Basketball Technical Fouls

Basketball Technical Fouls

In basketball, there is a special type of foul for those that do not have to do with the movements a player makes on the court. Referees enforce these administrative and procedural rules via technical fouls.

NBA Technical Fouls

Technical fouls can be called on players or coaches on the floor or on the sidelines. here are six distinct categories of technical fouls in the NBA:

Excessive Timeouts

If a team runs out of timeouts and still tries to call one, the other team gets a single free thrown and possession of the ball. This most famously occurred in the 1993 NCAA Championship, where Michigan called an excessive timeout at a crucial point in the game. They were assessed with a technical foul, effectively ending the game.

Basketball Technical Foul - excessive timeouts

Delay of Game

If a player or coach prevents the game from continuing, they are first given a delay of game warning before receiving a technical foul on a second offense. This is usually called when a player touches the ball after their team scores a basket.

Number of Players

If a team has less or more than five players on the court, a technical foul is assessed.

Basket Ring, Backboard, or Support

If a player hangs or grabs onto the rim, backboard, or support to gain an advantage, a technical foul is assessed.


Conduct violations are the most common type of technical fouls. These are unsportsmanlike technicals that include swearing or arguing with a referee.

IMPORTANT: A player that receives two unsportsmanlike technical fouls is ejected from the game.

The most famous conduct technical may be owned by Rasheed Wallace, who owns the NBA record for technical fouls in a single season (41). "Sheed" was given a technical foul and ejected just for looking at a referee. Basketball Technical Foul - conduct


While fighting is rare in today's NBA, there was a time when it was fairly common. Technical fouls and automatic ejections are issued for players who fight, as well as a fine of up to $50,000.

College Basketball Technical Fouls

In college basketball (NCAA), there are three categories of technical fouls:

  • Class A Technical Fouls
  • Class B Technical Fouls
  • Administrative Technical Fouls

Class A Technical Foul

In college basketball, a class A technical foul is Unsportsmanlike conduct. Class A technical fouls result in two free throws for the other team and count towards the team foul count.

Class B Technical Foul

In college basketball, a class B technical foul is called if no physical contact is made between players. Class B technical fouls result in one free throw for the other team and do not count towards the team foul count.

Administrative Technical Foul

In college basketball, an administrative technical foul is an organizational error, such as failing to submit a team roster prior to the start of a game. Administrative technical fouls can result in one free throw, but don't count towards the team foul count.

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