Why is a double dribble illegal in basketball?

Whether you’re playing an indoor game or an outdoor game or sports, there are always some ground rules to follow. There are always some dos and don’ts that come with the territory. Anyone who does not obey the rules shall legally barred from the game.

Similarly, some specific rules and regulations must be followed when playing basketball. In an interview in 1939, Dr. James Naismith, the creator of the basketball game told that people tried to play basketball before the regulations were written and published which resulted in a large ruck, with players fighting, thrusting, and tossing for the ball, which was the polar opposite of what he had planned for.

Many players were left with bruised eyes and injuries at the end of the game. As a result, it was necessary to write down the rules clearly and simply to maintain the game peacefully and fun. Like any other game, basketball has its own set of regulations that govern the player selection, penalties, and gameplay which were formulated by Dr. James Naismith. On December 21, 1891, the first game, with the 13 basic laws, became official.

Dr. James laws

The 13 laws that were given by Dr. James Naismith were:

  1. The player can throw the ball in either direction with one or both hands.
  2. A player’s ball can be hit in any direction with either or both hands.
  3. With the ball, a player cannot sprint. He must launch it from the location where he is receiving it. It has a provision for a person who collects the ball while attempting to stop running at a high speed.
  4. The ball should be held between the hands or within them; it should not be used to support the arms or the body.
  5. Shouldering, keeping, hitting, forcing, or stumbling a competitor are all prohibited. The first infraction of this law will be considered a foul; the second will result in the player being dismissed from the game before the next basket is scored or if there is a clear intent to hurt the individual. No substitutions are accepted.

Some other laws

  1. Laws three and four, as well as the kind stated in law five, prohibit hitting the ball with the fist.
  2. If any team commits three consecutive fouls, the score is awarded to the opponents.
  3. When the ball is knocked back from the floor and into the basketball net, it is considered a goal. It counts as a goal if the ball is on the rim while the opponent is moving the basket.
  4. When the ball escapes the boundaries, it is hurled into the playfield and handled by the first person to catch it. In the event of a disagreement, the umpire should toss it right into the ground. A player will have five seconds to throw the ball in. If it retains any longer, it should sell to a competitor. The umpire will call a foul on the team that continues to try to prolong the game.
  5. The monitor will be the umpire. He’ll keep track of the fouls and alert the referee if there are three of them in a row. He will have the power to dismiss under Rule 5.

Dribbling was not allowed under the first few laws of basketball. The ball was unable to keep up with the players. The rules of basketball had been changed by 1910 to allow players to run with the ball. Dribblers, on the other hand, were reliable to launch the ball until 1916.

It took a while for dribbling to catch on, and then there was the issue of double dribbling.

It’s one of the current rules. According to NBA regulations, players will not start a second dribble after they have willingly terminated the first. The breach of this regulation is called a “double dribble.”

What is a double dribble?

Dribbling in basketball is a continuous motion in which a ball-handler bounces the basketball on the court with one hand constantly, that is, without interruption with one hand to retain possession of the ball. A player must pass or shoot the ball once he has picked up his dribble by catching it with both hands. After finishing the first dribble, the player is unable to begin a second. He commits a double dribble violation if he starts a second dribble after willingly ending the first.

Before the introduction of the double dribble rule, players would dribble as far as they could get away from a defender. They’d catch the ball and check. They’ll continue to wait for the threat to fade away before resuming dribbling. For dribblers, this made the game too simple. As a result, the double dribble outlawed.

Which double dribble is legal?

There are some occasions that a double dribble is legal.

  1. If a player ends his first dribble to shoot and the shot hits the rim or backboard and he gets it back, he may begin a second dribble.
  2. Due to a defender touching the ball, he lost control of the first dribble.
  3. As a result of his pass or fumble, another player touched the ball.

What is the penalty for a double dribble?

The referee will call a ‘double dribbling‘ infraction if a player initiates a second dribble unlawfully, and that player’s team will lose possession of the ball. The ball was handed over to the other team on the side-line closest to the violation, but no closer to the baseline than the extended foul line.


why is a double dribble illegal in basketball

Preventing a double dribble is important

In a basketball offense, preventing a double dribble might be difficult. Basketball is a fast-paced game that requires a lot of movement, quickness, and absorption. You could break the dribbling regulations if you lose concentration for even a second. However, there is no need to be concerned because we all make mistakes at some point. It’s critical to recognize where you went wrong and try to correct it.

As a result, one of the first rules that beginners must learn is the double dribble rule. The objective is to improve your dribbling skills so that you don’t have to hold the ball in your hand until you’re ready to shoot or pass. You won’t have to worry about the double dribble if your ball control is excellent and you’re competent enough at dribbling.


So these were the reasons which support the statement that a double dribble is illegal in a basketball game. We hope you found the article helpful and informative.