June 1, 2023

What is a Loose Ball Foul in Basketball (Full Explanation)


All through a basketball activity, from time to time a participant will dedicate a foul on an opponent when the neither staff has claimed possession of the ball.

There is a precise identify for that style of foul – a free ball foul.

In this post, we will clarify what a free ball foul is, I’ll share some illustrations, and then we are going to discuss how to keep away from committing one.

Let’s get started out!

What is a Free Ball Foul?

When neither team have possession of the basketball, the ball is viewed as “unfastened”.

This can happen after a deflection, soon after a rebound, etc.

A “unfastened ball foul” is whistled when a participant commits a foul on an opponent when neither group has possession of the basketball.

This form of foul can be named on equally offensive and defensive players.

It is reasonably self-explanatory in its identify.

If the ball is free and a foul is committed, it gets to be a free ball foul.

Free Ball Foul Illustrations

There are two primary scenarios when loose ball fouls occur:

1. Unlawful speak to when going for a unfastened ball

2. Unlawful contact on a rebound

Let’s examine both of them in detail (and with videos):

1. Unlawful Speak to Though Going for a Loose Ball

After the ball is mishandled by the participant in white, the participant in orange dives for the ball and will make speak to with the legs of the white participant as they’re regaining possession.

This is a loose ball foul on orange.

An additional case in point:

Participant in orange mishandles the ball. As she goes back to retrieve it, the participant in black dives for the ball and will make illegal call with orange’s legs.

This is a free ball foul on black.

2. Illegal Contact on a Rebound

As gamers are preventing for the rebound, the player in white illegally pushes the player in black.

This is a free ball foul on white.

In this play, the player in blue illegally pushes the player in white whilst battling for a rebound.

This is a unfastened ball foul on blue.

Penalty for a Loose Ball Foul

A free ball foul is taken care of like a common personal foul.

The participant who fully commited the foul will be presented a private, and if it is their fifth they will be disqualified and have to leave the recreation. 

If the team fouled is in the bonus, they will get two absolutely free throws.

If the group fouled is not in the bonus, they will be awarded the ball out of bounds in the vicinity of to the place the foul happened on the floor.

Suggestions to Keep away from Committing a Loose Ball Foul

1. Hold Your Hands Off the Opponent

This appears very basic, but it really is the simplest way to avoid finding named for a foul.

When you happen to be heading immediately after the basketball, concentration on the ball and your ideal path to attain possession.

Don’t try to impede your opponent illegally, as which is normally when unfastened ball fouls occur.

2. Keep away from Pushing

If you might be battling for an offensive rebound, be absolutely sure not to drive a participant that is boxing you out.

It truly is complicated to stay clear of nudging anyone who’s in your way, but this will outcome in a free ball foul.

3. Dive safely

If the ball is free and you want to dive on it to gain possession, make positive you usually are not diving at an opponent’s legs. This will undercut them and final result in a foul.


Hazards of Loose Ball Fouls

Player Accidents

Combating for loose balls on rebounds, undesirable passes, and steals can be hazardous.

With various gamers heading soon after the ball at substantial speeds, injuries can arise.

Technological Fouls

When two or more players are going just after the basketball and just one of them gets identified as for a free ball foul, tensions can rise.

When tensions rise, technological fouls can be known as to attempt and gain handle of the condition.

Flagrant Fouls

Flagrant fouls are when a player tends to make unneeded or excessive get in touch with.

If two players are going immediately after a free ball and one particular receives excessively shoved to the floor, the referee may perhaps ascertain that a flagrant foul happened.



Free ball fouls are popular in the game of basketball.

Ordinarily they just final result in a turnover, but they can be expensive for the crew.

These fouls normally take place when gamers are diving for the ball or on rebounding opportunties.

Use the ideas over to assure your team stay away from committing unfastened ball fouls.