Basketball Substitutions

Basketball Substitutions

A substitution in basketball is when one player on the court is replaced by another player from the bench. The benches are located on the sidelines.

Players that are substituted into the game must be on the team roster and the active list. There is no limit to the number of substitutions a team can make during a game. When a player is fouled out or leaves the court for any reason, they must be replaced by a substitute.

How to Sub In

When one or more players are selected by their coach to enter the game, they must first check in at the scorer's table. This is located in between the benches at midcourt. Once they are at the scorer's table, the player(s) must wait until a dead ball situation to enter the game.

Basketball Substitution

Any players entering the game must report who they are replacing. When a substitution is made, the buzzer sounds briefly and the removed player(s) go to the bench.

When Teams Substitute

In basketball, teams are only allowed to make substitutions when the ball is dead and the clock has stopped.

The referee will call a dead ball after the following situations in a basketball game:

The only exceptions to the dead ball substitution rule are when a player on the court is bleeding or seriously injured and must be replaced immediately.

Basketball Rotations

A rotation is a substitution strategy used by coaches to maximize their top player's performance. Rotations are defined schedules that coaches make that show how much playing time each player gets. Rotation plans not only factor in playing time, but also break time. It is important for the star players of a team to rest, and for other players to gain experience on the court. In a typical 48-minute NBA game, starting players get about 25-35 minutes per game.


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