the basketball out of bounds. The basketball player committing the foul is disqualified from the game.

  • Intentional Foul - Two free throws and possession of the basketball out of bounds.

  • Personal Foul - Possession of the basketball out of bounds. One-and-one free throw situation if the team is above their foul limit.

  • Shooting Foul - Two or three free throws depending on the type of shot taken.

  • Technical Foul - Two free throws and possession of the basketball out of bounds.




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