I was called for a travel in just a pick up game a couple months ago. I was also reading on Wikipedia information about the travel rule about the situation and it seems that there are conflicting rules.

There are 3 scenarios I need to consider.

Scenario 1:

Staggered landing, with a pivot foot, after receiving the ball for the first time.


Can you lift your pivot foot (using your other foot to jump off obviously) to try to shoot the basketball OR pass the ball? I'm aware that you cannot lift your pivot foot before "releasing the ball to start a dribble".

I know that if you have gathered the ball into a staggered landing, AFTER dribbling, you can go for a shot/pass while lifting your pivot foot and your non pivot foot still on the ground. But the difference here is that you have not dribbled at all after first receiving the ball.

Scenario 2:

"True Jump Stop" where you have received the ball on 1 foot, then jumped and landed on 2 feet. In this case


I know that you cannot lift either foot, before "releasing the ball to start the dribble". HOWEVER If you were to go for a shot, I'm pretty sure you could jump off both feet in this case, and go for a jump shot. BUT are you able to lift just 1 foot, before the other, the other then goes into the air then go for a shot, OR lift just 1 foot while the other is still on the ground then go for a shot?

Scenario 3:

"True Jump Stop" where you have already dribbled, you gather the ball on 1 foot, then jump and land on both feet simultaneously.


Similar to the question in scenario 2. Are you able go for a shot by lifting 1 foot off the ground followed by the other? Or go for a shot by lifting 1 foot, and keep the other foot ON the ground?

The confusion all arises after I read this quote on Wikipedia for FIBA traveling rules:

First, there is no paragraph 4.a of Section 72. Therefore, it is a violation if the player, after coming to a stop and establishing the pivot foot, lifts it before the other foot without a dribble.

  • It's very difficult to follow along with your examples. Youtube would be a better resource than Wikipedia to visually see what a travel is and isn't. Try to simplify this question a little bit to get an easier answer.
    – A D
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 22:29
  • That quoted passage from Wikipedia was simply someone's (possibly mistaken) commentary on the FIBA rules. I've now corrected the Wikipedia page, so that that section (FIBA traveling rules) simply quotes, verbatim, the FIBA rules on traveling, without any additional commentary.
    – user3564
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:57

4 Answers 4


2018-08-04 update: Ronnie Nunn on BballBreakdown 2018-07-30 says exactly what I've said here:


See in particular the bit from the 2:00 mark. It includes also a discussion of exactly the contrived scenario I made up below.

There is no rule against the mere lifting of your pivot foot (or indeed any foot in any situation).

It's what you do after you've lifted your pivot foot that may constitute a traveling violation. In particular:

  1. If your pivot foot touches the ground again before you've passed or shot the ball, then you've committed a traveling violation.
  2. If you start a dribble, you've committed a traveling violation.

Imagine the following contrived scenario:

I've just terminated my dribble; I've also established a pivot foot. I then lift up that pivot foot and stand on the other foot (the non-pivot foot) for 10 seconds while still holding on firmly to the ball (a somewhat odd scenario). Here there is absolutely no traveling violation even though I have lifted my pivot foot.

The mere lifting of the pivot foot is never a traveling violation. Again, it is only what you do thereafter that constitutes a traveling violation (see 1 and 2 above).

Another contrived scenario:

I've established a pivot foot and I now jump. I've succeeded in mastering the art of levitation. I stay afloat in the air for 10 seconds while still holding on firmly to the ball but don't do anything with it. Here again there is absolutely no traveling violation even though I have lifted my pivot foot.

In the 2015-2016 NBA rule book, the only rules governing traveling are Rule 4 - Sections VII (Pivot) and VIII (Traveling) and Rule 10 - Section XIII (Traveling). These are fully reproduced below.

From Rule 4

enter image description here

From Rule 10

enter image description here

From the FIBA Official Basketball Rules 2017:

enter image description here

  • 1
    @KennyLJ Does the statement at the top of your answer here apply to the FIBA rules as well? Could you please show me where I can take look at the FIBA rules that corresponds to this? And if you know, some video? Or does that statement apply only to NBA?
    – Can't Tell
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 20:43
  • 1
    @Can'tTell: Yes, it's the same for FIBA. See FIBA Official Basketball Rules 2017. Nowhere does it say that the mere lifting of your pivot foot is in and of itself a violation. It's what you do afterwards that may be a violation — either starting a dribble or having your pivot foot touch the ground again.
    – user3564
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 0:08
  • See in particular FIBA OBR 2017 Rule 25. Relevant lines: "To start a dribble, the pivot foot may not be lifted before the ball is released from the hand(s)." "To pass or shoot for a field goal, the player may jump off a pivot foot, but neither foot may be returned to the floor before the ball is released from the hand(s)."
    – user3564
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 0:08
  • doesn’t this suggest that FIBA and NBA rules differ? that is, after establishing a pivot foot in the NBA, you can jump off your non-pivot foot and shoot — as long as the pivot foot doesn’t return to the ground first. however, this is a traveling violation under FIBA rules.
    – Crashalot
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 15:49

Scenario 1 - Once you have an established pivot foot you have these options:

  • stay on pivot foot and pass, start a dribble, or hold the ball.
  • take one step to non-pivot foot to shoot
  • jump off of both feet and pass, start dribble, or shoot

Scenerio 2 - This is a bit sketchy. You don't get to stop after taking two steps after a pass. In a continuous motion you should have shot from this position. Let's say it isn't a travel. Then one of your feet will be established as a pivot (the one you move last) and then you are back to scenario 1.

Scenario 3 - This again sounds like a travel. You don't get a a step and a jump after dribbling unless you are shooting or passing. You can't take 2 steps and stop somewhere.

  • Your second comment should probably be "take one step to non-pivot foot to shoot or pass" as stated in the official rules: "d. If a player, with the ball in his possession, raises his pivot foot off the floor, he must pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball." nba.com/media/dleague/1314-nba-rule-book.pdf Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 9:09

It is not a travel to lift your pivot foot To shoot and pass. The only time you can't do it off a 1 step jump stop, Which occur while you catch ball on move with 1 foot on ground and than come to jump stop. In this scenario you have jump of both feet to shoot and pass.

As the person above is correct when he said, you can basically stand on 1 foot and not get call for travel. It the act of dribbling or landing your pivot foot that is violation of traveling. Example . Caught ball establish a pivot foot, pivot around. Lift you pivot foot, as soon as you dribble it a travel , or land your pivot foot it a travel. Basically you only could pass and shoot after you lift your pivot foot. It is not a travel standing on your non pivot assuming you not skipping on it or moving it. If you are a ref and you been calling traveling because someone lift their pivot, you must have not been educated correctly.

  • This doesn't really add anything to the question, as you're just agreeing with another user above. Once you have some reputation here, a comment would be more appropriate.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 14:51

If you establish a pivot foot and then step through with your non-pivot foot and lift pivot to jump off of your non-pivot only, it is a essentially taking an extra step and therefore a travel. If you step through and jump off of both feet at the same time then it is not a travel.


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