What is a Double Dribble in Basketball?

To score in basketball, you must dribble, pass, and shoot the ball. It’s natural for violations to occur during a match if players don’t follow the rules. Double dribbles aren’t common in the NBA / WNBA, but are more common in other leagues.

What does a double dribble violation in basketball mean? The complete breakdown of what a double dribble is, when it occurs, the controversy surrounding the call, and more!

What is a Double Dribble Violation?

When a player pauses while dribbling and then restarts, they have committed a double dribble violation. According to dribbling rules, a player cannot stop or hold the ball with two hands while dribbling. The name double dribbling comes from the fact that there is a first dribble, a pause, and then a second dribble.

Double dribbling is also permitted during any time when the ball comes to rest while a player is holding it, according to the National Basketball Association rule book. It is possible to receive a double dribbling call if a player touches the ball twice before it touches the floor.

Examples of a Double Dribble During a Basketball Game

A double dribble violation occurs when a player stops, holds the ball with one or two hands, then resumes dribbling. A few scenarios can cause this start-and-stop action. A player might receive a pass, dribble, stop, and then dribble again to get around a defensive player.

A double dribble can also occur during a fake ball moment. Imagine if a player dribbles, then fakes a pass to their teammate, and then dribbles again. This scenario involves the player stopping in mid-dribble, so they can’t resume it without getting penalized.

Why is Double Dribbling Illegal in Basketball?

The majority of movement penalties, like traveling, control the flow of the game and encourage players to move the ball between themselves. When a player can hold the ball and dribble, he or she is less likely to pass it to a teammate after surveying the field. By limiting how players can move with the ball, fluid gameplay and frequent passing are encouraged.

Also, dribble rules allow teams to play effective defense, resulting in steals and fumbles during passing. When someone dribbles and steals a ball, it can have a profound impact on a team’s momentum. As in American Football, sometimes a great defense is also a great offense.

What Happens When a Player Double Dribbles?

When a double dribble occurs during a game, the defensive team immediately takes control of the ball. Different leagues have different rules regarding where a team can receive the ball. NCAA, FIBA, and NFHS (the governing body for high school basketball) allow the defensive team to throw in the ball closest to the infraction.

Meanwhile, NBA players can only inbound the ball in the middle of the court. During a double dribble infraction, teams with control of the ball cannot inbound between the baseline and the free-throw line. Players would have immediate access to the net if they inbound at this point.

Similar Penalties in Basketball

It is very similar to other illegal dribble violations, such as traveling or carrying. Carrying is different from double dribbling in that one hand is often under the ball when carrying. As the dribbler moves, that hand will hold the ball for an extended period of time.

Controversy Regarding Double Dribbles in the NBA

Critics of the NBA find that double dribbles are under-called in games like many other dribbling violations. Under-calling of fouls frustrates fans who know the rules and can identify them quickly. The definition of double dribble is relatively simple, making it easy to identify during a basketball game.

FIBA and other basketball governing bodies are more likely to penalize players for dribbling, carrying, and traveling. NBA players tend to get called on those penalties more often when they play in games that follow those rules (like the Olympics). NBA players from the USA have struggled in international play recently, according to some fans.

Since penalty calls are so rare, there isn’t much outside pressure to correct bad habits. Good ball-handling skills and fundamentals are essential if players want to move effectively with the ball.

Conclusion: What is Double Dribbling in Basketball?

In basketball, double dribbling occurs when a player dribbles the ball, pauses, and then resumes dribbling the ball. Similar to traveling and carrying, this is a moving foul. NBA fans, however, complain that these rules aren’t called often enough.

Now that you know the rules, you can watch your favorite game and watch for double dribbling’s trademark features. Hopefully, you will be able to identify it before the referee does.

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