A complete list of all Basketball Violations and Fouls

A complete list of all Basketball Violations and Fouls

It is important to understand the fouls, violations and rules of basketball. For a better team player, read the SportsAspire article.

What is considered a foul? Fouls are any actions that go against the rules of basketball. There is four main types:

  • Personal
  • Technical
  • Flagrant
  • Team foul

Fouls and Basketball Violations of rules

Coaching basketball is not easy. It’s important to understand the fouls and other violations that happen during games and practices. You will learn how to be an honest and responsible basketball player by understanding the fouls.

24-Second Violation

All NBA teams must attempt a shot within 24 seconds. If you fail to comply, the violation will result in a change of possession.

8-Second Violation

After a team makes a basket, the offensive team has 8 seconds to move the ball across the midcourt line.


Once the game is over or practice has ended, players attempt to position themselves so as to stop the opponent getting ahead. The defense team is the most effective at blocking.


This is an offense team’s foul. One of the offensive players runs into a player from the defending team who has already established his/her position.

Defensive Foul

A defensive foul occurs when a player uses unnecessary or illegal contact to the ball or away.

Defensive Foul

Double dribble violation is committed by an offense player who dribbles and stops then tries to dribble again.


All teams can practice elbowing. This is where a player swings her or his elbows in an aggressive, excessive way. At this point, the elbowing opponent comes in contact.

Five-Second Violation

A throw-in violation of five seconds is when the ball isn’t passed by the player responsible for inbounding the ball. This usually happens if the throw-in is completed within 5 seconds. A five second violation will usually result in the loss of the ball.

Flagrant Foul

This is serious contact foul. A player deliberately and unnecessarily contacts another player during a game. The penalty for flagrant foul is usually 2 free throws and the possession out-ofbounds of the basketball. Flagrant fouls are Basketball Violations automatically disqualified.

Floor Violation

This refers to an offense by a player that violates the rules, but doesn’t cause any harm or hinder the opponent. Usually, the penalty for a floor violation is a change in possession of the ball.

Foul Trouble

A player who has collected too many fouls during the game’s track is considered “foul trouble”. All players who have accumulated 5 fouls in college or high school games, or 6 in NBA games will be disqualified from the game. This is why teams need to be careful not collect more than 6 fouls each half.


This is typically committed by the player on defense. The illegal interference with a shot on or down the line to the basket. The penalty for this offense is usually that the offensive team’s shot is assumed in and they are given a basket.

Hand Check

This is the defense team player’s personal foul. He or she uses his or her hands on an opponent player who is in possession of the ball.


No matter if you’re on an offense or defense team, holding your hands in order to prevent your opponent from moving freely is considered a holding violation.

Illegal Screening

When a defense team player contacts the player setting the screen, the player still moves. Illegal screen refers a blocking technique that stops defenders from moving around the screen.

Intentional Foul

To stop the clock, the defense team’s players commit this foul. The team that was fouled in college basketball games usually has the advantage of two free throws and the possession.

Lane Violation

A player who enters the lane in excess of the allotted time for a free throw is considered to have committed a lane violation. A lane violation usually results in a turnover, or the other team gets another free throw.

Offensive Foul

This is the offense team’s personal foul. The offense team’s player is charged by the player who holds the ball.


A player who jumps onto and passes over an opponent trying to rebound the ball.


A player who places their hand under the ball while dribbling is deemed to have committed palming violations.

Reaching In

A player trying to steal the ball is a player who extends his/her arm and hands out, making contact the player who holds the ball.

Shooting Foul

A foul occurs when a player gets fouled while trying to shoot the ball. If the player misses the shot while shooting the ball, he/she gets two or three free throws depending on which shot was taken originally.

Technical Foul

Technical fouls refer to any violations or misconduct that could endanger the game. A technical foul usually results in a free throw for your opponent team.

Three in the key

A defense or offense player must not remain in the lane more than 3 seconds at one time. It is illegal to hold the ball in one lane for more than 3 seconds.


This offense is committed when the offensive team’s player has the ball, and takes too many steps anywhere on the court to dribble the ball, is called a violation.

Going on a Trip

A player who uses his/her foot or leg during a match to make their opponent lose or fall is deemed to have committed a tripping foul.

Unsportsmanlike Foul

Unsportsmanlike foul refers to any player or team that acts unfairly, unethically, or dishonorably. This is usually a foul that results in a free throw for an opponent team.