What Are the Types of Passing in Basketball?

types of passing in basketball

Written by Aliesha

July 28, 2021


Passing in basketball is the act of throwing the ball to a teammate. One player will try to pass the ball to their teammate while the other player tries to steal the ball and take it away. We are all aware that passing the ball successfully among the players is one of the keys in a basketball game. But what are the types of passing in basketball? What does it mean? And why do we need them in court?

Hoop Fundamentals: Learning the Types of Passing in Basketball 

In a game where ball movement is imperative to produce excellent results on the court, the ability to pass is a must-have skill for every hooper. It allows a team to widen the scoring options and can even keep the opposing defense guessing. With that being said, what are the different types of passing in basketball?

Basic passing techniques

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Though it has many variations, there are basic basketball passing techniques that even beginners can learn to improve their game.

Chest pass

The chest pass is thrown with the ball being placed above and between the two arms. It can be used from anywhere on the court and especially from close to the basket. The motion of passing is similar to a layup; instead of raising the ball over the head, it is brought chest high by pulling it back with both hands. The chest pass is often utilized in teams’ offensive game plans when a fast break opportunity has presented itself or in transition when no one has yet established an offensive set.

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Bounce pass

The bounce pass is a basketball play in which the passer throws the ball to a teammate just above the floor. It can be used to pass around a defender who will be close to the receiver or to throw over an aggressive defender, though this is not advised. When used properly, the bounce pass can help get past a defender that is in the way of an actual pass; other times it can save a team if their guard was pressured hard by an opponent and has no space in which to dribble or pass forward.

Overhead pass

By far the most spectacular pass in basketball is the overhead pass. This pass starts off with the ball high above your head, and it ends wide open for a teammate to take it in for a layup. Often viewed as the easiest way to score when you have no teammate on either side of you, mastering the overhead pass takes nearly as much practice time as the push shot. To learn how to do an overhead pass, there are only two things to remember: keep it high and keep your hands together.

Advanced passing techniques

Basketball passes are an extremely important part of the game. Knowing advanced passing techniques can give you a great advantage over your competition and help you enjoy more success in this sport. Here is a breakdown of some of the most effective basketball passing techniques out there.

Behind-the-back pass

A behind-the-back pass in basketball is a type of pass when a player makes a normal pass and throws the ball around his or her back to make that pass. This type of passing in basketball is used by both professionals and amateurs to avoid the defender when making the front pass would be risky. It can also be used to throw the ball to a player trailing on the fast break. This pass is usually performed with one hand, although it can also be performed with both hands.

Baseball pass

One of the types of passing in basketball is the baseball pass. A baseball pass is a method of passing in basketball that resembles the action of throwing a baseball. The one-handed pass is used by a player throwing the ball with their dominant hand while simultaneously making an underhand throw with their other hand. The move is used to send a long pass quickly downfield to a teammate, or drive past an opposing defender with fakes and dribbling moves.

Produce excellent results in the court! 

Pick-and-roll pass

The play consists of a ball handler (who may or may not have an ally) approaching a free-throw line extended, and being approached by a teammate (called a screener) who will set a screen for the ball handler. The screener can either roll to the basket while the ball handler goes behind him, or they can both curl towards each other and allow for a pick and pop. The play ends when the offensive player who passed the screen returns to their point of origin or passes to another player, with some exceptions- sometimes this pass is made possible by the screener playing off and dragging his defender. 

Put a Premium on Proficiency

Passing is one of the most crucial skills in basketball. It allows both players who are on the team to take control of the ball and move around the court while passing the ball towards a player who is in a better position.


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