What Is Reaching In Basketball?

Reaching in basketball is a defensive move where a player extends one or both arms into the space of an offensive player in order to steal the ball. It is considered a personal foul and …

what is reaching in basketball

Reaching in basketball is a defensive move where a player extends one or both arms into the space of an offensive player in order to steal the ball. It is considered a personal foul and results in the offensive player being awarded free throws. Keep on reading to know more about what is reaching in basketball, types of reaching, and its examples.

What Is Reaching In Basketball? 

The term reaching-in foul in basketball is one of the many tags and labels associated with basketball actions. This basketball movement can be considered a foul, according to the definition of reaching in. If the defensive player makes severe and uncontrolled physical contact with the offensive player, it may be regarded as a foul.

This occurs when the defensive player obstructs the attack while the offensive player dribbles. However, owing to a lack of understanding and precision in refereeing, most of these infractions are ignored and not recognized as fouls by the official. With this, controversy arises on a regular basis.

If a defender encroaches on the ball-handler by touching him/her in an inappropriate manner while committing a reach-in-foul, it is considered a foul.

As you can see, there are some exclusions, such as if the act has no negative impact on the attacking player’s focus, speed, balance, or agility. The same exception applies to offensive players who are looking away from the basketball ring.

what is reaching in basketball

The defender may contact the offensive player’s back to establish a defensive stance. However, even if there is no attempt to steal the ball, it can be considered a foul if the offensive player is facing the ring and the defender holds him in any way incorrectly.

Types Of Reaching In Basketball

There are two types of reaching fouls:

1) When a defender reaches with one hand from behind and taps the ball out of an offensive player’s control.

2) When a defender reaches with two hands from the front, sides, or back, and makes contact with the ball or the offensive player.

Reaching in is different from a block, which is when a defensive player uses their body to stop an offensive player from scoring.

Penalties For Reaching In Basketball?

A reaching-in foul is usually penalized by giving the ball to the offensive team out of bounds. If the act takes place during a live ball, it is called a personal foul, and the fouled player is awarded one or two free throws.

In addition, if the referee believes that the contact was flagrant, he may assess a technical foul or even an ejection.

Fouls To Make If Reaching Isn’t Executed Well

Basketball is a contact sport, which is why committing a foul is an essential element of the game. A player, on the other hand, must be conscious of fouls to avoid being disqualified due to excessive fouls committed repeatedly.


A foul is committed when a defense player utilizes their body in “blocking” and restricts the player’s progress with the ball. Blocking usually results in the ball being available for free throws, which benefits the side that committed the foul. One of the most difficult components of this is determining who is at fault and whether the offense should be treated as a block or a charge.

When a defender tries to take charge but does not get into position in time, this is known as a blocking foul. A charging foul is the polar opposite of a blocking foul. This is referred to as a charging foul when the offensive player makes an incorrect connection with a well-positioned defender. 


Pushing is a form of illegal contact that can take place with or without the ball. Pushing can also be referred to as shoving, and it is generally committed by players who are trying to gain an advantage during a physical altercation. When two players are jostling for position, one player may use their forearm or open hand to push the other player away. