More Sportsbasketball101articlescoachingdrillsequipment listformationsfoulsgameshow toleaguespass typespositionsplayersquestionsreferee rolesruleslist of rulesshot typesskillsstatisticsstrategytermscourtstournamentstrainingtraining equipmenttrophiesviolationscollegelearnnba teamsmarch madnessnbawheelchair basketball
  1. basketball
  2. 101
  3. ball movement

Ball Movement Basketball

Table of Contents

Basketball Ball Movement

Basketball is a game filled with movement. Players are always moving on the court. It's important to understand how you can move with and without the ball in a game.

There are four ways that players can move with the ball on the court in basketball.

  1. Passing
  2. Shooting
  3. Dribbling
  4. Pivoting

Passing In Basketball

Players can pass the ball with one or two hands. Players can use an overhand or underhand motion. The fastest way to pass the ball is to use two hands and push it in the air directly towards a teammate to catch. This is referred to as an air pass. Bouncing the ball off the floor is also allowed but is slower. This pass is called a bounce pass.

Basketball Pass
PRO TIP: Passing is the fastest way to move the ball on the court.

You can learn more about passing in our tutorial on Basketball Passing.

Shooting In Basketball

Shooting is another way to move the ball on the court. Shooting the ball in the net is the only way to earn points for your team. Players may shoot from anywhere on the court, but usually will elect to shoot from within or around the three point line.

Basketball Shot

You can learn more about shooting in our tutorial on Basketball Shooting.

Dribbling In Basketball

Dribbling is an action where the ball-handler repeatedly bounces the ball off the floor. Dribbling is the only way you can move the ball on the court while having the same player keep the ball. If a player moves with the ball and does not dribble, he will commit a traveling foul.


Traveling is a type of foul that occurs when a player takes more than two steps with the ball without dribbling. Traveling is a personal foul.

Basketball Dribbling

You can learn more about dribbling in our tutorial on Basketball Dribbling.

Pivoting In Basketball

Pivoting is when a player has the ball and rotates around his pivot foot. When a player starts to pivot, he can not dribble again, but he can pass or shoot. Pivoting involves skillful footwork, and can be gained to step into a better passing or shooting position.

You can learn more about pivoting in our tutorial on Basketball Pivoting.

Basketball Movement

When you don't have the ball it's your job to get into position on the court. Players are not limited to how they can move on the court as long as they don't go out-of-bounds and touch the ball. Also, players can not go back into their half of the court with possession of the ball once they cross midcourt. When you don't have the ball, it's important to understand the following.

Spacing On The Court

Spacing on the court describes your position on the court relative to your teammates. A good coach will have his offense and defense understand spacing and know how to play a variety of formations like man-to-man, zone, or press.

Basketball Cutting

Cutting is also important for both offensive players and defensive players. When a player cuts, he makes a sudden movement away from an opposing player to get open on the court. There are lots of cut types in basketball.

You can learn more about cutting and cuts in our tutorial on Basketball Cuts.

Ball Movement Terms

Moving in basketball is so important, we've created a list of terms you should know to understand it.


Basketball ArticlesSports Strategy and Tactics