RULE NO. 6: Putting Ball in Play – Live/Dead Ball

Section I—Start of Games/Periods and Others

  1. The game and overtimes shall be started with a jump ball in the center circle.
  2. The team which gains first possession of the game will put the ball into play at their opponent’s endline to begin the fourth period. The other team will put the ball into play at their opponent’s endline at the beginning of the second and third periods.
  3. In putting the ball into play following a successful free throw, field goal or at the start of a period, the thrower-in may run along the endline or pass it to a teammate who is also out-of-bounds at the endline.
  4. After any dead ball, play shall be resumed by a jump ball, a throw-in or a free throw.
  5. On the following infractions, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team out- of- bounds on the nearest sideline at the free throw line extended:
    1. Three-seconds (offensive)
    2. Ball entering basket from below
    3. Illegal assist in scoring
    4. Punching foul
    5. Free throw violation by the offensive team
    6. Flagrant foul-penalty (1) or (2)
    7. Defensive three-seconds (offensive team retains possession)
    8. Jump ball violation at free throw circle
    9. Ball passing directly behind backboard
    10. Offensive basket interference
    11. Ball hitting horizontal basket support
    12. Loose ball fouls which occur inside the free throw line extended
    13. Five second back-to-the-basket violation
  6. On the following infractions, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team on the baseline at the nearest spot outside the three-second area extended:
    1. Ball out-of-bounds on baseline
    2. Ball hitting vertical basket support
    3. Defensive goaltending (all privileges remain)
    4. During a throw-in violation on the baseline
  7. On the following infractions, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team on the sideline at the nearest spot but no nearer to the baseline than the free throw line extended:
    1. Traveling
    2. Dribbling violations
    3. Striking or kicking the ball on any situation except a throw-in
    4. Swinging of elbows
    5. Shot clock violation
    6. Offensive screen set out-of-bounds
    7. Offensive player illegally out-of-bounds
  8. If the ball is kicked or punched during any throw-in, the ball will be returned to the original throw-in spot with all privileges, if any, remaining.
  9. On any play where the ball goes out-of-bounds on the sideline, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team at that spot.
  10. Following a timeout that was called while the ball was alive, the ball shall be awarded out-of-bounds on the sideline at the nearest spot upon resumption of play. For all other timeouts, play shall resume where it was interrupted.
    1. EXCEPTION: Rule 5—Section VI—C—d.
  11. On a violation which requires putting the ball in play in the backcourt, the official will give the ball to the offensive player as soon as he is in a position out-of-bounds and ready to accept the ball
    1. EXCEPTION: In the last two minutes of each period or last two minutes of overtime, a reasonable amount of time shall be allowed for a substitution.


Section II—Live Ball

  1. The ball becomes live when:
    1. It is tossed by an official on any jump ball
    2. It is at the disposal of the offensive player for a throw-in
    3. It is placed at the disposal of a free throw shooter


Section III—Ball is Alive

  1. The ball becomes alive when:
    1. It is legally tapped by one of the participants of a jump ball
    2. It is released by the thrower-in
    3. It is released by the free throw shooter on a free throw which will remain in play


Section IV—Dead Ball

  1. The ball becomes dead and/or remains dead when the following occurs:
    1. Official blows his/her whistle
    2. Free throw which will not remain in play (free throw which will be followed by another free throw, technical, flagrant, )
    3. Following a successful field goal or free throw that will remain in play, until player possession out-of-bounds. Contact which is NOT considered unsportsmanlike or unnecessary shall be ignored. (Rule 12A—Section V—i)
    4. Time expires for the end of any period
      1. EXCEPTION: If a field goal attempt is in flight, the ball becomes dead when the goal is made, missed or touched by an offensive player.


Section V—Jump Balls in Center Circle

  1. The ball shall be put into play in the center circle by a jump ball between any two opponents:
    1. At the start of the game
    2. At the start of each overtime period
    3. A double free throw violation
    4. Double foul during a loose ball
    5. The ball becomes dead when neither team is in control and no field goal or infraction is involved
    6. The ball comes to rest on the basket flange or becomes lodged between the basket ring and the backboard
    7. A double foul which occurs as a result of a difference in opinion between officials
    8. A suspension of play occurs during a loose ball
    9. A fighting foul occurs during a loose ball
    10. The officials are in doubt as to which team last touched the ball before going out of bounds and the players cannot be identified
  2. In all cases above, the jump ball shall be between any two opponents in the game at that time. If injury, ejection or disqualification makes it necessary for any player to be replaced, his substitute may not participate in the jump ball.


Section VI—Other Jump Balls

  1. The ball shall be put into play by a jump ball at the circle which is closest to the spot where:
    1. A held ball occurs
    2. A ball out-of-bounds caused by both teams occurs
    3. An official is in doubt as to who last touched the ball
  2. The jump ball shall be between the two involved players unless injury or ejection precludes one of the jumpers from If the injured player must leave the game or is ejected, the coach of the opposing team shall select from his opponent’s bench a player who will replace the injured or ejected player. The injured player will not be permitted to re- enter the game. If a player is removed for a concussion evaluation, his coach shall select one of the four remaining players in the game to participate in the jump and may return to the game if he completes the evaluation pursuant to the NBA Concussion Policy, and is deemed not to have a concussion.


Section VII—Restrictions Governing Jump Balls

  1. Each jumper must have at least one foot on or inside that half of the jumping circle which is farthest from his own basket. Each jumper must have both feet within the restraining circle.
  2. The ball must be tapped by one or both of the players participating in the jump ball after it reaches its highest If the ball falls to the floor without being tapped by at least one of the jumpers, one of the officials off the ball shall whistle the ball dead and signal another toss.
  3. Neither jumper may tap the tossed ball before it reaches its highest point.
  4. Neither jumper may leave his half of the jumping circle until the ball has been
  5. Neither jumper may catch the tossed or tapped ball until it touches one of the eight non-jumpers, the floor, the basket or the backboard.
  6. Neither jumper is permitted to tap the ball more than twice on any jump
  7. The eight non-jumpers will remain outside the restraining circle until the ball has been tapped. Teammates may not occupy adjacent positions around the restraining circle if an opponent desires one of the positions. No player may position himself immediately behind an opponent on the restraining circle.
    1. Penalty for c., d., e., f., g.: Ball awarded out-of-bounds to the opponent.
  8. Player position on the restraining circle is determined by the direction of a player’s basket. The player whose basket is nearest shall have first choice of position, with positions being alternated thereafter.