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Double Dribble In Basketball

Double Dribble in Basketball: Understanding the Violation

Basketball, a game of precision and skill, has a myriad of rules that ensure fair play and uphold the sport’s integrity. One such rule that often intrigues newcomers and sometimes even catches seasoned players off-guard is the “double dribble.” Let’s deep dive into this basketball infringement.

Summary of Double Dribble in Basketball

  • Definition: What constitutes a double dribble?
  • Origins: Historical context of the rule.
  • In-Game Implications: Consequences on the court.
  • Avoiding the Violation: Tips for players.
  • Famous Instances: When it made headlines.
  • Common Misconceptions: Clearing up confusion.

1. Definition

A double dribble occurs when a player dribbles the ball with both hands simultaneously or when they stop dribbling and then start again without the ball being touched by another player.

2. Origins

The rule was instituted early in basketball’s history to maintain the challenge of the game and prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage. Over the years, it has become fundamental to basketball, fostering skill development and emphasizing team play.

3. In-Game Implications

When a player commits a double dribble, the whistle blows, and the ball is handed over to the opposing team. This turnover can have significant implications, especially in close games where every possession counts.

4. Avoiding the Violation

For players:

  • Awareness: Being conscious of your dribbling hand and not switching abruptly is crucial.
  • Practice: Regular dribbling drills can help improve ball control.
  • Gameplay Experience: Engaging in real-game scenarios helps in instinctively avoiding such violations.

5. Famous Instances

While rare in professional leagues, double dribbles have sometimes slipped past referees. Notably, a missed call during a critical NBA playoff game generated heated debate and brought this rule back into the limelight.

6. Common Misconceptions

  • Stopping and Shooting: It’s a common myth that once a player stops dribbling, they can’t shoot. They can’t resume dribbling, but they can certainly shoot or pass.
  • Driving to the Basket: Some believe that charging to the hoop involves double dribbling. As long as the player maintains control with one hand, it’s perfectly legal.


Q: Can a player resume dribbling after catching their own airball? A: No, catching one’s airball and then dribbling is considered a double dribble.

Q: What’s the difference between a double dribble and a carry? A: While both involve dribbling violations, a carry occurs when the player’s hand is underneath the ball during a dribble, effectively “carrying” it.

Q: Do different basketball leagues have variations of this rule? A: The essence of the rule remains consistent, though its interpretation might vary slightly in different leagues or age groups.

In Conclusion

The double dribble rule, while seemingly straightforward, adds layers of complexity to basketball, ensuring players hone their skills and strategies to the fullest. Recognizing and respecting this rule not only keeps the game fair but also champions the spirit of basketball at its core.

-By Scott Jones