If you’re new to basketball, you might be wondering what a “reach-in foul” is.
If you don’t understand what “reaching in” means, you’re not alone. Reach-ins are sometimes legal and sometimes not, which can really confuse people who are just starting out in basketball.
In this post, I’ll explain what it means to “reach in,” when it’s a foul, and everything else you need to know about it.
What Is The Reach-In Foul In Basketball?
First of all, the reach-in foul is not defined by any of the official basketball rules (including NBA rules). Fans and reporters often use the terms “reach-in” or “reaching in” to describe when defenders illegally touch a player who has the ball.
Reach-in fouls happen when a player on defence reaches for the orange in an attempt to steal the ball but instead touches the player who has the ball.
Reaching in is not a foul by itself, and neither the NBA nor FIBA have a rule against it. But, depending on the situation, it could be a foul.
We’ll have to look at the NBA rulebook to find out when it’s an offence and when it’s not.
NBA’s Definition Of Illegal Contact
Section 12B (Personal Foul) of the NBA 2019–2020 rulebook says what kind of contact is against the rules.
Rule 12B Section I point (a) of the NBA rulebook says that it is against the rules to hold, push, charge into, or stop an opponent from moving by bending the body out of shape or extending a hand, arm, leg, or knee.
Players on defence who are guarding an opponent who has the ball are also not allowed to make contact with that opponent. There is no touching of forearms, hands, or body parts.
There are, however, a few exceptions, which are listed in Section I, point (b), subpoint (a). For example, contact with an offensive player’s hand that doesn’t change the player’s speed, direction, balance, or rhythm is not a reach-in foul.
Rule 12B, Section I, Point (c), also says that a player gets a personal foul if his or her actions against an opponent cause illegal contact with another opponent.
Lastly, point (e) says that it’s okay to touch an offensive player’s hand while that hand is touching the ball. And this is exactly where most “reach-in” fouls happen.
In the “Comments on the Rules” section, it is also said that when the hand touches the ball, it becomes part of the ball. Because of this, it is legal to touch that part of the hand.
What Are The Penalties For “Reaching In”?
If an offensive player breaks the rules by touching the ball with his hand:
- The player who did something wrong gets a personal foul.
- If the defender was the one who made the illegal touch, the team that was wronged gets a team foul.
- If one player on each team has a personal foul or if the foul was committed against an offensive player, no team fouls are called.
When a team is called for a reach-in foul, they usually get a ball out-of-bounds. But depending on what went wrong, the team that was wronged could also get up to three free throws.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this last part, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand when it’s okay to reach in and when it’s not.
Can You Grab The Ball Out Of Someone’s Hands In Basketball?
Yes, you can do this as long as you:
– Only touch the ball.
– Touch the opponent’s hand only in the area that is contacting the ball. For example, if just the fingertips of a player are contacting the ball, then only hitting their fingertips will be considered legal.
– Do not touch the opponent.
If you meet these three rules, it’s okay to touch the ball, and you won’t be called for a reach-in foul. This is the right way to take the ball.
Can You Slap The Basketball Out Of Someone’s Hand?
You are allowed to do this as long as you only touch the ball or the part of the ball handler’s hand that touches the ball.
Can You Punch The Ball In Basketball?
No, Rule 10 Section IV Point (a) says that “a player may not kick or punch the ball.”
Is Slapping The Hand A Reach-In Foul In Basketball?
Only in two situations is it okay to slap or otherwise touch the hand of a player who has the ball:
when the player touches the ball with that part of his or her hand. For example, if only the tips of the offensive player’s fingers touch the ball, touching their hand anywhere else is a reach-in foul.
When the hand contact is accidental, which means that it doesn’t slow down the person who has the ball and doesn’t make him lose his balance or rhythm.
The 4th Quarter
In the end, reaching in basketball could be called a foul if the defender makes illegal contact with the person who has the ball. There are a lot of details left out of this explanation, but you get the idea.
Reaching in can give the other team free throws if you do it wrong, but it also gives you the best chance to steal the ball from your opponent and go from defence to offence in a flash.
I think you should also go and read the NBA rulebook on your own. I’ve only gone over the most important points. The rulebook has a lot more information that you might find useful.