Is it allowed to hit the basketball towards the ground in a way that it bounces up and over the defender so that I race past the defender and when the ball hits the ground I resume dribbling under my shoulder?

  • Other than the height of the bounce, I don't see how this is different from ordinary dribbling. You shouldn't even need it to hit the ground again; it has already hit the ground once since leaving your hand.
    – chepner
    Oct 24, 2017 at 16:46
  • Is this question related? sports.stackexchange.com/questions/692/…
    – Unnamed
    Jun 28, 2018 at 17:38
  • The answer is yes. There is no rule stating this because it is not against the rules.
    – Coach-D
    Jul 31, 2018 at 7:10

4 Answers 4


Yes, as long as you correctly dribble the ball according to Rule 4, section 15. The concern would be making sure it isn't palmed or carried, per the rules, because then you could get hit with a violation.

Now that you are covered legally, physically pulling it off would be a different story, as it would take some skill or a distinct height differential to actually dribble a ball over a basketball player.


There is nothing in the NBA rule book explicitly prohibiting this move. However, this passage in the rule book makes me think that it would not be allowed:

a. The dribble ends when the dribbler:

  1. Touches the ball simultaneously with both hands
  2. Permits the ball to come to rest while he is in control of it
  3. Tries for a field goal
  4. Throws a pass
  5. Touches the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor
  6. Loses control
  7. Allows the ball to become dead

I can see an official interpreting a high dribble like that as a field goal or pass attempt, thus ending the dribble.


I believe it will be allowed. There is no rule specifying that the ball must not exceed a certain height while dribbling or that the ball mustn't bounce for more than one time.

Also, the the angle at which the ball bounces is not important, it is the position of the hand on the ball. According to FIBA rules, you are even allowed to start your dribble by throwing the ball over the defender, sprinting past him, and continue dribbling with the ball afterwards.


You can dribble the ball 30 feet high if it makes you feel good. As long as you don't touch it on the way down and have control and ONE hand touching down on the ball on the way back up, your dribble is still good - and the ball can bounce infinite times (if time allows) in between. Whether or not you have control, there are elephants under the ball or what not has no bearing on it being legal/illegal. You could bounced the ball over all 5 members of the other team and slide through their legs, the ball could bounce three times, you are free to resume dribbling.

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