In basketball, it is illegal to touch the ball when it has a chance of going in the basket. This is known as goaltending. The difference between goaltending and basket interference can be confusing to understand. You may also be confused about the difference between a blocked shot and goaltending. In this tutorial, we'll explain when goaltending vs. basket interference vs. blocked shots.
Basketball Hoop Parts
Imaginary Cylinder Above The Rim
Other examples of basket interference:
- a player touches the ball as it rolls on the rim
- a player puts his hand or part of his body through the rim
- a player touches the ball as it bounces off the backboard and is falling in the rim
- a player hangs on the rim interfering with the ball
- a player purposely pushes the ball to get stuck between the rim and backboard
- a player shakes the rim or backboard interfering with the motion of the ball
Goaltending vs. Basket Interference
Goaltending and basket interference are often used simultaneously and interchangeably. Technically, there is a difference, though: Goaltending only occurs when a shot attempt is on its downward trajectory toward the basket and is interfered with while not yet inside the imaginary cylinder. Basket interference is more inclusive, applying to scenarios in which there is a live ball in the imaginary cylinder or on the rim or backboard.
Goaltending and basket interference can be called on the offense or defense. When committed by the defense, both result in the other team getting two or three points. The offense will get three points if the shot was attempted from beyond the three-point line, and two points if the offensive player shot from inside the arc.
No points are given to a team if goaltending or basket interference was called in a team's backcourt. The ball is to the other team at the spot on the nearest sideline at the free throw line extended.
A blocked shot is when a defender stops the ball as it is released from the shooter's hands. A blocked shot is legal for a defender as long as the ball is not above the height of the rim or is falling down towards the rim.