Basketball Dribbling

What is dribbling in basketball? How many hands can a player use to dribble? Get ready to learn the rules of dribbling in basketball.

Basketball Dribbling

Dribbling in basketball is an action the ball-handler can take to move the ball on the court while retaining possession. Dribbling differs from passing, since the same player retains control of the ball. Dribbling is a continuous motion and works by having a player use one hand to repeatedly bounce the ball off floor.

Basketball Dribbling

Basketball Dribbling Rules

There are rules in basketball that describe how a player can dribble the ball. Here are the rules of dribbling in basketball:

  • You can dribble anywhere on the court as long as they stay inbounds
  • You must use one hand at a time
  • You can bounce the ball off the floor as high as you want
  • You can not use two hands
  • You can not hold the ball in the air while moving on the court
  • You can not palm the ball, by lifting it into the air with your hand
  • You can not stop dribbling and then start again
  • You can not dribble once a pivot foot is established

Basketball Dribbling Violations

If a player breaks any of these dribbling rules, a violation will be called by the referee. Violations result in a turnover and the other team getting the ball. Here is a list of dribbling violations in basketball:

Basketball Picking Up Your Dribble

At any point the ball-handler can stop dribbling and pick up his dribble. When a player decides to pick up the dribble, he grabs the ball and holds it. Once a player picks up his dribble, he can no longer dribble again. Instead, he can only pass, shoot, or pivot.

Basketball Picking Up Your Dribble

Basketball Pivoting

Pivoting in basketball is an action the ball-handler can take by rotating around his pivot foot. Players can pick their pivot foot when they choose to pick up their dribble. A player's pivot foot must remain in place when pivoting and can only come off the floor when the player shoots or passes.

Basketball Pivoting

We'll learn more about pivoting in Basketball Pivoting.

Basketball Traveling

If a player picks up his dribble while moving towards the basket he can take up to two additional steps without being called for a travel by the referee.

Basketball Dribbling History

Dribbling wasn't always allowed in the rules of basketball. In the early days of basketball, only passing and shooting was allowed. Dribbling was added to the game when players began passing the ball to themselves. Instead of allowing players to pass to themselves, dribbling was added to the game.

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