A lot of questions are asked by people, especially those who are new to the world of basketball, like how many personal fouls in NBA game are allowed, etc. There are several types of fouls ranging from technical to flagrant that can get players ejected from a game.
So, how many personal fouls before ejection in the NBA are allowed? If you do not commit a flagrant foul, which is a very aggressive foul that can be perceived as intentionally hurting a player, you are allowed six personal fouls before getting ejected from the game. Additionally, you are also allowed two technical fouls before you are awarded an automatic ejection from the basketball court.
- 1 What is a personal foul?
- 2 On what principles are personal fouls determined?
- 3 What are some different types of personal fouls?
- 4 What Are Some Other Types Of Fouls In A Game Of Basketball Similar To Personal Fouls?
- 5 Levels of fouls
- 6 Who decides?
- 7 What are the penalties of personal foul?
- 8 Who are the players that have committed the highest numbers of personal fouls in their careers?
- 9 Conclusion
What is a personal foul?
Although the game is regarded as a non-contact sport, everyone who has watched or participated in a game of basketball will know that is not the case. With ten players on the court competing to gain an advantage over the opponent at a high intensity, it is quite impossible to avoid contact throughout the game.
Personal fouls are called when a player makes illegal contact with the opposing team’s playing member that results in an advantage.
When the foul is called, the live play is stopped immediately. The team that receives the basketball will depend on a lot of factors.
On what principles are personal fouls determined?
Any type of personal contact between players does not constitute a personal foul; this foul is only given when the touch gives the player an advantage and puts the opponent under a disadvantage.
According to FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball), the cylinder principle is given to all players on the court; this means that each player has exclusive rights within an imaginary cylinder. This cylinder is defined by:
A player can occupy any space outside the cylinder of the opponent. No one is allowed to reach or step into this boundary. Additionally, the player should not bend his body or extend his limbs in a way that is abnormal. If the principle is breached and puts the opposition player into a disadvantage, the referee can call in a personal foul.
However, the rules of the NBA vary a bit and do not follow the cylinder principle; according to the rules, a player does not reach in a position that is not normal or allowed to bend his body, apart from the regular boundaries like hold, push, etc.
Additionally, there is also the element of distance and time. This is in concern of the distance of another person and the reaction time. This applies only to players who are not in possession of the ball, not the ball carrier.
For instance, when you set a screen directly behind the opposition team’s player directly; this means that the player would not have enough time nor space to react to the screen to avoid it.
What are some different types of personal fouls?
There are some different categories of personal fouls that include:
When there is significant illegal contact between the attacker and the defender, it usually means that the defender has committed a blocking foul or the attacker committed the offensive or charging foul. This happens when the player runs over or pushes the defensive player. As a result, the ball is handed over to the team on whom the foul was committed.
This is the opposite of the charging foul. Blocking is the illegal personal contact that results from a defender not able to establish a position according to the time to prevent the attacker from driving into the basket.
This is a type of foul where the player uses his hand to slow or impede the movement of another player. Usually, the foul is committed by the defensive player who is covering the player with the ball within the perimeter.
This foul is almost similar to the hand check foul. The difference here is that the foul is called upon when a player grabs another player and prevents them from moving.
Illegal hand use
Apart from all these types of personal fouls, referees can also call out fouls if the player is using his hands on another player in ways that the referee thinks it is illegal. For instance, a player uses his elbow in a sneaky manner while trying to steal the ball or shooting.
Over the back
This foul is called upon when rebounding. If one player is already in a set position, other players are not allowed to jump over their backs in an attempt to gain possession of the ball. This foul can be called upon both attacking and defending players.
This is a type of foil that will be given to players who get violent with the opponent. This includes punching, hitting, and kicking. Mostly, this foul result in a free throw and the offense retains the possession of the ball after the free throw.
What Are Some Other Types Of Fouls In A Game Of Basketball Similar To Personal Fouls?
Apart from personal fouls, some other types of fouls in a game of basketball are:
Defensive fouls are committed whenever a defensive player makes use of illegal contact in an attempt to stop the attacking player. This type of foul happens all the time in a typical game. Defenders are allowed to move backward and sideways to block the path of the attacker; however, moving forward to push the attacker back is not allowed.
The defensive players are also not allowed to initiate contact, which mostly happens when they are unsuccessful in blocking a shot or stealing the ball. The penalties depend on what point of a play they were caught committing.
