NFHS* Basketball Misunderstood Rules
Quiz #1 by
(*National Federation of State High School Associations)

Click the score button to see correct answers, rule references and comments. NFHS rule references include dashes (e.g. 4-42-6). NFHS case book references include dots (e.g. 4.3.3). BRF refers to the Basketball Rules Fundamentals included near the end of the NFHS rule book.

For each situation, select yes or no to the question “Was the official correct?”

# Situation yes no   nfhs rule
01. Team A has only 4 players present. Official does not allow Team A to start the game with 4 players.

“A team must begin the game with 5 players...”
. 3-1
02. Before the ball is tossed to start the game, B3 intentionally fouls A2. Official awards 2 shots to A2 and instructs the scorer/timer to set the position arrow when the ball is handed to A2 for the first free throw.

“... the initial direction of the possession arrow is set toward the opponents basket when ... the ball is placed at the disposal of the thrower after ... the free throws for a noncommon foul.”
. 4-3-3b, 4.3.3
03. During a spot throw-in, thrower A1 moves five feet along the end line. Official calls a travel violation.

It is impossible to travel while out of bounds. A1 has committed a throw-in violation by moving outside the three foot wide designated spot area that has no depth limitation. A1 is allowed to move without restriction from side to side within the area and as far back as the facility allows.
. 4-42-6, 7-6-3, BRF 5
04. Thrower A1 steps on the end line during a throw in. Official calls a violation.

The end lines and sidelines are out of bounds. The thrower who steps on the line remains out of bounds. The thrower has inbound status and violates when the thrower steps across the line and touches the court inbounds.
. 4-9
05. A1 attempts a field goal. The ball hits the rim, then hits the top of the backboard and then passes through the basket. Official allows the basket to be scored.

The top, front sides and bottom of the backboard are inbounds. The back of the backboard is out of bounds.
. 7-1-2, 7.1.2A
06. A1 while standing inbounds behind the backboard, shoots the ball over the backboard and the ball passes through the basket. Official disallows the basket.

“The ball becomes dead if it passes over the top of a rectangular backboard ... whether it comes from the front or back of the plane.”
. 7.1.2A
07. A2 touches the ball passed by A1. The ball remains inbounds but A2ís momentum carries him/her out of bounds. A2 returns to the court, is the first to touch the ball and scores. Official allows the basket.

“Legal since A1 did not leave the court voluntarily and did not have control of the ball when he/she did.”
. 7.1.1b
08. A1 attempts a field goal. While the ball is on the rim. B1 strikes the backboard on the side opposite from A1 and causes the ball to fall off the rim. Official awards the basket and assesses B1 a technical foul.

B1's action does not satisfy the conditions for goaltending or basket interference. Thus, the basket shall not be awarded. A technical foul is correctly assessed for unsportsmanlike behavior.
. 4-6, 4-22, 10-3-4b, 10.3.4
09. A1 catches a pass, fumbles the ball, retrieves it, dribbles, ends the dribbles, fumbles the ball and then retrieves the ball again. Official calls a violation.

A fumble, dribble, fumble is legal. A dribble, fumble, dribble is illegal.
. 4.15 comment
10. A1 is dribbling in the backcourt. As he approaches half-court line, he dribbles the ball once in the frontcourt and steps into the frontcourt with one foot. He then touches that same foot in the backcourt. Official calls a backcourt violation.

No backcourt violation has occurred since A1 never established front court position. “During a dribble from backcourt to frontcourt, the ball is in the frontcourt when the ball and both feet of the dribbler touch the court entirely in the frontcourt.”
. 4-4
11. While A1 is dribbling in the frontcourt, B1 deflects the ball off A1's legs into the backcourt. A2 retrieves the ball. Official call a backcourt violation

Team A maintained continuous team control. “A player shall not be the first to touch a ball in the backcourt after it has been in team control in the frontcourt, if he/she or a teammate last touched or was touched by the ball in the frontcourt before it went to the backcourt.”
. 9-9-1
12. A1's try for goal, fails to reach the basket and A1 catches the ball while it remains airborne. Official calls a travel violation.

No violation has occurred. A1 can dribble, shoot or pass after the failed try for goal.
. 4-41-2
13. A1 dives for the ball on the floor, gains control of the ball and then slides on the floor. Official calls a travel violation.

No violation has occurred. A1 can slide as far as her momentum takes her.
. 4-44, 4.44.5B
14. A1 starts a dribble by tapping the ball ahead, takes five steps and then continues the dribble. Official rule this is legal.

It is impossible to travel while dribbling.
. 4-44, BRF 6, 4.15 comment, 4.43d
15. A1 requests a timeout while airborne, holding the ball and headed out of bounds. Official grants the request.

The request shall be granted under NFHS rules but denied under NCAA rules.
. 5-8-3
16. While A1 is dribbling, B1 attempts to steal the ball and hits A1 on the hand causing A1 to lose control of the ball. Official calls a foul on B1.

It is legal use of hands to reach to block or slap the ball controlled by a dribbler or a player throwing for goal or a player holding it and accidentally hitting the hand of the opponent when it is contact with the ball.
. 4-24-2
17. A1 contacts B1 in the torso after B1 has established legal guarding position and while B1 is moving backwards. Official calls a player control foul on A1.

B1 has met the criteria of establishing and maintaining a legal guarding position. There is no requirement for B1 to remain stationary.
. 4-7-2b
18. While A1 is dribbling the ball, Team A assistant coach requests a timeout. Official grants the timeout.

“Only a player or the head coach shall be granted a timeout.”
. 5-8-3
19. As time expires in the 4th quarter, with the score tied, player A1 is fouled in the act of shooting. Team B head coach is granted a timeout. Before the timeout is completed, Team A head coach requests a timeout. Official denies the request.

“Successive time-outs shall not be granted after expiration of playing time for the fourth quarter or any extra period.”
. 5-12-3, 5.12.3.b
20. Official informs the coach that under no circumstance may a team legally end the game with only 1 player.

“When there is only one player participating for a team, the team shall forfeit the game, unless the referee believes that team has an opportunity to win the game.”
. 3-1