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Penalty in basketball: basic rules and technique of execution, placement of players, how many points

Penalty in basketball - a throw that is performed by the player according to the judge's appointment, if the opponent has broken the rules in relation to him. In this article we will get acquainted with the rules concerning the free throw, we will consider the technique of its execution and other fascinating facts.

general information

A free throw in the ring in basketball is considered an excellent opportunity for the team. He allows without enemy resistance, from a comfortable position, to score from one to three points. As a rule, such punishment is appointed in the event that at the moment when the player throws the ball on the ring, the opponent violated the rules against him. If the ball after the foul hit the ring, points are scored, and one kickbox is given in the form of a fine. In other cases - two times. But there is one exception: if a basketball player is fouled, when he threw from a three-point position, he is given three shots in the case of an unbeaten ball, and one if he hit the ring. A free throw in basketball may be awarded due to other obvious violations of one of the teams. With a technical foul, it is done by any of the team members. Each ball, scored with a free kick, brings one point.

The marking of the basketball court in the free throw zone

Penalty, like other rules of the game of basketball, was coined by James Naismith in 1891. The free throw line in basketball was originally located at a distance of about six meters from the point that would have formed when the center of the ring was projected onto the site. But literally in 1895 this distance was reduced to 4.6 meters.

Penalty line runs parallel to the front line. The distance between the nearest (relative to each other) edges of these two lines is 5.8 meters. Their means lie on one imaginary line. The length of the penalty line is 3.6 meters. Penalty (restricted) zone - the area allocated on the site, the edges of which are the front line, the penalty line and two connecting them. The outer edges of the penalty area begin at a distance of 3 m from the middle of the front and end at the end of the penalty line. Thus, the bounded zone is a trapezoid. However, it is often drawn as a rectangle. This zone may differ in color, but should have the same as the central circle.

The area of the free throw is an area extended in the direction of the center of the site, which is a semicircle, with the center lying in the middle of the line from which the free throw in basketball is made. The distance from the edge to the edge of the penalty is the diameter of this semicircle. It is also applied from the other side of the line - in a restricted area. The only difference is that on this side the semicircle is dotted.


In what cases is a free throw assigned, we found out, now we will get acquainted with the rules governing its implementation.

The player who performs the free throw:

  1. Must become inside the semicircle, on the appropriate line.
  2. Can throw the ball into the basket in any way. The ball should go to the basket from above or ricochet off the ring.
  3. I must throw the ball within 5 seconds from the moment it is handed over by the referee.
  4. Do not touch the penalty line or the area outside of it until the ball is in the basket or touched the ring.
  5. Has no right to imitate a throw.

Now consider the rules of the free throw in basketball, concerning the rest of the players. A band along the penalty area can occupy a maximum of five players (2 attackers and 3 defenders). In this case, two players (attacker and defender) are on one side, and three (attacking between defending) on the other. The first position from both sides should be occupied by opponents of the player throwing the penalty.

Players who stand along the penalty area have no right:

  1. Occupy wrong positions.
  2. Leave your position until the ball is released from the hand of the throwing player.
  3. Touch the ball before it hits the ring, or it will be obvious the fact that it will not hit the trash.
  4. Touch the shield and basket during the period when the ball is in contact with the ring.
  5. Knock the ball from the basket from the bottom.
  6. Carry out any action after the throw, if it is followed by another one or two.

A free throw in basketball and any actions associated with it end when the ball:

  1. Drops into the basket.
  2. Affects the floor.
  3. Goes outside the site.

Interesting Facts

In the NBA, the most successful basketball player in the implementation of throws from the penalty line is Rick Barry. Over the course of 14 years of his professional career, he brought his main points to his team precisely due to the execution of free throws. Rick realized 90 percent of his kits.

As the statistics show, the penalty is best scored by low back line players. Center basketball players have a low percentage of sales of throws from the penalty line. In professional basketball against them, sometimes deliberately foul, especially at the end of the game. Such a strategy is applied against some well-known center, which does not realize a free throw. Among them are: Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neill and Ben Wallace. The tactics of mastering the ball through the foul and the unrealized penalty was called Hack-a-Shaq. It is very unreliable, because a player can score, so it is used in emergencies and only against really unsuccessful penalties.

Among the center players there are those who realize the free throw well. The Lithuanians Arvydas Sabonis and Zhidruns Ilgauskas are particularly successful. By the way, Ilgauskas is one of the few NBA players on whom the duty is to throw free throws in the event of a technical foul.

How to make a throw

There are several popular techniques for performing a free throw: with two hands from below, one hand from the shoulder, two hands from the chest and others. To date, most players make a throw with one hand from the shoulder. The second hand only holds the ball. This method is already considered a classic, while others cause frank confusion among modern basketball players. Surprisingly, until the 1950s, the most common was the way "from under the skirt" (with two hands from below). The classical version in those days was submitted only to some players.

Free throw technique

In basketball, the perfect throw is done by the whole body. The combination of hand swing and bending of the legs makes it possible to achieve a good result and repeat it every time. Before you roll, you need to relax, lower your arms and inhale, looking at the target. Then slowly throw the ball. The best stand for a successful throw - the legs are slightly bent at the knees, and the feet are located on the width of the shoulders. In this case, the hands should reach the basket. The size of the basketball allows you to conveniently control it at the stages of the throw. Movement begins with the whole hand, continues with a brush and ends with the tips of your fingers. In the final stage, the fingers tighten the ball.

The Psychological Aspect

Technique of free throw in basketball mastered fairly quickly and easily. However, basketball players, even the most titled, often do not get from the penalty line. What is the reason? The thing is that the precision of the free throw depends more on psychological factors, rather than on technique. Let's deal with them.

When carrying out a throw, one should not think about its consequences. The idea that many people are looking at you, and you can not justify their expectations, should be immediately thrown out of your head. In training everything is much easier, but after all the main goal of a basketball player is to show oneself in competitions. Therefore, when performing a free throw, concentrate on the ring and the ball.

Do not worry about that you can fail the team. Your companions will surely understand that no one can throw penalties perfectly, and they will do everything to win the selection in case of your miss. Realizing this, leave the experience for the opponents and just do what you have managed hundreds of times in training.

Exercises for victory over emotions

Consider exercises that help you learn how to throw a ball without destroying emotions. Set yourself a difficult, but realistic goal, for example, to score 5 penalty consecutive. When you miss, increase the task by one roll. The level of your responsibility with each new kits will grow, because you will be sorry to lose already scored points. As a result, by performing the same action, you will forget about emotions and will be working on the technique in its pure form.

The second exercise is that you need to "stamp" free throws at high speed. Ask your partner to give you balls. Here, the size of the basketball and its weight play a role, or rather, the presence in the hall is the same. If they are all different, the exercise will not take place.


Today we have learned more about what a free throw is in basketball. Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the skill of the throw from the penalty line is one of the basic and mandatory for each basketball player. After all, regardless of the distribution of roles in the team, the penalty line may be everyone. Therefore, if you intend to succeed in basketball, work out free throws and bring them to automaticity.

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