What Is A Loose Ball Foul In Basketball? [Updated Explanation 2021]

When watching basketball matches, you at least once will hear the phrase “loose ball foul.” However, this foul is confusing to non-basketball players like us.

What is a loose ball foul in basketball? In this article, we will explain in an easiest-to-understand way so that you can understand the concept. Let’s begin!

What Is A Loose Ball Foul In Basketball? 

There are probably many times you watch basketball players trying to take possession of the ball when there is any loose ball on the field. In this situation, any player who tries to contest the ball, but does not successfully control it, is still considered to have committed a loose ball foul. 

A loose ball foul occurs when the ball moves loose, and one of the two teams strives for ball control. This can result in a random rebound of a ball shot while one player from any of the two squads dribbles the ball aggressively. This behavior is regarded as a loose ball foul. However, you should pay attention that flagrant or punching fouls aren’t counted as loose ball fouls.

For this reason, this foul is very confusing and difficult to explain. Many people do not agree with this, even though it is a common foul in basketball. 

Particularly, what situations are counted as loose ball mistakes? Here are some examples to help you have a better understanding. 

  1. A player drops or messes up the ball and makes it roll freely on the court. A player propels the other one out of the way to get the ball.
  2. A bounce-back through the air after long-hitting, and one player grabs the arm of the other team’s player so that they can’t jump into the air to recover the bounce.
  3. A player delivers a high pass to the teammate, but unfortunately, it misses. In this situation, if a rival deliberately grabs the arm of the player of the other team receiving the pass and doesn’t let them catch the ball, then it is a foul.
  4. One player’s stroke is blocked, and the ball lands on the field. However, this player later impels the competitive opponents to the floor to not catch the ball off the ground.

What Is A Loose Ball Foul In Basketball


Is Loose Ball Foul Regarded As A Personal Foul? 

From the explanation above, many people may wonder whether a loose ball foul in basketball is considered a personal foul or not. We will provide you with an explanation shortly below. 

According to its definition revealed above, a loose ball foul happens when a player of one team tries to create illicit contact with the opponents without flagrant or punching foul. 

Besides, NBA rules define that when defending, the player can only use chest and switch sides to stop his rival. They mustn’t make any contact with shoulders, knees, arms, or hips. When two opponents are guilty of a personal foul against each other with any violation like pushing, grabbing, or holding, it is recognized as a personal foul. 

For these reasons, a loose ball foul is considered a personal foul. 

What Are The Different Types Of Fouls In Basketball? 

There are mainly three fouls in basketball, including personal foul, technical foul, and double foul. We will clarify them below.

Personal foul

A personal foul is a common but not serious foul in basketball. This foul happens when two players of the two teams have a close collision, such as pushing, grasping, or holding the opponent’s body. Depending on the specific cases, the referee will decide to sanction the behavior of the players. Nevertheless, in case any player charges five fouls, they will be sent out of the match.

Basketball players will be considered to commit a personal foul if they violate one of the following mistakes:

  • Reach in fouls
  • Charging fouls
  • Shooting fouls
  • Blocking fouls
  • Over the back fouls
  • Loose ball foul

Technical foul

A technical foul is also known as unsportsmanlike behavior. Unlike a personal error, this error is not caused by direct physical contact between the players. Specifically, when team members sitting on the bench or the floor are engaged in offensive behavior such as taunting, offensive language, throwing chairs, hitting, spitting, or hitting.

Double foul

When two teams foul each other simultaneously, the foul will be counted as a double foul. Also, this kind of foul is regarded and sanctioned as a personal foul. If any player commits double fouls more than once, he will be kicked out of the game.


What Is A Loose Ball Foul In Basketball 1

How To Protect A Loose Ball? 

How to defend a loose ball? After a player gains control of the ball, he can protect a loose ball in several ways. 

The common way is when the opponent has got the ball; the player should turn his back to the opposing player. Then the opponent has to find a way to drag the ball past them to get the ball.

Besides, the player can prevent a loose ball foul by tapping the ball to his teammates to control the ball comfortably. This action is not called for a personal foul. 

In general, it is relatively difficult to understand when it comes to the definition of a loose ball foul in basketball. However, with its specific examples in certain situations, we make sure that now you comprehend this common foul in basketball.


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In The Nutshell

We have explained the common question – What is a loose ball foul in basketball? This is a popular foul and is often regarded as a personal foul. We have recommended some methods for players to protect a loose ball. Besides, some of the basketball fouls are classified to help you have a better understanding. 

Hopefully, this article has explained clearly all your concerns related to a loose ball foul. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post!

Reference Source: Loose Ball Foul Call – Basketball Referees You Make The Call

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