RULE NO. 8: Out-of-Bounds and Throw-In

Section I—Player

The player is out-of-bounds when he touches the floor or any object on or outside a boundary. For location of a player in the air, his position is that from which he last touched the floor. The last part of the foot/feet which is in contact with the floor on his last step prior to jumping over the midcourt line or three-point line shall determine his location.

Section II—Ball

  1. The ball is out-of-bounds when it touches a player who is out-of-bounds or any other person, the floor, or any object on, above or outside of a boundary or the supports or back of the backboard.
  2. Any ball that rebounds or passes directly behind the backboard, in any direction, or enters the cylinder from below is considered out-of-bounds.
  3. The ball is caused to go out-of-bounds by the last player to touch it (including by touching the player’s hair or uniform) before it goes out, provided it is out-of-bounds because of touching something other than a player. If the ball is out-of-bounds because of touching a player who is on or outside a boundary, such player caused it to go out. If a player has his hand in contact with the ball and an opponent hits that part of the hand causing the ball to go out-of-bounds, the team whose player had his hand on the ball will retain possession.
  4. If the ball goes out-of-bounds and was last touched simultaneously by two opponents, both of whom are inbounds or out-of-bounds, or if the official is in doubt as to who last touched the ball, or if the officials disagree, play shall be resumed by a jump ball between the two involved players in the nearest restraining circle.
    1. EXCEPTION: Rule 6—Section V—a(10) and Rule 13—Section I—a(7)
  5. If the ball is interfered with by an opponent seated on the bench or standing on the sideline (Rule 12A—Section II—a(7)), it shall be awarded to the offended team out-of- bounds nearest the spot of the violation.


Section III—The Throw-In

  1. The throw-in starts when the ball is given to the player entitled to the throw-in. He shall release the ball within 5 seconds from the time he receives the ball and controls it. Until the passed ball has crossed the plane of the boundary, no player shall have any part of his person over the boundary line and teammates shall not occupy positions parallel or adjacent to the baseline if an opponent desires one of those positions. The defensive man shall have the right to be between his man and the basket.
  2. On a throw-in which goes out of bounds and is not touched by a player in the game, the ball is returned to the original throw-in spot.
  3. After a score, field goal or free throw, the latter coming as the result of a personal foul, any player of the team not credited with the score shall put the ball into play from any point out-of-bounds at the endline of the court where the point(s) were scored. He may pass the ball to a teammate behind the endline; however, the five-second throw-in rule This rule also applies to the player of the team with possession at the start of the second, third and fourth periods.
  4. After a free throw violation by the shooter or his teammate, the throw-in is made from out-of-bounds on either side of the free throw line extended.
  5. Any ball out-of-bounds in a team’s frontcourt or at the midcourt line cannot be passed into the backcourt. On all backcourt and midcourt violations, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team at the midcourt line, and must be passed into the frontcourt.
    1. EXCEPTION: During the last two minutes of the fourth period and the last two minutes of any overtime period, the ball may be passed anywhere (frontcourt or backcourt) on the court. However, if the ball is thrown into the frontcourt and an offensive player on the court fails to control the ball and causes it to go into the backcourt, his team may not be the first to touch the ball.
  6. A throw-in which touches the floor, or any object on or outside the boundary line, or touches anything above the playing surface is a violation. The ball must be thrown directly inbounds.
    1. EXCEPTION: Rule 8—Section III—c.
    2. PENALTY: Violation of this rule is loss of possession, and the ball must be inbounded at the previous spot of the throw-in.