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Youth Basketball Basics

A Basketball Primer for Parents

Personal Foul Penalties

  • If a player is in the midst of shooting while someone fouls him, then he receives two free throws if his shot doesn't go in. If his shot does go in while someone fouls him, he receives one free throw.
  •  Three free throws are given to a player who is fouled while shooting for a three-point goal and he misses the shot. If he does make the shot while being fouled, he receives one free throw (which, if he makes it, results in 4 points being scored in one play)
  • If a player is fouled when he isn't shooting, play stops and his team takes the ball out of bounds at the nearest sideline.  The team then has  5 seconds to pass it back onto the court and into play.

Foul Terminology

  •  Charging: An offensive foul that is committed when a player pushes or runs over a defensive player. The foul results in the ball being turned over to the defensive team on the sideline.
  • Blocking: Illegal personal contact resulting from a defender not establishing position in time to prevent an opponent's movement towards the basket.
  • Flagrant foul: Violent contact with an opponent (hitting, kicking, punching); This type of foul results in free throws plus the offense being given possession of the ball after the free throws.

  • Intentional foul: When a player makes physical contact with another player with no reasonable effort to steal the ball.

  •  Technical foul- A foul by a player or a coach engaging in some sort of misconduct that does not involve player contact such as a coach yelling at a game official, a player complaining to an official or questioning a call, or arguing with the official.
  • Fouling out: A player who accumulates five fouls in a game (six at the professional level) has "fouled out" and is automatically disqualified from further participation. 

  • Team Fouls: A team that accumulates seven fouls in a half is "over the limit,"  resulting in free throws being awarded to the player fouled regardless of whether he or she was in the act of shooting.  For fouls 7, 8, and 9, the player is awarded a one-and-one (one foul shot, followed by a second free throw attempt if the player makes the first).  Once a team reaches 10 team fouls, the other team shoots two free throws the rest of the half.