What is a double dribble in basketball? (full explanation)

Unlike travel violations, which can sometimes be difficult to detect, the double dribble is (usually) one of the easiest. basketball rules To get right to the referee.

But what exactly is a double dribble violation in basketball?

And what is the penalty given to a player who does one?

let’s take a closer look…

What is a double dribble in basketball?

Double dribble is exactly what the name suggests…

This is an infraction that occurs when a player makes a controlled dribble, stops and then dribbles the basketball again.


Once a player has “lifted” the dribble, it is illegal for them to dribble again.

It’s a call you’ll rarely see outside of youth basketball.

For players beyond the starting level, everyone knows that it is illegal to dribble, stop, and then resume the dribble.

But it happens sometimes…

Why is the double dribble illegal?

So, why is the double dribble illegal in basketball?

In simple words, It is unfair to defend.

A player who has the ball but has not yet used his dribble is dangerous because he has options. They can still shoot, dribble or pass.

But once the offensive player has “used up” their dribble, they are no longer a threat to drive, so the defense can apply more pressure.

Allowing a player to dribble and stop multiple times without passing would make life extra difficult for a defense, and would result in many *star players* hogging the ball for full property.

What is the penalty for a double dribble?

Like other dribbling violations, committing a double dribble violation results in a turnover.

In lower levels such as high school and college, the ball is thrown over the edge or baseline where the infringement occurred.

The NBA requires the ball to be inbound between the free throw line and the baseline to give the defense a greater advantage.

Wait… Are the dribbling rules really applicable?

“They don’t enforce the dribbling rules,” is a common cry from casual basketball fans criticizing the NBA.

While it is true that referees sometimes miss a double dribble, enforcement is much easier than other violations such as trips.

In the rare cases where a violation is missed, it is usually because the referee forgets that the player has already dribbled.

In the fast-paced flow of a professional sport, it is natural to expect this to happen at least once or twice a season.

Teaching Players to Avoid Double Dribbling

For those coaching at the lowest level, teaching players to avoid double dribbling can be a long + frustrating process.

Young players are particularly prone to dribbling anywhere and picking up the ball, not knowing what they plan to do next.

So if a lane opens again, who can blame a 6-year-old for losing his eyesight and starting to dribble all over again?

In practices and deceit, apply the rule consistently.

Frequent stops can be frustrating, but learning to avoid double dribbles is something we should be working on from day one.

It is a fundamental tool for successful basketball.


With a little practice and advice from a coach, it’s very easy for players to learn to avoid the double dribble.

As a fundamental rule that encourages ball speed and speed, it is an essential rule for players to master at an early age.

With a few gentle reminders, avoiding a double dribble is simple and most young players should grasp the concept in no time.

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