Updated: Dec 25, 2019

“Slapping the Backboard …” Goal tending or Basket Interference?


Slapping the backboard is neither basket interference nor is it goal tending, and points cannot be awarded.

When a player simply attempts to block a shot and accidentally slaps the backboard it is neither a violation nor is it a technical foul. Points can never be awarded for this.

Slapping the backboard can never result in basket interference, regardless how hard it is slapped and how much the basket vibrates. If the slap is a natural continuance of an attempt to block a shot, then it is nothing. Points can never be awarded for this.

A player who strikes a backboard so forcefully that it cannot be ignored because it is an attempt to draw attention to the player, or a means of venting frustration, If the slap was intentional or an attempt to bring attention to one's self then the player may be assessed a technical foul.


A player shall not . . . 10-3-4 : . . . Illegally contact the backboard/ring by:

b. Intentionally slapping or striking the backboard or causing the ring to vibrate while a try or tap is in flight or is touching the backboard or is in the basket or in the cylinder above the basket.

The purpose of the rule is to penalize intentional contact with the backboard while a shot or try is involved or placing a hand on the backboard to gain an advantage.

Here is the play real time and 2nd one is in slow motion:

1) White, when receiving the pass, landed simultaneously on both feet, either foot can be the pivot foot..Travel Call(Your thoughts? Yes or No?) Black then received the ball for the throw-in.
2)White player on left trailing the shooter attempts to block the shot, his actions are fine, he did strike the board..He made a legitimate attempt to block the shot, and he strikes the back board, nothing should be called and if ball rolls off and shot is missed, it is not basket interference, no points can be counted and no whistle should follow. Watch the video carefully the ball banked off of the board and hit off of the side of the rim.
3) On this play, another White player on right made no attempt to block the shot, on right side of rim and away from the shooter, he swiped at the board but he made no contact with the backboard...Nothing!
4) Lead official had a whistle and initially counted the basket for Basket Interference...The Trail official was correct to inform Lead Official that no points can be scored on this play. It is not Basket Interference when the backboard is struck, legally or illegally.
5)Off of the missed shot ball went off hand of white. This is insignificant on this play as the Point of Interruption needed to be determined as the whistle was prior to this part of the play.
6)If it was determined the whistle counting the basket was inadvertent, that would be the point of interruption since the ball was coming off of the backboard and the rim, they should have gone to the possession arrow( I don't know who had it). Cannot see in the video.
Now the proper ruling based on the White Player striking the backboard and making an attempt at a defensive play.
No Technical foul on white. He did strike the board but it is a legal play as he was attempting to block the shot as stated above:
Slapping the backboard can never result in basket interference, regardless how hard it is slapped and how much the basket vibrates.
Point of Interruption was the inadvertent whistle and crew should have gone to the possession arrow.

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