Basketball Passing

Chapter 5.3

One of the main ways players move the ball on a court is by passing. Get ready to learn about passing and how it works in basketball.


When a player first gets possession of the ball, he/she is in triple threat. It is called triple threat because a player has three (3) options he/she can choose that can be threatening to opposing team. A player can:

  1. Pass The Ball
  2. Shoot The Ball
  3. Dribble The Ball

In this chapter, we will learn about passing in basketball, its rules, and basic strategies.

Passing The Ball

Passing is a two-step process and requires a minimum of two (2) players on the same team to be an effective way of moving the ball in basketball.

Rookie Road Basketball Passing Image

In a pass, the first step requires a player with possession of the ball will throw the ball to a teammate.

The second step of passing the ball in basketball requires a teammate to catch the ball.

Rules Of Passing

The rules of passing in basketball are as follows...

A player CAN:

Rookie Road Basketball Passing Overhand Motion Image

A player CAN NOT:

  • pass the ball to him/herself
  • be the first player to touch his/her pass

A Player MUST:

PRO TIP: A player CAN NOT pass the ball to another player who is in the back court once the ball has crossed the midcourt line into the front court. This is called a back court violation and is a turnover resulting in the other team getting the ball.

Goals Of Passing

So why is passing an effective means of ball movement in basketball? Here are the reasons why a team should pass the ball frequently:

  • to create openings for players to take shots
  • to maintain control of the ball
  • to use time on the game clock

PRO TIP: In addition, passing is the fastest and most effective way to move the ball on the court.

Passing Strategies

Passing helps a team find weaknesses in the opposing team's defense. By designing and executing passing plays, a team can find an opening for a shot to be taken. In basketball, it is much easier to make a basket when a defender isn't guarding you.

Coming Up Next

Up next, we will learn about the two (2) remaining options a player has while in triple threat:

  1. shooting
  2. dribbling

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