Hey Ref, Can't You Count to Three!(1 Video)

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

It's the call that we probably catch the most grief over, and most don't understand the advantage/disadvantage part of the rule. Also, it is never understood by most that the count "Freezes" when the offensive player has the ball and is working to attempt a shot. Here is a video where the analyst refers to the lane as the key and references a FIBA Three Second rule, the talking points are pertinent to the NFHS game. The concepts of the three second rule is exactly the same...FIBA goes into more extensive wording.

The intent of the three-second rule is to not allow an offensive player to gain an advantage. Referees will not call this violation if the player is not gaining an advantage. There is no three-second count between the release of a shot and the control of a rebound, at which time a new count starts. There is no three second count during a throw in. There is no three-second count while the ball is in the backcourt. Allowance shall be made for a player who, having been in the restricted area for less than three seconds, dribbles in or moves immediately to try for goal.

Here is the NFHS rule:


ART. 1 . . . A player must not remain for three seconds in that part of his/her free-throw lane between the end line and the farther edge of the free-throw line while the ball is in control of his/her team in his/her frontcourt. ART. 2 . . . The three-second restriction applies to a player who has only one foot touching the lane boundary. The line is part of the lane. All lines – designating the free-throw lane, but not lane-space marks, are part of the lane. ART. 3 . . . Allowance must be made for a player who, having been in the restricted area for less than three seconds, dribbles in or moves immediately to try for goal. PENALTY: (Section 7) The ball is dead when the violation occurs and is awarded to the opponents for a throw-in from the designated out-of bounds spot nearest the violation.


Art. 26 3 seconds

26.1 Rule 26.1.1 A player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than 3 consecutive seconds while his team is in control of a live ball in the frontcourt and the game clock is running.

26.1.2 Allowances must be made for a player who: • Makes an attempt to leave the restricted area. • Is in the restricted area when he or his team-mate is in the act of shooting and the ball is leaving or has just left the player's hand(s) on the shot for a field goal. • Dribbles in the restricted area to shoot for a field goal after having been there for less than 3 consecutive seconds.

26.1.3 To establish himself outside the restricted area, the player must place both feet on the floor outside the restricted area.


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