Pedantic Basketball Rules Q

Pedantic cause it would almost never happen.

I’m trapped under my own rim and have used up my dribble. No one to pass to…can i hit my own rim with the ball and dribble?

Different question and this could happen though I’ve never seen it. Goaltending says it must be illegaly blocking A SHOT. Every blue moon you’ll see the ball come off the floor or deflect off someone and go in the net. Should a defender think of it…they could just swat it away couldn’t they as there was no shot??

For goaltending:

The rules in various leagues (NBA, WNBA, NCAA, FIBA, etc.) are slightly different. But in the NBA, at least, goaltending doesn’t necessarily require that it block A SHOT. Here’s the official NBA rule:

Only Subsections 3 and 4 specify “on a field goal attempt”, and for that matter Subsection 6 specifies that “any ball…that is on its downward flight with an opportunity to score is…considered to be a ‘field goal attempt’ or trying for a goal.”

You can hit your own rim with the ball and recover it, then dribble again according to the rules below.

Rule No. 10: Violations and Penalties
Section II—Dribble

  1. A player may not dribble a second time after he has voluntarily ended his first dribble.

  2. A player may dribble a second time if he lost control of the ball because of:

  3. A field goal attempt at his basket, provided the ball touches the backboard or basket ring

  4. A pass or fumble which touches his backboard, basket ring or is touched by another player.

Thanks all! That certainly clears up both questions.

There is some interpretation of “field goal attempt”. Hitting the rim with the ball would probably be called an attempt but if you made it obvious that you were just trying to reestablish your dribble you could be called for traveling.

In that case you just have to make it look like a fumble.

Why? The rule doesn’t suggest that. If you hit the rim, you’re in the clear.

…Called for traveling? Is that even a thing in the NBA any more?

It depends on a few things, including how smooth a player can make it look and how much money the player makes.

What’s funny is that traveling does get called but it’s almost always either on a jab step around the three point line or during a post-up. The casual fan probably doesn’t notice these. It’s almost never called when a player is going in for a dunk no matter how egregious it is, even when every fan can tell it’s a violation.

Can you just throw the ball up through the hoop, and let it come back down to score a basket?

No, if it goes through the hoop the wrong way, it’s a violation. The play is whistled dead and possession goes to the other team.

Well i am under my own rim. I guess i could score a layup for the other team and just inbound it again

What does “his basket” mean? If any basket has acceptable, I think they would say “a basket.” I would interpret this as the offensive basket.

I don’t know if it matters. I thought a player could score points for the other team by sinking the ball in the wrong basket. However, I recall that you can’t be fouled when shooting for the wrong basket. By that I mean fouls against a shooter because you’re not trying to score for your team. So it’s going to take some looking at the definitions to check that out. Also, I’m sort of recalling something along the lines of the OP’s question. Maybe I’m wrong but I think you can’t claim loss of control for tossing an airball and then grabbing it if it appears to be a shot on the opponents basket. So if that is the case then perhaps the hitting the rim of the opponents basket is not loss of control either. It is certainly easy to say that hitting the rim is not a considered a ‘field goal attempt at his basket’.

A wiseacre once told me it was legal to “air dribble” to advance by bouncing the ball up with their head instead of down with their hand. Is that true? Would it be helpful in this situation?

What do you mean by “up”? A dribble is defined as a player in control throwing or tapping the ball to the floor. If he’s just bouncing the ball along on his head, that’s not dribbling. If he’s bouncing it off his forehead down to the floor, that would count as long as he’s in control.

I never heard of heading the ball as a legal way to dribble but the definition of dribble doesn’t specify hands. However, you can’t dribble up, you have to be throwing or tapping the ball towards the floor so the description of an ‘air dribble’ probably disqualifies it.

Section II—Dribble

A dribble is movement of the ball, caused by a player in control, who throws or taps the
ball to the floor.

a. The dribble ends when the dribbler:

1. Touches the ball simultaneously with both hands
2. Permits the ball to come to rest while he is in control of it
3. Tries for a field goal
4. Throws a pass
5. Touches the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor
6. Loses control
7. Allows the ball to become dead
8. Otherwise gathers the ball (see Rule IV, Section III (b))

Don’t focus too much on the term “air dribble”. I think the idea was that because no one uses their head on a basketball, you could get away with a lot by doing it. Obviously not practical, but legal? I don’t know; some guys spout non-sense when drinking at a sports bar and I didn’t know basketball enough to comment.

Looking at the rules you quote, maybe using your head would qualify as loss of control?

Searching on “Can you head the ball in basketball” turned up no definitive result. No one can point to a rule that says it’s illegal or even mentions heading the ball. You can’t fist the ball or kick it, but you can pass by hitting the ball with your arm.

I think you could head the ball downward to dribble legally because there’s no rule against it, but you might just get called on it anyway. Case in point, this historic documentary about the first Alley Oop shot used in pro basketball: