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Basketball Rules Expert Podcast – Ep. 8 – A Better Official

Show Notes

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Player Technical Foul in NFHS Basketball Rules. Knowing the correct category of technical foul is critical to get plays right and not make mistakes.  In this primer we answer all the questions!

This is the 3rd episode in a multi-part series on Technical Fouls in National Federation of High School Basketball Rules. There is a link to the entire playlist here.

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Show Transcript

Player Technical Fouls – National Federation of High School Basketball Rules

Greetings everyone and welcome back to another episode of Basketball Rules Expert where we take the rules off the printed page, breathe life into them, amplify, clarify and simplify and give them back to you in an audio visual format so you could take them with you, onto the basketball court. My name is Greg Austin, with I’ve been a high school basketball official for over a decade and I’m a Basketball Rules Expert. This show is all about helping you become a Basketball Rules Expert, as well.

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in previous episodes of the series,we’ve covered administrative Technical Fouls. Substitute Technical Fouls and team technical pals. Today we’ll be covering player Technical Fouls. 

Before we begin, all personnel affiliated with the team. If they receive one flagrant Technical Foul. They are either disqualified or ejected, or if they receive two Technical Fouls. They are either disqualified or ejected. Students are disqualified to the team bench. Adults are ejected from the premises must leave the vicinity immediately and not have contact in any fashion with the team for the remainder of the game. Those are parameters. If a team receives a Technical Foul, it counts towards the Val count towards bonus if a team member gets a Technical Foul. That Technical Foul counts towards their two Technical Fouls towards disqualification also their five fouls towards disqualification and counts as a team foul towards bonus.

Rule 4-34 Players, Bench Personnel, Substitutes, Team Members

Let’s define what a player is. Let’s look at rule 4 apps absolutely the highest priority rule for a new basketball official a 

Rule 4-34 players bench personnel substitutes and team members. 

Article One, a player is one of five team members who are legally on the court at any given time, except intermission.

During warmups prior to the game, how many players are on the court. Zero.

After the opening tip. How many players are on the court. Five. During a timeout. How many players are there in the game. Five, they retain their player status. While the timeout is occurring. Play ceases at the end of the first period, how many players are on the court for a team. Zero. They are not players during intermission. They are team members. All right, that’s what a player is by rule 


article to bench personnel are all individuals who are part of or affiliated with a team, including but not limited to substitutes.

Players who go to the table to enter into the game. Coaches managers and statisticians right so we could have adults on the bench. We could have students on the bench, who are not team members but rather fulfill the role of team manager statistician, etc.

all right article two specifically says during an intermission all team members are bench personnel for the purpose of penalizing unsporting behavior. So this would be the intermission between the first and second periods. It should be the intermission between the second and third periods or halftime, the intermission between the third and fourth period, and the intermission between the end of the fourth period, and the beginning of any subsequent additional period


article 3

A substitute becomes a player when he or she legally enters the court. If the entry is not legal, the substitute becomes a player,

when the ball becomes live a player becomes bench personnel, after his or her substitute becomes a player or after notification to the coach.

Following his or her disqualification, so a team members status can change throughout the game and we need to be aware by rule of what their status is because that’s going to affect how we penalize any unsporting actions that they have and Technical Fouls. Okay, 

article four a team member is a member of bench personnel who is in uniform and is eligible to become a player. All right, so that’s a brief overview of player bench personnel substitutes team members. Okay.

Rule 10-4 Player Technical Foul. 


article one 

A player must not participate after changing his or her number.

Without reporting it to the score, and an official. The penalty is a flagrant foul penalized if discovered, while being violated penalized if discovered, while being violated. Let’s remember with all Technical Fouls there’s a window of opportunity for us to penalize 

article two 

purposefully and or deceitfully delay returning after legally being out of bounds. Interesting. How can a player be legally out of bounds National Federation of high school basketball rules.

Players are allowed to be out of bounds during a throw in. We have a thrower, they are legally out of bounds. Also, players can leave the court due to momentum, right player goes in, makes a layup. Their momentum carries them 10 feet beyond the end line, and they are out of bounds, they are legally out of bounds.

This rule addresses a situation where that player does not immediately return to the court. Right, and is deceitful about it so what are they trying to do they’re trying to gain an advantage. They’re trying to, you know, essentially hide their presence from the other team.

So maybe the other team will make a mistake, make a pass that they can immediately step onto the court and steal the pass, or they may be able to be wide open for an easy basket. They have purposefully, and or deceitfully delayed their return after being legally out of bounds. So that’s a possibility. Another, much more likely situation is during a throwing. And the thing is that coaches don’t know this rule, necessarily, and will actually run plays that have the player, make themselves liable for a technical failure.

I’m the thrower and line throwing.

I throw the ball to a teammate near the division line. And then the playis set up that we’re going to run to two screeners are going to come towards the far end line. I’m going to run the stay out of bounds, not returned to the court. Go around those two screeners, one of which is set up right near the end line. And I’m going to emerge on the other side. undefended for an easy three point shot. Right. In this instance, the player is delaying their return purposefully to the court. They’re not immediately entering the court, and then going to the far side for an open shot. They are delaying their return after being legally out of bounds. And our risk in that situation from a player Technical Foul under Article two

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article three 

Grasp either basket at any time during the game except to prevent injury dunk or stuff or attempt to dunk or stuff, a dead ball. So, the key part of this is players

are not allowed to dunk or stuff,

or even to attempt a dunk or stuff, during a dead ball 

article four 

illegally contact the back board slash ring by a, placing a hand on the back board or ring to gain an advantage.

Be intentionally slapping or striking the back board or causing the ring to vibrate, while a try or tap is in flight or is touching the back board or is in the basket or in the cylinder above the basket. Intentionally slapping and striking the back board. Players during the game may legally slap or strike the backboard is long as their action is part about an attempt to block a shot that action is legal. If that action, if their actions are not part of an attempt to block a shot. If it was not, then it’s not a legal action, play or technical.


Article five delay the game by acts such as a preventing the ball from being made live probably or from being put in play. Officials are ready to administer a throw in the official bounces the ball to the thrower.

The player on the court wants substitute to be able to get to the table and reaches out and deflects the ball before it becomes live by being at the disposal of the thrower. We have prevented the game from being made live, we are at risk for a player technical

foul be failing when in possession to immediately pass the ball to the nearer official when a whistle sounds. Now obviously, immediately pass to the official is completely dependent upon the situation in the game. But if a player

intentionally makes it so that it does not get to the official immediately then we become in the realm ability to assess a Technical Foul player rolls the ball towards out of bounds, as the official is approaching player will not give the ball to the official, a 12 ball, please.

And Mike will not give you the ball, you know, oftentimes you could say it because they are frustrated with some event in the game, etc. But when a player does not immediately make the ball available to an official after a whistle and immediately is a very relative term in this instance, they are at risk for a player Technical Foul.

See, the free throw or fails to be in the free throws semicircle when the official is ready to administer the free throw. Unless the resumption of play procedure is in effect following a time out or intermission grade scenario. Okay gives us chance to do address resumption of play.

When do we use as officials when do we use resumption of play. To make the ball live resumption of play is used after a timeout, or an intermission. Let’s say we’re not using the resumption of play a foul was called the point guard for Team A was foul. Team A coach: “Megan Megan, come here, come here, right where it says okay when we’re pushing the ball, we need to find players on the wing” The official tells the the coach we need the player. “No, just second. And then we need to do this and we’re right, the player is not in the free throws semicircle ready to shoot the free throws, they are at risk for a player Technical Foul, even though in this instance it is the coach who’s causing the issue, The player needs to be there. If they are not there, and we are ready to resume the game. Then they are risk for a player Technical Foul article five D repeated violations of the throw in as in 9-2-10. This one really stumps me exactly what nfhs wants here because we know that 9-2-10 refers to a defender during a throw in breaking the plane, which leads to a delay of game warning,

or if a delay of game warning has already been issued, it would lead to a team Technical Foul. My only guess is repeated violations of that which would lead to a Technical Foul Technical Foul Technical Foul Technical Foul. But, so let’s say we have this, we have a Technical Foul we have a division land throwing opposite the table. Same defender, and they violate again.

Maybe it’s a way for us to say, we need to make this on the player because if it that way if they keep doing this, they will be liable for disqualification with a second player Technical Foul. That’s all I can think of on this on this clause of the rule.

