Dead Ball Foul (A Play From 12/6/19 Video link posted)

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

When you have a Dead Ball Foul, it is important that you know when the ball becomes Alive and when it is Dead, Here is a review and the highlighted parts as it pertains to the play below:

The ball becomes live when:

a. On a jump ball, the tossed ball leaves the official’s hand(s).

b. On a throw-in, it is at the disposal of the thrower.

c. On a free throw, it is at the disposal of the free thrower.

The Ball is dead when:

The ball becomes dead, or remains dead, when:

ART. 1 . . . A goal, as in 5-1, is made.

ART. 2 . . . It is apparent the free throw will not be successful on a: a. Free throw which is to be followed by another free throw. b. Free throw which is to be followed by a throw-in.

ART. 3 . . . A held ball occurs, or the ball lodges between the backboard and ring or comes to rest on the flange.

ART. 4 . . . A player-control or team-control foul occurs.

ART. 5 . . . An official’s whistle is blown (see exceptions a and b below).

ART. 6 . . . Time expires for a quarter or extra period (see exception a below).

ART. 7 . . . A foul, other than player-control or team-control, occurs (see exceptions a, b and c below).

ART. 8 . . . A free-throw violation by the throwing team, as in 9-1, occurs.

ART. 9 . . . A violation, as in 9-2 through 13, occurs (see exception d below).

EXCEPTION: The ball does not become dead until the try or tap ends, or until the airborne shooter returns to the floor, when:

a. Article 5, 6, or 7 occurs while a try or tap for a field goal is in flight.

b. Article 5 or 7 occurs while a try for a free throw is in flight.

c. Article 7 occurs by any opponent of a player who has started a try or tap for goal (is in the act of shooting) before the foul occurred, provided time did not expire before the ball was in flight. The trying motion must be continuous and begins after the ball comes to rest in the player’s hand(s) on a try or touches the hand(s) on a tap, and is completed when the ball is clearly in flight. The trying motion may include arm, foot or body movements used by the player when throwing the ball at his/her basket.

d. Article 9 as in 9-3-3 or 9-13-1, occurs by an opponent. NOTE: If A1's try or tap is legally touched in flight, the goal counts if made, if the period/quarter ends before or after the legal touching. If the touching is interference or goaltending by Team A, no points are scored. If Team B violates, the points are awarded – either two or three depending on whether it was a two or three-point try or tap.

Rules knowledge is a must

Now the play

One of our crews had this play in a game last night.

A goal was made by Team B

Once the ball goes through the ring of the basket it is a DEAD BALL.

The ball was DEAD after a shot was made, the ball was NOT yet at the disposal for the throw-in by Team A.

Remember the ball becomes ALIVE when on a throw-in, it is at the DISPOSAL of the thrower.

The ball was on the floor in the middle of the lane and a Team A player was about to pick it up and take it out of bounds. It was NOT yet at the disposal as EXACTLY stated according to the rule.

A foul then occurred when a Team A player, committed a foul by placing two hands in the chest of a player from Team B and pushed that player, who fell to the floor.

Know that this IS(WAS) called a technical foul because it was a DEAD BALL.

Again, once the ball goes through the ring of the basket it is a DEAD BALL.


Any contact from this point, until it is “made available” for the inbound, is DEAD BALL action.

Technical fouls include a contact foul while the ball is DEAD, except a foul by an airborne shooter.


Continuing to address the play:

A- The Team B player was pushed with two hands, and he exaggerated the contact and "Flopped." This is a HS basketball game but rules always "Trickle Down" and their is now a NCAA rule regarding "Flopping"...The primary reason "Flopping" occurs is it is an attempt to deceive the officiating crew to draw attention and to hopefully get a foul call. It is taught at all levels and that is why it is being addressed at the higher levels.

B-Not knowing what occurred prior between the two team or individual players, warnings etc.--(this is an 18 second clip)- another option could have been a Double Technical, (I don't think it applies here)if the Team A player would not have placed two hands on the Team B player, who had both hands raised. if that had not occurred and a Double Technical had been called, no shots, point of interruption.

Just an FYI, This play might have taken a bit of a different turn if Team A's player would have gotten out of bounds and turned to start the throw-in...The ball would then be alive, and if the contact that occurred then happened, it could be ruled a TEAM CONTROL FOUL...No shots will be taken and Team B would get possession for a throw-in at the spot nearest where the foul had taken place.

By rule this play WAS properly executed because the official stayed with the play and the TECHNICAL FOUL was called with the proper interpretation of rule 4.19.5

Copy and paste this link into your browser to view the play

Officiating the Play:

Understanding that the clip doesn't have a wide window to see the whole floor, make sure as the Center official, we do not leave the back court play too soon!

After the shot, too many times, we as officials see the ball go in and have already turned to transition.  We miss the DEAD BALL action under the basket when the players turn to go the other way.  Players know this, and take the opportunity to take a shot on another player.  STICK WITH THE PLAY.

The Calling Official should have slowed down just a bit after making the call...Pause, step back and observe the players, we don't want any retaliation... Wait for your partners to assist you....Walk around the players, not through them.

Attached is a play that is similar, contact foul after a made goal:

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