Basketball Pass Types

Basketball Pass Types

There are several types of passes in basketball that are used for different purposes. Passing in basketball is a key part of how teams move the ball around the court, and many NBA players have built their careers on being good passers. Below is a list of the most common types of passes in basketball.

Air Pass

Basketball Air Pass

An air pass in basketball is one of two kinds of passes a player can execute in basketball. An air pass is when a player passes the ball in the air to one of their teammates. The alternative to an air pass is a bounce pass. Types of air passes include chest passes, one-handed passes, and overhead passes.

Alley-Oop Pass

basketball Alley Oop

Alley-oops are some of the most exciting passes in the game of basketball and are a great way to exert one’s dominance over their opponent. An alley-oop pass consists of throwing the ball up to a teammate near the hoop, who will then proceed to dunk or lay up the ball in order to score. These passes are extremely difficult to execute and are most commonly seen in professional basketball.

Baseball Pass (One-Handed Pass)

Basketball One Handed Pass

A baseball pass in basketball is when the ball travels from one teammate to another. The ball can either travel through the air or bounce off the floor. What differentiates it from a normal pass is the delivery. A normal pass can also travel through the air or bounce on the court but is typically thrown with two hands. A baseball pass is thrown using only one hand and, at times, resembles a player throwing a baseball, hence its name.

Behind-the-Back Pass

A behind-the-back pass is an advanced type of pass used to avoid a defender directly in a player’s path. A player will wrap the ball around their back and throw it behind them. A behind-the-back pass is also useful for transferring the ball to a teammate that is trailing on a fast break. This is a difficult pass and should be practiced extensively before using it in a game.

Bounce Pass

Basketball Bounce Pass

The ball will travel from one teammate, bounce on the floor, and travel toward another teammate. A bounce pass in basketball is the second main type of pass that is used between two teammates. The bounce pass is one of the main components of a basketball offense and can be used in many different ways.

Chest Pass

Basketball Chest Pass

A chest pass in basketball is one of the most basic yet commonly used passing techniques in the game. It is used to quickly pass the ball from one player to another on the offense. When using a chest pass, a player passes the ball starting from their chest, extends their arms out, and propels the ball forward using both hands towards their teammate.

Dribble Pass

A dribble pass in basketball is a simple pass where a player initially dribbles the ball but then immediately throws it with one hand to a teammate. This particular type of pass is difficult to execute because it requires rapid improvisation and also depends on the ability of the player to pass accurately and quickly with just one hand. If a player can pull off a dribble pass, they have a great chance of catching the defending team off guard.

Entry Pass

Basketball post entry pass

An entry pass in basketball can refer either to a team inbounding the ball to start play or passing the ball down low near the basket. One of the most simple yet important variations of an entry pass is the inbound pass. In order for a team to dribble up the court and begin their offensive possession, the ball must be inbounded to indicate that play has begun.

Inbound Pass

Basketball Inbound Pass

An inbound pass in basketball is when the ball is thrown from an out-of-bounds player to a player on the court, which puts the ball in play. Besides jump balls, inbound passes are the only other way of putting the ball back in play during a basketball game. Inbound passes only happen when the ball goes out of bounds or after the other team scores.

Lob Pass

Basketball Lob Pass

A lob pass in basketball is an elevated air pass that is intended for either long distances or setting up a teammate for a slam dunk. Lob passes are usually high, arched passes meant to go over a defensive player before reaching a teammate. Often, a lob pass will be sent to a player close to the basket, who can reach up to catch it and put it in the basket.

No-Look Pass

Basketball No Look Pass

A no-look pass in basketball is a type of pass where the ball handler passes the basketball to a teammate while facing or looking in a different direction. The no-look pass is difficult, as the player has to deliver a pinpoint pass without looking where they’re throwing the ball. A no-look pass is a type of feint or a move that involves deception to gain an advantage over a defender.

Outlet Pass

basketball Outlet Pass

Outlet passes allow the player that has just gained possession of the ball to quickly transfer it to a teammate who is already down the court. An outlet pass in basketball is a pass made following a defensive rebound. The offensive team can then advance the ball up the court before the opposing defense can recover and get in the proper position.

Overhead Pass

Basketball overhead pass

An overhead pass in basketball is a type of pass that a player makes by throwing the ball from over the top of their head. This pass generally has more power than a typical chest pass and can travel farther distances. The ball should land in the chest area of the receiving teammate.

Pick-and-Roll Pass

The pick-and-roll pass is used to defeat a double team or defenders that switch coverage on the pick-and-roll. To perform this pass, a player will dribble with the hand farther away from the target of their pass. Then they will throw the ball up and over their defenders in a motion similar to a hook shot. The screener, who is the target of the pass, will simultaneously move to the basket or the perimeter to receive the pass.

Skip Pass

Basketball Skip Pass

A skip pass in basketball is a pass that goes across the court over or through the defense. It is called a skip pass because it skips the defensive players in between to get across the court quicker. Skip passes can be part of set offensive plays or made in desperation. They are less common than other passes because they are a bigger risk, for it is harder for the passer to see where their pass is going when it travels over multiple players across the court, and it is also possible for a skip pass to be stolen.

Wrap Around Pass

A wrap around pass in basketball is a pass where a player throws the ball around an opposing player in order to reach their teammate. It is called a wrap around because the strategy is to try to toss or bounce the ball around a defender in the way in order to open up a scoring or further passing opportunity. Wrap around passes are risky because they are often easier to intercept, but they can also provide a greater chance to evade defensive pressure.


What is the most common type of pass in basketball?

The most common type of basketball pass is the air pass. Air passes are a general term for any type of pass that is performed from one teammate to another without touching the ground. This includes chest passes, overhead passes, lob passes, and sometimes other passes as well. After air passes, the most common type of pass is bounce passes, which include any form of pass that bounces off the ground before reaching a teammate.

What is the most difficult type of pass in basketball?

While there is no definite most difficult pass in basketball, no-look passes and skip passes usually present the highest degree of difficulty. No-look passes require a player to know where their teammate is and pass it to them without looking at them. Skip passes require a player to pass the ball through or over the defense, making it difficult to get the ball all the way to a teammate without being intercepted.

Who is the greatest passer in NBA history?

The greatest passer in NBA history is certainly up for debate, but most people would be inclined to say the distinction goes to John Stockton. Stockton was a legendary point guard who played for the Utah Jazz and still holds the assists record with a whopping 15,806 career assists. Other all-time great NBA passers include Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Magic Johnson.