Let’s move on to 

Article six 

commit an unsporting foul now this is the meat and potatoes of this rule on sporting actions by players on the court. This includes but is not limited to acts or conduct such as disrespectfully addressing or contacting and official gesturing in such a manner as to indicate resentment wave off after all of these actions would be unsporting actions by players players deserves and would be assessed as player Technical Foul.

Using profane, or inappropriate language or obscene gestures. Right now we’re just talking about Technical Fouls here. All of these acts can rise to the level of a flagrant technical and the player is immediately disqualified from the game if they are assessed a flagrant Technical Foul.

These are the actions, using profane or inappropriate language or obscene gestures at risk for a Technical Foul certainly at risk for a Technical Foul. See, baiting or taunting an opponent, it’s article C has a note. The nfhs disapproves of any form of taunting which is intended or designed to embarrass ridicule or demean others under any circumstances, and if HS makes a priority that there will be no taunting in the game, D purposely obstructing an opponent’s vision by waving or placing hands near his or her eyes again this is something that is potentially coached,

but players nfhs does not want you waving your hand, close to a player’s face right this is not illegal defensive activity. Right, having your hands up, waving your arms if you’re a thrower if you’re a guarding a thrower let’s say our legal waving a hand in the face is not a player if they perform that action is at risk for a player Technical Foul faking being fouled knowingly attempting a free throw or accepting a foul, to which player was not entitled faking being fouled embellishing gone wrong player, three point shooter. Attempts the shot comes back to the floor. The Defenders legal there’s no contact the shooter crumbles to the floor as if shot by a sniper in the leg faking being fouled if in the judgment of the official. That is what occurred that they are at risk for a player Technical Foul, G, use alcohol or any form of tobacco products, e cigarettes or foot similar items, so there is no vaping on the bench. 

Ah, removing the jersey and or pants skirt within the visual confines of the playing area. Imagine scenarios where players are required to maybe replace illegal equipment, and this is where we come in as officials, we have to use preventative officiating player has an illegal under shirt. They are not allowed to participate we instruct the coach, that they are not allowed to participate with that illegal equipment and apparel, and that they need to change it, and then we try to help them through the process by having the player leave the visual confines get their uniform correct

and come back afterwards. Right. If players remove their jerseys and or shorts and or skirts during the game in the bench area that team member is liable for a player Technical Foul. I leave the playing court for an unauthorized reason to demonstrate resentment disgust, or intimidation player does not like your call ref right and they storm off the court. Go by the concession stand into the back of the stands, strutting around are visibly upset. Right. This makes a player at risk for a player technical file. 

Article seven

intentionally are flagrantly contacting an opponent, when the ball is dead and such contact is not a personal foul. Dead ball contact play as occurring whistle blows player, a one doesn’t like would be one. How they regarding them decides to give them a shove during deadball situation that is dead ball contact, that would be a player technical by rule. 

Article eight be charged with fighting. This is an easy one, be charged with fighting is a flagrant Technical Foul. And the player is immediately disqualified. 

Article nine commit goaltending during a free throw goaltending not basket interference committing goaltending during a free throw is a player Technical Foul.

Article 10 reach through the throw in boundary plane and touch or dislodge the ball, as in nine dash two penalty three, but to reach through the boundary plane and contact the ball is a player Technical Foul. With all these others the penalty is exactly the same goes against the player towards their towards their one flagrant towards disqualification two technicals towards disqualification five fouls towards disqualification. The penalty is always to free throws the ball to the offended team at the division line, opposite the table. That is a summary of player technicals okay quick review. Let’s remember our circle of life, as it were, four players.

Everybody before the game is a team member. The game starts with five starters, they are five players, five players game is going on, substitute comes into the game they report, they enter the game, they become a player the player they replace becomes a team member on the bench. We got to a timeout. We still have five players in the bench area. When resume the game play goes on, we get to the end of the period now it’s an intermission. No more players, everybody’s a team member experience starts we’ve got five players substitute comes in, etc, etc. We need to know the status of players at any point along the way so that we can properly adjudicate when a Technical Foul occurs, which penalty will apply today we’ve learned about player technicals. We have one more episode to go and that is on bench technicals that refers to team members coaches etc. We’ll cover that in our very next episode. And with that, we’re going to wrap up today’s episode on player Technical Fouls.

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