RULE NO. 9: Free Throws and Penalties

Section I—Positions and Violations

  1. When a free throw is awarded, an official shall put the ball in play by delivering it to the free throw shooter. The shooter shall be above the free throw line and within the upper half of the free throw He shall attempt the free throw within 10 seconds of controlling the ball in such a way that the ball enters the basket or touches the ring.
    1. PENALTY: If there is a violation and the free throw attempt is to remain in play, the opposing team shall inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended. If both teams commit a violation during this free throw, a jump ball shall be administered at midcourt between any two opponents in the game. If the opponent’s violation is disconcertion, then a substitute free throw shall be awarded.
    2. If there is a violation and the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, then play will continue from that point. If an opponent also commits a violation (double violation), then play will also continue from that point. If the opponent’s violation is disconcertion, then a substitute free throw shall be awarded.
  2. The free throw shooter may not step over the plane of the free throw line until the ball touches the basket ring, backboard or the free throw
    1. PENALTY: This is a violation by the shooter on all free throw attempts and no point can be scored.
    2. If there is a violation and the free throw attempt is to remain in play, the opposing team shall inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended. If both teams commit a violation during this free throw, a jump ball shall be administered at midcourt between any two opponents in the game.
    3. If there is a violation and the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, then play will continue from that point. If an opponent also commits a violation (double violation), then play will also continue from that point.
  3. The free throw shooter shall not purposely fake a free throw
    1. PENALTY:  This is a violation by the shooter on all free throw attempts and a double violation should not be called if an opponent violates any free throw rules.
    2. If the free throw attempt is to remain in play, the opposing team shall inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended.
    3. If the free throw attempt  is  not  to  remain  in  play,  then  play  will  continue  from that  point.
  4. During a free throw attempt for a common foul, each of the spaces nearest the end- line must be occupied by an opponent of the free throw shooter. Teammates of the free throw shooter must occupy the next adjacent spaces on each Only one of the third spaces may be occupied by an opponent of the free throw shooter. It is not mandatory that either of the third spaces be occupied by an opponent but may not be occupied by a teammate. If there is a discrepancy, teammates of the free throw shooter will occupy the spaces first.  Players occupying lane spaces may not extend themselves over their lane spaces in front of an opponent or be touching the lane line or floor inside the line when the ball is released by the shooter. They may not vacate their lane space more than 3’ from the lane line before the ball is released.  Players not occupying lane spaces must remain on the court behind the three point line above the free throw line extended and may not be touching the line or floor inside the line when the ball is released.
    1. PENALTY:  If the free throw attempt is to remain in play and a teammate of the shooter violates, no point can be scored and the opposing team will inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended. If an opponent violates, the shooter shall receive a substitute free throw if his attempt is unsuccessful but shall be ignored if the attempt is successful. If a teammate and opponent both violate, a jump ball shall be administered at midcourt between any two opponents in the game.
    2. If the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, no violation can occur regardless of which player or players violate since no advantage is gained unless there is a disconcertion violation by an opponent to which a substitute free throw will be awarded.
  5. If the ball is to become dead after the last free throw attempt, players shall not occupy positions along the free throw lanes. All players must remain on the court behind the three point line above the free throw line extended until the ball is released.
    1. PENALTY:  No violations can occur regardless of which player or players violate since no advantage is gained unless there is a disconcertion violation by an opponent to which a substitute free throw will be awarded.
  6. During all free throw attempts, no opponent in the game shall disconcert the shooter once the ball is placed at his disposal. The following are acts of disconcertion:
    • Raising his arms when positioned on the lane line on a free throw which will not remain in play,
    • Waving his arms or making a sudden movement when in the visual field of the shooter during any free throw attempt,
    • Talking to the free throw shooter or talking in a loud disruptive manner during any free throw
    • Entering the lane and continuing to move during any free throw
      • PENALTY:  No penalty is assessed if the free throw is successful. A substitute free throw will be administered if the attempt is unsuccessful.
  7. A player shall not touch the ball or the basket ring when the ball is using the basket ring as its lower base nor touch the ball while it is in the imaginary cylinder above the ring after touching the basket ring or backboard.
    1. PENALTY: If the free throw attempt is to remain in play and a teammate of the shooter violates, no point can be scored and the opposing team will inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended. If an opponent violates, one point shall be scored and play will continue as after any successful free throw with the official administering the throw-in.
    2. If the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, no point can be scored if the violation is by a teammate and the shooter will attempt his next free throw. One point shall be scored if the violation is by an opponent and the shooter will attempt his next free throw.
  8. No player shall touch the ball before it touches the basket ring or backboard
    1. PENALTY:  If the free throw attempt is to remain in play and a teammate of the shooter violates, no point can be scored and the opposing team will inbound on either sideline at the free throw line extended. If an opponent violates, one point shall be scored and an additional free throw shall be awarded the same shooter.
    2. If the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, no point can be scored if the violation is by a teammate and the shooter will attempt his next free throw. One point shall be scored if the violation is by an opponent and the shooter will attempt his next free throw.
      1. During all free throw attempts, if an official suspends play before the free throw attempt is released, no violations can occur.

 

Section II—Shooting of Free Throw

  1. The free throw(s) awarded because of a personal foul shall be attempted by the offended player.
    1. EXCEPTIONS:
      1. If the offended player is injured, other than as a result of a flagrant foul or unsportsmanlike conduct, or is ejected from the game and cannot attempt the awarded free throw(s), the opposing coach shall select, from his opponent’s bench, the replacement player. That player will attempt the free throw(s) and the injured player will not be permitted to re-enter the game. The substitute must remain in the game until the ball is legally touched by a player on the court.
    2. EXCEPTION: Rule 3—Section V—e
      1. If the offended player is injured and unable to attempt the awarded free throw(s) as a result of a flagrant foul-penalty (1) and/or as a result of a medical determination that a player must undergo a concussion evaluation, his coach may designate any player in the game at that time to attempt the free throw(s). The injured player will not be permitted to re-enter the game; except that the player will be permitted to reenter if he was removed for a concussion evaluation, completed the evaluation required pursuant to the NBA Concussion Policy, and is deemed not to have a concussion.
      2. If the offended player is injured and unable to attempt the awarded free throw(s) due to any unsportsmanlike act, his coach may designate any eligible member of the squad to attempt the free throw(s). The injured player will be permitted to reenter the game.
      3. If the offended player is disqualified and unable to attempt the awarded free throw(s), his coach shall designate an eligible substitute from the That substitute will attempt the free throw(s) and cannot be removed until the ball is legally touched by a player on the court.
    3. EXCEPTION: Rule 3—Section V—e
      1. Away from play foul—Rule 12B—Section X-a(1).
  2. A free throw attempt, personal or technical, shall be illegal if an official does not handle the ball.
  3. If multiple free throws are awarded, all those which remain must be attempted, if the first and/or second attempt is nullified by an offensive player’s violation.
  4. If a timeout is granted prior to a free throw attempt, the free throw will be attempted following the timeout.

 

Section III—Next Play

After a successful free throw which is not followed by another free throw, the ball shall be put into play by a throw-in, as after any successful field goal.

EXCEPTION: After a free throw for a foul which occurs during a dead ball which immediately precedes any period, the ball shall be put into play by the team entitled to the throw-in in the period which follows. (See Rule 6—Section I—b). This includes flagrant and punching fouls.