NBA Rules of Basketball (NBA Official Basketball Rules & Regulations)

Basketball is an enjoyable game and you need to experience it to believe it. So, are you new to this game? Well, you are surely going to have a good time. However, you need to keep in mind that there are some rules and regulations you need to follow for smooth running of the game.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has in place some rules and regulations that you must strictly adhere to when playing the game.

Internationally, there is a body known as the International Basketball Federation Commission that determines those rules. These guidelines are meant to manage the players, procedures and those presiding over the game.

NBA Rules of Basketball

Now, as a beginner, the last thing you want is to get penalties for violating these rules. As such, it is very important to learn and internalize them. Let us go through these rules.

NBA Rules

  1.  You can throw the ball in any direction whether with one hand or both. Not too much restriction right?
  2. It is acceptable to strike the ball in any direction. You can choose to use one of your hands or both on this one as well.
  3. To be the winner of the game, your side has to have the most points. This side is always declared winner.As such, when playing, your aim should be to earn the most points.
  4. As a player, you cannot run with the ball. If you are throwing, you must do it from the spot where you catch the ball. The only allowance available is for anyone who catches the ball while running.
  5. You cannot use your body to catch the ball. You can only catch it in between your hands.
  6. It is a foul to use your fist to hit the ball. Another foul occurs when you push or shoulder an opponent.
  7. You should never shoulder, trip, hold, push, or shoulder an opponent in any way.
  8. A goal is scored when you throw or hit the ball from the ground into the basket. However, even if the ball fails to drop from the basket, it is also a goal.
  9. The only judge of the game is the referee. He is accountable for the baskets and he or she is the one to decide when the ball is in play and to which side it belongs. The referee also keeps time.
  10. The standard time for any basketball game is two fifteen-minute halves with a five minute break in between.
  11. If one or either side makes three consecutive catches, it counts as a goal for their opponents.

NBA Updated Rules

As mentioned before, is a body that’s primarily involved in the creation of rules for the basketball game particularly in the US. It works hand in hand with its board of governors to come up with regulations meant to refine this beautiful game.

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They made some modifications in how the game flows and gave directives for timeouts. The following are the new measures put in place.

  1. A player is only allowed afoul limit of six.
  2. If the game is being played on overtime, the clock stops after the last two minutes of the fourth period.
  3. The referee will assess the delay of any game desecration.
  4. Only 5 minutes are allowed for overtime.
  5. For each overtime, there will be two timeouts. Note that originally, there were three timeouts for the teams.
  6. Regardless of whether the game is televised or not, the timeout period of the game remains the same.
  7. After the fifth foul for the period of the game, there is a free bonus.
  8. There are amaximum number of only five players allowed on a free throw lane. Three defensive players and two offensive ones.
  9. The NBA body ensures that all the jersey numbers for the basketball players are legal.

NBA Basketball Rules

NBA Court Regulation

The length of the basketball court is one of the most important NBA basketball rules. They have in place their own measurements for a perfect court. As such, anyone who constructs a court must follow these rules.

The court must be 50 feet wide and 94 feet long.

Twenty-four-second Shot Clock

The 24-second shot clock is another regulation. If you are holding the ball as a team, you have a maximum of twenty-four seconds to attempt firing a shot.All NBA games have four quarters lasting 12 minutes each.


It is compulsory for both teams to have a one-minute timeout during the game.Only two timeouts are allowed. Each 20-second timeout lasts for each half game played.

Fighting and flagrant fouls

Finally, it is unacceptable to fight from the bench during an NBA game. If you are on the bench, the general rules stipulate that you cannot get off the bench to help your teammates in the field.

Doing this will ultimately lead to a fine or your suspension for the next game. No player wants to face this right? Observe this rule to keep you away from any trouble.

Also prohibited are fragrant fouls. The two fouls can occur on two occasions. First, when you make needless contact with your opponent like pushing, shoving, or shouldering. The penalty for this is being adjourned from your next game or being fined.

The second one, which is more serious, states that, if you have extreme contact with an opponent, you will be fined, suspended, or ejected.

Rules and Regulations for Basketball

Each participant in this sport has rules and regulations to observe.

You might realize that there are numerous rules you need to observe before engaging in this game. However, it depends on where in the world you are located. There are rules for the defensive and offensive side, as well as for the players in the game.

