What Does Bonus Plus Mean in Basketball: Simple Explanation

Basketball is practically a contact sport, but it isn’t supposed to be too physical. Hence, the rules are set to encourage fairness in the game.

But what exactly is the bonus plus?

Bonus plus applies after the ninth team foul in either half of a basketball game. It isn’t the same with one and one, which applies to the seventh, eighth, or ninth team fouls in high school or college basketball. Here, the fouled player will readily get two shots and the regular bonus.

What does bonus plus mean in basketball?

In basketball, bonus plus also means “double bonus,” which means it’s a level higher than just a bonus.

Instead of just one and one, a player is sure to get another shot at the ring even if they miss the first free throw.

The double bonus applies for the tenth foul for both high school and college plays.

How do bonuses work in basketball?

Free throw college basketball game

Basketball has rules on free throws to discourage fouls from happening inside the game court, and one of these is the bonus.

The opposing team enters into bonus mode once the other team gets a certain number of defensive fouls.

Usually, there are only six fouls allotted per team before the bonus applies.

In the bonus mode, the fouled player will get a free throw and another one only if they get to score.

After a few more fouls were made, a bonus plus usually applies for the tenth foul. In a bonus plus, the fouled player still gets the second free throw whether or not the first one is successful.

There is a reset of the bonus after half a game or during the beginning of overtime.

High school basketball bonus rules

The bonus penalty applies to the other team for the eighth foul of a team in a game’s half at the high school level. The fouled player gets a one and one, which means one additional free throw if they can make the first one.

The team’s foul count would go back to zero after the first half of the game and the overtime, in case there is a tie.

How many fouls does it take to get into the bonus?

Bonus is a penalty that applies to the opposing team once a team reaches the seventh foul in either the game’s first or second half and the overtime.

The fouled player can get a one and one if their team is fouled for the seventh, eighth, and ninth.

With one more foul, the fouled team enters into bonus mode, where there are two sure free throws for the fouled player.

Is there a bonus plus in the NBA?

There is no bonus plus in the NBA, unlike the high school and college basketball.

Instead, the fouled player automatically gets two free throws like a bonus plus.

Moreover, the bonus starts for the fifth foul in every quarter or the second foul in a quarter’s last two minutes.

However, it is essential to note that offensive fouls and technical fouls do not add up to the foul limit of a team.

Is there a bonus plus in FIBA?

Just like in NBA, there is no bonus plus in FIBA. The fouled player automatically gets two free throws if it’s the fifth foul of the other team.

Offensive and technical fouls are also not counted as a team foul, and the counter resets every quarter of the game.

What is the difference between a bonus and a double bonus in basketball?

Free throw in a game

As the terms suggest, a double bonus could be twice that of a bonus, but not necessarily.

A bonus penalty situation means that the fouled player of a team in bonus mode will get another free throw if the first one made it through the hoop. This means the player could get nothing at all, one or 2 points.

The player can get zero, one, or two points with a double bonus, but there’s also a chance to get one more point on the second try, unlike in bonus alone.

Is it good to intentionally foul another player?

An intentional foul could be part of a team’s strategy on offense if there is only a little time left in the game and the defense team is losing points.

Free throws can only secure their standing if an offensive player can successfully get a foul.

The team could do the same on defense, too, to close the gap or even be in the lead.

While it is possible to do an intentional foul, it doesn’t necessarily mean good gameplay.

In 2021, NBA changed some rules regarding fouls. Abnormal moves will no longer result in free throws being rewarded.

Abnormal moves are one way to get fouls successfully, but this doesn’t sit right with the NBA.

What doesn’t count as a good play for NBA?

You will know that something is not good to play if it is generally considered a foul but isn’t rewarded.

Here are some of the examples as described by the NBA wherein the interpretive change in officiating applies:

  1. Abnormal launch angle:  when a shooter leans or launches at an abnormal angle into a defender.
  2. Veering off-path: when an offensive player abruptly veers off his path going into a player of the other team.
  3. Overt extension: when a player on the offense openly extends his body’s part, such as a leg kick, into a defender.
  4. Off-arm contact: when the off-arm of the offensive player contacts a defender.


Now that you know what a bonus plus in basketball is, you should be able to incorporate it into your team’s strategies.

You could always use intentional fouls to your advantage, but remember that more fouls on the team mean more free throws for the opponent.

Read these next:

Leave a Comment