I was watching a local college basketball game last night (SSAC) and saw something I really don’t understand, so I thought I would do some research. I’ve come up empty so far.

The opposing team was inbounding the ball along the baseline of the home team. The inbounding player was standing to the left of the goal, about midway between the goal and the sideline. Another team member moved outside the baseline on the other side of the goal, received the “inbound” pass and dribbled onto the court. It was not called as out of bounds and play continued normally.

Was this a legal move or did the referee just miss the call?


If this was a throw-in after the opponent scored, yes, the player that receives the throw-in can be out of bounds behind the endline, with the caveat that the 5-second limit still applies and so the receiver must bring the ball in bounds within that time limit.

NBA Rule 8, in Section III, part c says

After a score, field goal or free throw, the latter coming as the result of a personal foul, any player of the team not credited with the score shall put the ball into play from any point out-of-bounds at the endline of the court where the point(s) were scored. He may pass the ball to a teammate behind the endline; however, the five-second throw-in rule applies.

with emphasis added

The equivalent NCAA rule is 7-4-6-b.


According to NCAA rule 7-4.6.b the ball MUST be passed inbounds. The pass along the baseline is legal but the player may NOT dribble the ball inbounds. The pass must be made from out of bounds to inbounds within the 5-second limit. The referee missed the call if the receiving player dribbled the ball from out of bounds.

  • 1
    The rule you quote says nothing of the kind; the ball may be passed behind the end line, with the throw-in count continuing. What you should reference is rule 7.9.a: "Art. 9. Until the throw-in ball crosses the plane of the sideline or end line: The thrower-in may not touch the ball until it touches another player inbounds". – Nij Jan 30 '19 at 0:06

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