Loose Foul

A loose foul, or a loose ball foul, in basketball pertains to a situation in which both teams are competing for possession of the ball. Loose foul balls often occur as a result of pushing, checking or otherwise touching another player with excessive force while both are trying to gain possession of the ball.

A loose ball foul is considered to be a Personal Foul, meaning it affects one player but it’s penalties are added to the list of Team Fouls and are best avoided to prevent the opposition from being given additional throws at the end of the game.

What is Considered a Loose Foul Ball in Basketball?

A loose foul ball in basketball occurs when the ball isn’t in a player’s possession, but another player attempts to take possession of it by grabbing, pushing or checking the other player seeking to retrieve the ball. There are a couple of ways this situation can arise.

  • Possession of the ball is lost by one player, and another player pushes them out of the way to gain possession.
  • A ball is thrown to another player on the court, but whilst the ball is in the air, another player pushes the retriever away to gain possession.
  • A player prevents another player from jumping to catch the ball whilst the ball is in the air.

Contact with another player in order to retain or take possession of the ball whilst the ball is not in either team’s possession is considered a loose ball foul.