Double Dribble In Basketball

Basketball Double Dribble

Dribbling is one of the ways basketball players move the ball down the court, alongside passing and shooting. There are restrictions on how players may dribble, one of which is the double dribble rule. Keep reading to learn more about double dribbles and how to dribble legally in basketball.

What Is a Double Dribble in Basketball?

A double dribble in basketball is a personal violation given to a player that either uses two hands to dribble or stops with the ball and starts dribbling again. When a double dribble occurs, a dead ball turnover is declared, meaning the opposing team gets the ball out of bounds wherever the infraction occurs. It is one of the most elementary rules of basketball and is much more common in youth games than in professional or collegiate games.

Double Dribble Rules

A double dribble has occurred when the player:

  • Begins dribbling, stops to hold the ball, then starts dribbling again
  • Dribbles with two hands on the ball simultaneously

There are a few specific exceptions to the double dribble rule. A player can dribble again even after picking up their dribble if the ball is knocked out of their hands or if they reset their dribble by hitting the rim on a shot. If a shot attempt fails to hit the rim and the shooting player grabs the rebound and begins to dribble again, they will be called for a double dribble violation.

Another exception to the two-hand double dribble rule is known as the power dribble. A power dribble is a technique where a player (who is posting up) uses both hands to forcefully dribble the ball once to set up a post move or back a defender down.

Another common strategy to avoid a double dribble, especially in street basketball games, is to bounce the ball off a defender in order to reset and be allowed to dribble again.

Result of a Double Dribble

The penalty for a double dribble is a turnover of the ball to the other team. In high school, NCAA, and FIBA competition, the ball is then inbounded at the out-of-bounds spot closest to the foul. In the NBA, the opposing team inbounds the ball at the nearest out-of-bounds spot but no closer to the end line than where the free throw line would extend.


What is a double dribble?

A double dribble is a violation in basketball that occurs when a player either uses two hands to dribble or stops with the ball and starts dribbling again. When a player double dribbles, their team loses possession of the ball in a turnover. This specific rule violation is more common in youth leagues than in collegiate or professional play.

What is the result of a double dribble?

A double dribble results in a dead ball turnover. This means that the team of any player that double dribbles immediately loses possession of the ball and has it turned over to the opposing team. The referee will blow their whistle and stop play to signal the double dribble, then restart play with an inbounds pass. This result is the same across all levels of play.