When a player passes the ball, he throws the ball to a teammate and the teammate catches the ball. Passing is the fastest way to move the ball on the court large distances since teammates can catch passes from anywhere.
IMPORTANT: Players cannot pass the ball to teammates in the back court once they bring the ball into the front court by passing the midcourt line. This action will result in a turnover called a back court violation.
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
Basketball Overhand Throw
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.
Basketball Why Pass?
- To create openings for players to take shots
- To maintain control of the ball
- To use time on the game clock
- To learn more about the defense
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.
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.
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.