Basketball Fouls and Penalties- A brief discussion

Any kind of illegal attempt is termed as foul, and as compensation for each foul, the opposing team gets a penalty.

When two teams compete in the game and want to score points one after another, sometimes unintentionally (and often intentionally)they break the law of fair play policy. Though fouls are unexpected and cause penalties, they are also part of a fair competition.

Here we will discuss some common fouls and penalties against those fouls in basketball. However, as a player, you should try to keep yourself always far from committing fouls and getting penalties.

Read Basketball Rules form here (List of Basketball Rules)

Frequently Committed Fouls with Penalties

1. Personal Fouls and Penalties 

  • If the foul is committed when a player is shooting the ball, sufferer gets either one or two free throws. The player gets two free throws if his shot doesn’t go in the basket, and gets only one free throw if his shot goes inside the basket.
  • If a player is attempting for a three-point shot and the opponent team player commits foul on him, two kinds of penalties are given.
  • Three throws are awarded if the player misses his target and fails to basket the ball.
  • Only one free throw is given if somehow the player manages to basket the ball accurately. Thus, the player gets the opportunity to score four points at a time!

2. Inbounds

If the situation is that foul is committed on a player but the player is not shooting the ball, then inbounds foul is whistled and a penalty is given.

As a reward, sufferer team acquires the ball at the nearest side of the baseline or side out of bounds, then the team gets only 5 seconds to pass the ball to the players.

3. One and One

In a particular game, each team is allowed to commit seven fouls. If a team commits more than seven fouls, the player of the rival team on whom the foul was done, is awarded a free throw. In extension, if the player able to basket the ball successfully he obtains another free throw.

4. Ten or More Fouls

Seven fouls are allowed for a game.  But unfortunately, if a team commits ten fouls in a game then for every foul after the tenth one, the player who has been suffered by foul is rewarded with two free throws.

Unlike before one, it doesn’t matter whether he was able to score from the first throw or not, he completely gets two individual throws.

5. Technical Foul

A player even a coach can be surged for technical fouls.  This kind of foul doesn’t involve players physical contact or the ball, it’s all about the violation of in-ground and out-ground manners. Major signs of technical fouls are obscenity, obscene gestures, foul language, arguing, and other unexpected behaviors.

In high school, the penalty for a technical foul is ball possession for the affected team and two free throws. If a coach or player commits two technical fouls in a game, he will be ejected.

6. Charging

It’s an offensive kind of foul, which is committed when a player pushes or runs over a defensive player.  As a penalty, the possession of the ball is given to the team that the foul was committed upon.

7. Flagrant Fouls

hitting, kicking, and punching are the reasons behind calling the flagrant fouls. This type of fouls gives the opposing team an opportunity of a free throw and the possession of the ball after the free throw.

8. Intentional Foul

If a player makes intentional physical contact with another player with no reasonable effort to steal the ball, termed as an intentional foul.  In this case, the coach doesn’t have any right to decide the penalty, it’s a matter of judgment for the higher officials. Here the player receives different degrees of punishment depending upon their misbehavior.


Well, fouls are part of a game, but sometimes they can become the reasons behind the defeat of a team as well.

So, whenever you play basketball, you should be aware of committing any kind of foul. If you play the defensive role for your team, you should pay extra attention to it. You can also follow some tricks that will enable you to stop/defeat your opponent players without committing fouls.

Leave a Comment