In order to successfully complete a bounce pass, one player must bounce the ball off of the court into another player on his or her team's hands. The ball should only bounce once and should not be touched by any defenders on its way to the other player.
Since most passes are completed without touching the ground at all, a bounce pass can be used in various situations to get past the defense when a chest pass would not suffice. For instance, if a player is being closely guarded by a defender that could easily block the ball from travelling through the air, a bounce pass could get under their arms and travel to another player much more easily.
The bounce pass is best suited for situations when the player with the ball is being guarded closely and the teammate they want to pass it to is traveling toward the basket, since it can travel quickly past defenders with less of a chance of being stolen. However, the player needs to be able to read the defense and understand which pass is better in every individual situation.
While a bounce pass can be very useful in certain situations, it still has its problems. Bounce passes travel less quickly than passes in the air, thus giving the defense a better chance at stealing the ball. This isn't a major issue for professionals or experienced players, but it can be a problem for youth players.