During a freethrow shot in Basketball after a foul, players stand in front of the freethrow shooter. What happens if those players try messing with the freethrow shooter? Like yelling "BRICK" right as he shoots, or waving their arms like a lunatic, or doing some crazy tiktok dance, etc..

To be clear, I'm talking about non-physical meddling. And assuming that there's obviously a line that can be crossed (e.g. screaming "BLOODY MURDER" at the top of your lungs), around where is that line, and why don't we see players pushing up against it?

  • I've removed the "baseball" part of this question to keep this focused on the basketball aspect; feel free to ask the baseball question as a separate question.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 10:17
  • I feel like they're similar in spirit, and asking the different questions would be redundant, but very well. Don't want to be given a red card ~_^
    – chausies
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 10:23
  • 1
    Similar in spirit, yes, but they are two entirely different sports, and if they were redundant, we'd prefer to close them as duplicates than force answers to address both. This is reflected across the network - "one question per question".
    – Nij
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


Both waving arms and yelling at the shooter are specifically disallowed.

From the NBA Rules: rule 9 I f:

During all free throw attempts, no opponent in the game shall disconcert the shooter once the ball is placed at his disposal. The following are acts of disconcertion:

  • Raising his arms when positioned on the lane line on a free throw which will not remain in play,

  • Waving his arms or making a sudden movement when in the visual field of the shooter during any free throw attempt,

  • Talking to the free throw shooter or talking in a loud disruptive manner during any free throw

  • Entering the lane and continuing to move during any free throw

PENALTY: No penalty is assessed if the free throw is successful. A substitute free throw will be administered if the attempt is unsuccessful.

  • BowlOfRed (or anyone) - is this only an NBA rule or is it also true in the NCAA? If NCAA, do you have an online reference showing the text? Thank you.
    – statHacker
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 19:44
  • 1
    NCAA Mens BB rules: ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/BK24.pdf. Rule 8, Section 5, Article 1, part f.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 22:07

While fans can distract, anybody associated with a basketball team cannot.

This happened with Devin Booker. After complaining to the ref against the Raptors, he had the Bulls mascot removed after a similar distraction.


  • 1
    Not sure booker was involved particularly in that Bulls mascot removal, that seemed more like it was staged...
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 17:37

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