Basketball Passing

Basketball Passing

Passing in basketball is a way for players to move the ball on the court between teammates. Passing is a two-step process that requires a minimum of two players on the same team to be effective. The passer must be accurate and must put the correct amount of velocity on the pass in order to reach his teammate in a timely fashion and in the right location.

Basketball Pass

In order to pass the ball, a player must throw or move the ball to a teammate and the teammate must catch the ball. Passing is the fastest way to move the ball on the court large distances since teammates can catch passes from anywhere. Except if they are in the backcourt and their teammate passes to them from the frontcourt this is a backcourt violation and a loss of possession.

Basketball Passing Rules

There are rules in basketball that describe how a player can pass the ball. Here is a list of passing rules in basketball:

  • Players can pass from anywhere on the court as long as they stay inbounds.
  • You can use one or two hands to pass the ball
  • You can pass the ball using an overhand or underhand motion
  • There is no limit on how hard a player can throw the ball
  • You cannot pass the ball to yourself
  • On a pass, you cannot be the first player to touch the ball
  • Players can not pass from the frontcourt to the backcourt
  • Players cannot take more than two steps without dribbling in order to complete a pass

Basketball Overhand Pass

Passing can be done with an overhand motion or underhand motion. Throwing overhand will help a player throw the ball with more force and accuracy at larger distances. Throwing underhand is great for quick passes that are short distances or to create diversions in order to get players open. Basketball players often use overhand passes when inbounding the ball as it is the most effective way to not turn the ball over.

Basketball Overhead Pass

Basketball Why Pass?

Here are some of the reasons why players should choose to pass the ball on the court:

  • To create openings for players to take shots
  • To maintain control of the ball
  • To use time on the game clock
  • To test the defense and see what they are running
  • To keep the ball away from the defense
  • To move the defense

Basketball Openings

An opening or gap is an area on the court that is not being guarded by the defense. Passing allows the offense to find openings on the court for easy shots to be taken. Players can also cut in order to get open for passes or to have lead passes that lead to immediate baskets.

Basketball Game Clock

The game clock keeps track of time in each quarter. Teams should choose to pass the ball if they want to let the game clock tick. This can be an effective method of controlling time late in the 4th quarter. This is a technique that is specifically used with the lead. When trailing it is important to make sure you manage the clock in order to give yourself enough time to get back in the game.

Basketball Coverage

Passing helps the offense control the ball and find weaknesses in the defense early in the game. As a coach, if you're playing a new team, passing will help you discover what type of defense the other team is playing - like zone or man to man coverage. It can also help to understand which players they are most worried about defensively and whether they are double-teaming them or not. Good passing can take strong defenses off of their normal gameplan.

Basketball Positions


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