Blocking Foul In Basketball

Basketball Blocking Foul

A blocking foul in basketball is a foul assessed to a defensive player who is not properly positioned and makes contact with an offensive player to stop their movement. If the defensive player is still moving, does not have their feet planted, or has not established themselves within the ball handler’s path before the two players collide, a blocking foul against the defender will be called.

Result of a Blocking Foul

A blocking foul will result in the ball being taken out of bounds or free throws, depending on if the team is in the bonus. Frequently, one or both players are knocked backwards or to the ground when a blocking foul occurs, making it easy to tell when the foul should be assessed. However, the difficulty is distinguishing between the foul being called a block or a charge.

Difference Between a Charge and a Block

The opposite of a blocking foul is a charging foul assessed to an offensive player. Blocking fouls often occur as a result of the defense attempting to take a charge but not getting to the proper position in time. Charging fouls occur when the offensive play makes excessive contact with a defender who is properly set. The defining factor between a blocking foul and a charging foul is whether or not the defender had proper timing and positioning before the contact was made.

Restricted Area

The restricted zone is an area of the court used in NBA and NCAA basketball in which charging fouls cannot be called. In other words, the defensive player must be outside of this zone or else they will be called for a blocking foul. It is common for blocking fouls to occur in this zone.

The restricted zone is marked by a small half circle measuring about four feet placed underneath the rims. This zone is present to provide an advantage to the offensive players and prevent excessive attempts to receive charging calls near the basket. Keep in mind, the restricted zone is not present in some high school or youth basketball leagues.


What happens after a blocking foul in basketball?

After a blocking foul, the player who commits the foul will be charged with one personal foul. The player who got fouled will then either take two shots if they were in the motion of shooting or inbound the ball from the baseline.

What is the difference between a blocking foul and a charge?

In basketball, blocking fouls and charges are inversely related. Blocking fouls are defensive fouls called on players who impede an opponents movement to the hoop without setting their feet, whereas charging fouls are the result of an offensive player running into a defender who does successfully set their feet in front of their opponent. In short, a blocking foul is an unsuccessful attempt to draw a charge.

How is a blocking foul signaled in basketball?

When a blocking foul is committed, the referee will blow the whistle and bring both of their hands to their hips. The motion is similar to a thrust, with the ref’s arms moving quickly towards their hips. This action is noticeably different than a charge call, which entails the referee putting one hand behind their head and the other arm pointing in the opposite direction of play.