Complete List of Fouls and Violations in Basketball 

Basketball can be confusing for non-players since there are different fouls and violations.

But we thought we’d list them all in one place so that even a beginner can be a referee overnight with our guide.

With that in mind, here’s the complete list of all fouls and violations in basketball. 

What is a foul in basketball?

A foul in basketball is an infraction of the game. It’s when a player commits an act that stops another player from playing the game naturally.

Many types of fouls can occur, and they can be physical or non-physical. 

There are usually three referees in an official basketball game that are the ones who will officiate the game. They’re the ones who will call the fouls and violations. 

What’s the penalty for a foul?

The penalty for fouls in basketball can be the possession of the ball or free throws. If it’s a flagrant foul, there would be one free throw and possession of the ball.

If a player catches a foul while shooting and the ball go in, it will count and be awarded one free throw

List of all fouls in basketball

There are three main types of fouls in basketball: personal, technical, and flagrant. 

Under these three, there are more subcategories. Here’s the complete list of all fouls in basketball.  

1. Personal Foul

Personal fouls are the ones committed by a player. They’re the usual fouls you’ll see in a game, including physical contact with players. 

They can also be further divided into offensive and defensive fouls. 

The main difference is that players with the ball commit offensive fouls. On the other hand, defensive fouls are committed by the defending players.

Some fouls can only be committed by offensive or defensive players. While some fouls can be committed by either offensive or defensive players. We’ll lump them all together in the personal foul category. 

2. Technical Foul

Technical fouls occur when a player or coach shows unsportsmanlike behavior. Here are the instances when a technical foul may be called:

  • Delay of game
  • Low or excessive number of players
  • Unsportsmanlike behavior
  • Calling a timeout after exhaustion of all timeouts
  • Flopping

Example: A technical foul is committed when a player curses a referee complaining about a call. Or if a player shatters the backboard while dunking

3. Flagrant Foul

In its simplest term, a flagrant foul is an unnecessary contact that may harm a player. These fouls can be unintentional or deliberate, and a further review by the referees may be necessary. 

There are two flagrant fouls: Flagrant 1 and 2. 

Flagrant 1 is an unnecessary contact that a player has committed. Flagrant 2 is committed when there’s excessive contact that’s unreasonable. A player who receives a flagrant 2 call in the NBA will be immediately ejected out of the game

Example: A flagrant foul is committed when an offensive player goes up for a layup, and the defensive player pushes the player while in mid-air. 

This can be a flagrant 1 or 2, depending on the severity of the contact. 

What are violations in basketball?

What is a double dribble in basketball

Violations are illegal actions done mainly by the team who has possession of the ball. There are rules in place so the game can be fair to everyone. 

Violations differ from fouls because they don’t involve contact with the opponents. 

What’s the penalty for a violation in basketball?

The penalty for a violation is loss of possession. The other team will get the ball once a violation has been called.  

List of all violations in basketball

There are three main categories in which violations are classified: time violations, shooting/defending violations, and dribbling violations.

Here’s the complete list of violations:

Final Words

Those are all the fouls and violations in basketball. Some leagues like the NBA, FIBA, and NCAA have more or fewer rules put in place.

Overall, these are the common ones you should be aware of, especially if you’re a basketball player. 

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