Here are the rules you need to adhere to in this game.

Rules for Everyone

Each player has to observe the all the foul rules. During the course of the game, you will realize that unnecessary touching, shouldering, or tripping will result in fouls. Regardless of whether you are playing for the offensive or defensive side, foul applies to each player in the game.

  • Goaltending. This means that no one is allowed to touch the ball when it is heading for the basket or while it is on the edge, as this will prevent scoring.
  • Hitting or kicking the ball using your fist is prohibited.

Rules for the Defensive

The side without the ball is known as the defensive team. It has only one major rule for its players.

  • Not to foul. This requires you not to touch your opponent, as it will result to foul. As such, if you are on the defensive side, you need to avoid any physical contact with an offensive player at all costs.

Rules for the Offensive

This is the team with the ball. They have to observe the following five main rules.

  1. The ball must stay within bounds. You need to stay in bounds since you will be having control of the ball. This will guarantee that the other team does not get to control the ball.
  2. The ball must dribbled with one hand. As an offensive player, the only time you should use both hands is when you are using the pivot foot. This is when you move with one foot while the other one is motionless.
  3. As a player, your hand must be on top of the ball as you dribble. Carrying the ball is illegal and may result in a penalty.
  4. Backcourt violation is another rule that you must observe. It states that once you cross half of the court, you cannot go back unless when a defensive player hits the ball back.
  5. A player will only take one turn at dribbling and it occurs mostly after a short pass. What this means is that if you stop dribbling the ball you are prohibited from starting a second time. You will lose the ball to your opponents if you do this.

Basic Rules of Basketball

You need to note some fundamental rules of the game as you participate as a trainee in the basketball game. Violating any of them means that you will not be able to master the game. In addition, you risk being an incompetent player in the future.

The fundamental rules include:


Time is of essence. As such, you need to know how long a full game takes and the pauses included in between.

The basketball game involves four phases of 10 minutes each. In the event that there is a tie, there will be an overtime tiebreaker for five minutes until a winner emerges.


It is always good to know the main objective. Naturally, the team with most points is the winner.

Therefore, as you play, your target must be to score the most points. This is achieved by getting the ball to go through the opponent team’s basket as many times as possible.

The Number of Players

This sport can take a maximum number of twelve players with each side having five players inside the court at the same time.

The remaining two will act as substitutes. Note that the game allows for many switches.


As a beginner, you need to master the aspect of scoring. Ultimately as you play, you goal is to earn more points for yourself. Nevertheless, it is important to learn how and in which way you are required to score in the game.

There are three different ways for you to score a basket, with three different points for each.

If you score a basket beyond the three-point arc, you earn three points.

If your score is from near the basket that is within the three-point arc, you will earn two points and lastly, if you score a basket from the free-throw line, you get one point. With this information, you will know how to earn more points while playing.

Shot clock

You might or might not know what this is. Well, it is the maximum amount of time a team has to try shooting after getting the ball.

You only have twenty-four seconds to attempt a shot in this game. Again, if you are on the offensive side,you should not remain inside the main restricted areas for more three recurrent seconds.

You will not slip up at all if you master this crucial rule.

Moving the Ball

There are explicit directions you need to learn for passing the ball. For instance, you have to take two steps prior to passing the ball without dribbling it.

Moreover, the ball may be passed from a player to another or dribbled from one point to another .It is wrong to start dribbling the ball after ending.

The other thing you need to know about moving the ball is that once the team with the ball passes half-court, they are prohibited from crossing back with the ball.


As a beginner, you need to be very cautious about fouls. This is because serious fouls can cost your team and you do not want that do you? While in the court, try to avoid fouls as much as you can to save your team points.

You risk being banned if you make five or more personal fouls. This means illegal physical contact with an opponent. If you make unnecessary physical contact with someone making a shot,it will result to two shots from within the arc and three shots from outside


For anything to succeed there must be rules and regulations to govern it and the basketball game is no exception. Simply put, these rules and regulations keep the game going.

Basketball has very easy and clear rules to follow. The game has to be kept ethical and this may be hard for some people at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will also get the opportunity to enjoy it.

All you have to do is to keenly take note of all the rules of the game and observe them and you will certainly become a basketball player to reckon with.

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