What is a Blocking Foul in Basketball?

what is a blocking foul

Written by Aliesha

August 24, 2021

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What is a blocking foul? A blocking foul in basketball occurs when a player impedes the progress of an opponent. There are two types of blocking foul in basketball—offensive and defensive. The former is committed by players who are members of the team that has possession of the ball and have entered their personal playing zone, while the latter is committed by players who are not on offense or defense. While this is a common term in the language of basketball, there is more to it than meets the eye. 

Hoop Lingo: Learning What is a Blocking Foul in Basketball

In-game fouls can tip the scales of momentum to anyone’s favor and can even lead a team to win results on a basketball court. So, it goes without saying that every hooper must be able to determine the various types of game violations in a bid to prevent oneself from committing turnovers. With that said, one of the most common momentum-swinging fouls is the blocking foul, and here is what you need to know about this infraction.

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In-depth definition

A blocking foul occurs when an attacking player makes contact with an opposing player causing the defender to lose his balance and then fall over. There are two different types of blocking fouls: offensive and defensive. 

Offensive blocking is called when the attacking player makes contact with the defender in the air above the shoulders (a must block if the player wants to shoot free throws) or below the knees, but it is not considered a foul if the contact occurs prior to the defender having made a move towards the basket or if his/her momentum carries him/her into the lane. Defensive blocking is called when the attacking player makes contact with the defender below the waist. 

Importance of learning

One of the very first things you learn in basketball is blocking foul. It’s the very most essential technique to get you started and be less of a nuisance to the game. Blocking foul is easy especially if you know what exactly you’re doing. It’s important to learn this as it is not only for your personal development but will also contribute a lot to your team’s overall development.

This act or term is not frequently taught at early levels of basketball but becomes increasingly important as training and competition advance to the high school and collegiate levels of basketball where players may be taller and stronger than they are at younger levels.

How to draw a blocking foul

Basketball is a contact sport, and drawing this type of foul occurs when an offensive player makes contact with a defensive player who then loses control of the ball. This can happen both through a drive to the hoop, or any other action which causes physical interaction between opposing players.

There are several different ways to commit a blocking foul. Offensively, a player may push an opponent or trip them up by contact or after the opponent has moved away from the line of scrimmage. Defensively, a player may sit down in the lane and attempt to block passes traveling in either direction 2.5 feet from the hoop. Blocking a shot ends the attack date of the offensive foul and makes it an automatic shot attempt for his team. However, fouls generally do not result in points and are often called for technical fouls.

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How to prevent committing a blocking foul 

Since there’s a possibility of a suspension or fine for committing this foul, it’s important to know how to minimize your chances of getting flagged for this infraction. Stay focused on your opponent and don’t give away unnecessary space by stepping or changing momentum as you approach him. Also, the best way to avoid getting called for a blocking foul is to stay on your feet and stay active in your leading hops. Always be aware of where the ball may go and when you can fight against fatigue.

Positioning is Key

There are many rules governing what is and is not allowed in the game of basketball. Some rules are stated clearly, some are more ambiguous. This leaves room for interpretation and mistake-making on the part of players, coaches, and referees. Therefore, it is essential to know what is a blocking foul in basketball to avoid committing one and having penalties.


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