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Foul Facts of Basketball

Jun 21, 2008
Fouls are a part of every basketball game. They are also a point of great disagreement. You should undersatnd fouls in order to prevent yourself from getting a foul called on you while you are playing. Additionally, understanding more about fouls will help you to see why a referee may have called the foul.

Calling fouls is very subjective, but you have to honor the referee's calls. Knowing more about fouls will help you to learn what a foul is and why it may be called. You will also learn a bit about what happens in each situation when a foul is called. This understanding can also help prevent you from taking fouls too lightly since you will understand the penalties and risks associated with getting a foul called against your team.

The definition of a foul is an attempt to disadvantage another player outside the scope of the rules. They are usually committed through physical contact. Fouls are usually called on defense, but offensive players can commit them also. As mentioned, fouls can be a source of controversy because they are completely left to the discretion of the referee. There are also different types of fouls and different rules apply to how the foul is penalized depending on the game play at the time of the foul.

Types of Fouls

A typical foul is penalized by rewarding the offended player with a free throw. If the foul was committed during an attempt to shoot the ball for a basket, then the fouled player will get the same number of free throw attempts equal to the number of points of the shot he was trying to make. If the foul was not during the act of shooting then the player will usually get one free throw.

Technical fouls are given for poor sportsmanship. They can be called on players or on coaching staff. Yelling and acting out can all be causes for a technical foul. The call of a technical foul is especially bad for the team that it is called on because in this case the opposing team gets to choose the player who is to make the free throw. This means they will usually choose the best shooter and almost always get the free throw shot.

Limits on Fouls

There are limits placed on how many fouls a team can get during a game. Once the maximum allotted number of fouls have been made the rules change about penalties. When the team gets fouls over the maximum allowed the other team will get one to two free throws for each foul over. The exact rules vary from league to league. It is also possible for a player to be fouled out of the game, meaning when they get too many fouls they are no longer allowed to play for the remainder of the game.

As you can see fouls are a serious thing. No team wants to violate rules, but it happens sometimes and there are penalties to play. Too many fouls can cost a team the game, so, other than getting that ball in the basket, avoiding a foul should be a main goal of any player.
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