As the name suggests, offensive fouls are the fouls committed by the attacking players. This mostly happens when attacking players are trying to get past defensive players by holding or pushing the opponents. Some of the most common offensive fouls include illegal screens and charging fouls. All, except for one, offensive fouls result in the change of possession; the exception being if the foul is committed in the penalty area.
Watch this video to get a better understanding about offensive foul.
Technical fouls are the type of fouls that are committed without any illegal physical contact. Some examples of technical fouls include fighting, screaming at a referee or a player, or calling for a time-out when the team has called all of them. The penalty for this type of foul is the possession of the ball and a free throw.
Levels of fouls
When comparing fouls and getting ejected out of the game, this can be done via the different levels of the fouls and its severity. The minimum fine of a foul is $2,000. So, how many personal fouls in NBA?
When it comes down to it, a personal foul is considered the lowest form of foul to be awarded to the team at fault. While you are allowed six fouls in a game, the trouble will start once you commit four fouls. This is the time when you need to realize that you might get into a serious problem.
A technical foul is less severe than a flagrant; however, the referee will keep a close eye on you after the first one. If you land another technical foul, you could possibly be ejected from the game. If you have four technical fouls and receive the fifth foul, which is a personal foul, you can argue with the referee to give you a sixth foul; once you cross this threshold, you will be ejected from the game for the rest of its duration.
On the other hand, a flagrant foul is considered much more severe and can cause you to get ejected from the game without any questions; this will also depend on the severity of the foul. This does not mean that every flagrant foul will result in ejection from the game. The fouls will be first assessed by officials via video replays and then the severity of it will be determined.
The official referee of the game decides if the personal foul is committed or not. While some fouls can be made out very easily and obviously, there are others that can be difficult to determine. However, once the referee has made up his mind, arguing against the decision will land you nowhere.
What are the penalties of personal foul?
The referee can record two foul counts on the scoresheet – a player foul against the offending player during the game and a team foul against the offending team during the current quarter or half. In scenarios, whichever team or player accumulates too many fouls in that time period enters into what is known as penalty situation; this puts the other team into the bonus.
On a foul that is committed by the defense, if the team/player commits the foul within the penalty area or when the fouled player was in the act of shooting, the fouled player will be provided with free throws. Or else, on offensive fouls, the fouled team will be given the ball’s possession to pass from the point that is out-of-bounds and closest to the foul towards inbounds. The shot clock is then reset.
However, you might see in some rulebooks (such as the FIBA), a technical foul is also included in the count of player fouls.
If the game stretches on to overtime, the count of the fouls does not get reset. They continue throughout the overtime period as if it was just an extension of the normal game. However, the WNBA and NBA are exceptions; every overtime session has its own sets of team fouls.
Who are the players that have committed the highest numbers of personal fouls in their careers?
As mentioned above, basketball is a non-contact sport where getting physical with the other players is strictly prohibited. However, maintaining the rule is better said than done. Physical contact is unavoidable, which results in fouls. Here are some of the top names when it comes to personal fouls:
Personal foul count: 4657
When it comes to personal foul count, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the world record. He is also ranked third on rebounding and blocks and was known for frequently messing opponents badly.
Personal foul count: 4578
In this career spanning over 19 years, Karl Malone was the main scorer of his team. Due to this, he was often targeted by the opposition; to tackle this problem, Karl came up with his own solutions.
Personal foul count: 4443
Robert Parish was a calm and quiet player, which might be surprised that he is even on the list. While he did not get physical intentionally most of the time, he was often coaxed by the opposition.
Personal foul count: 4421
Charles Oakley was an NBA player known for his physical built and style of playing. This reputation was justified by the number of personal fouls he committed.
Personal foul count: 4383
Apart from having one of the largest numbers of personal fouls, he was mostly remembered for ranking #14 in rebounds in his NBA career.
Over the course of a basketball game, the chances of you committing a foul or two as a player is a lot. These rules keep the high-energy and fast-paced game fun, fair, and safe. It is always advised that you do not commit any type of foul because if you exceed the set limited number, you could be removed from play. Additionally, you need to purchase the best gear like protective pads (McDavid Hex Knee Pads is the best option) from rough contact.
Apart from personal fouls, there are a lot of other violations and fouls that you need to be aware of. However, personal fouls are the most common ones. If the above article on personal fouls gave you a better understanding of it, you can share it with other basketball enthusiasts.