Technical Foul

Sport: Basketball

Technical fouls are usually reserved for behavior instead of play, and can be imposed on players on and off the bench. 

They’re often given as a result of unsportsmanlike behavior, such as arguing with a referee or coach, or acting in an aggressive manner towards other players, staff, officials, coaches or even spectators. Technical fouls don’t often happen during normal play as they are related closely to behavior instead. 

The way in which a ball is handled by a player may constitute a technical foul. Balls which are purposefully kicked, handled with force, punched or thrown may be considered offensive and the player handling them may be given a technical foul. Whether or not the ball or gestures were directed towards anyone else is irrelevant, if an individual’s behavior is deemed unsportsmanlike, they are given a technical foul. 

A technical foul is called by the referee when they make a “T” shape with their hands. This will call for a review of the incident and may lead to infractions. As a result of the referee’s signal, technical fouls are sometimes colloquially known as a T or Tech. 

What is Considered a Technical Foul in Basketball?

Technical fouls contain a broad spectrum of classifications. There are lots of situations where a technical foul may be called, each with its own level of severity. Below are a couple of examples. 

  • Taunting or baiting an opponent.
  • Trying to gain an advantage by staying out of bounds.
  • Attempting a free throw despite not being entitled.
  • Kicking the ball or striking it with a foot.
  • Gaining a height advantage by using another player to jump or grab onto. 
  • Fighting or threatening to fight another player, coach, official or spectator. 
  • Shattering the backboard of the goal or rim.
  • Entering the game despite not being entitled. 

Efforts made to delay the game are also considered to be technical fouls by nature, along with more technical issues that are unrelated to the attitudes of players. Some technical issues are as follows:

  • A coach failing to replace a player who has been disqualified within the allotted time given to them. 
  • A coach leaving their box when not permitted to. 
  • Having too many players on the court at any one time. 
  • Excessive complaints about a call. 
  • Violations regarding uniforms.
  • Excessively requesting timeout. 

What is the Penalty for a Technical Foul in Basketball?

Technical fouls have a great range in severity from honest mistakes to genuine threats. As a result, the penalties for technical fouls vary along with the infractions. Technical fouls are split into unsportsmanlike fouls and non-unsportsmanlike fouls. This is to ensure that the penalties given follow a certain precedent and standard. 

Unsportsmanlike fouls are punished with a fine, and eventually can lead to a one game suspension after 16 of these fouls have accumulated during a regular season of play. 

Non-unsportsmanlike fouls can more easily result in suspensions and being removed from the game at hand, otherwise known as ejection.

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