NFHS Rules Fundamentals for Basketball
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2009-10 NFHS Basketball Rules
Basketball Rules Fundamentals
- While the ball remains live a loose ball always remains in control of the
team whose player last had control, unless it is a try or tap for goal.
- Neither a team nor any player is ever in control during a dead ball, jump
ball, throw in. or when the ball is in flight during a try or tap for a
- A goal is made when a live ball enters the basket from above and remains in
or passes through unless canceled by a throw-in violation or a player
- The jump ball, the throw-in and the free throw are the only methods of
getting a dead ball live.
- Neither the dribble nor traveling rule operates during the jump ball,
throw-in or free throw.
- It is not possible for a player to travel during a dribble.
- The only infractions for which points are awarded are goaltending by the
defense or basket interference at the opponent’s basket.
- There are three types of violations and each has its own penalty.
- A ball in flight has the same relationship to frontcourt or backcourt,
or inbounds or out of bounds as when it last touched a person or the
- Personal fouls always involve illegal contact and occur during a live ball,
except a common foul by or on an airborne shooter.
- The penalty for a single flagrant personal or flagrant technical foul is two
free throws and disqualification plus awarding the ball to the
opponents for a throw-in.
- Penalties for fouls are administered in the order in which they occur.
- A live-ball foul by the offense (team in the control or last in control if
the ball is loose) or the expiration of time for a quarter or extra period,
causes the ball to become dead immediately unless the ball is in flight
during a try or tap for goal. The ball also becomes dead when a player
control foul occurs.
- The first or only free-throw violation by the offense causes the ball to
become dead immediately.
- A double personal foul involves only personal fouls and only two opponents;
no free throws awarded and the ball is put in play at the point of
interruption. A double technical foul involves only technical fouls and only
two opponents; no free throws are awarded and the ball is put in play at the
point of interruption.
- The official’s whistle seldom causes the ball to become dead (it is already
- "Continuous motion" applies both to tries and taps for field goals and free
throws, but it has no significance unless there is a foul by the defense
during the interval which begins when the habitual trying or tapping motion starts
and ends when the ball is clearly in flight.
- Whether the clock is running or is stopped has no influence on the counting
of a goal.
- A ball which touches the front face or edges of the backboard is treated the
same as touching the floor inbounds except that when the ball touches the
thrower’s backboard, it does not constitute a part of a dribble.
- If the ball goes through the basket before or after a player control foul,
the goal shall not be counted.