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How many fouls in NBA: Number of fouls a player can commit before being fouled out

Gautham Balaji
|Mon Aug 03 2020


‘How many fouls in NBA’ is a question on the mind of a lot of basketball fans, as there is a difference between college basketball and the NBA.

In the NBA, coaches are very conservative about their players picking up fouls. If an important player gets 2 or 3 fouls to his name in 5-10 minutes, the coach will consider resting them temporarily.

Most coaches will do this to ensure there are no further foul concerns. This is a factor coaches have to constantly deal with during the course of the 48-minute game. Teams also lineup to draw their opponent players to commit fouls as much as possible.

Moreover, a person committing too many fouls could cause ‘team foul’ trouble too. In which case, the opponent side would get free throws for every foul committed. Coaches want to avoid that and hence will try and manage team fouls too.

Also Read: Hostile Act NBA: What is the ‘Hostile Act’ in NBA and when is it used?

How many fouls in NBA?

In NBA, players are allowed to commit 6 fouls, before being fouled out. Only after the player commits his 6th foul, will he be asked to leave the game.

This is little different as compared to high school and college basketball, where players are fouled out after committing 5 fouls. The NBA allows one extra foul, as an NBA game is for 48 minutes, whereas a high school/college game is for 40 minutes.

The 6 foul strategy is being incorporated well by all coaches and teams, especially during the 4th quarter when a few players have fouls to give.

Foul Strategies by players and teams

A popular method used by many aggressive shooter and players is to drive from beyond the arc, all the way to the rim. Players do this to draw some illegal contact from the opposition defenders. This will give their team free throws to increase their advantage or reduce their deficit.

Also Read: NBA Restricted area: What is a restricted area in Basketball and how does it benefit the offensive player?

Lately, we have seen attackers take advantage of these foul rules to bait defenders into committing fouls. A particular type is that the attacker jumps into the defender while attempting a 3-pointer. If the defender makes contact in their opponent’s landing place, it will result in free throws for the attackers.

James Harden has been using this to good effect to draw a lot of fouls while doing his famous step back.


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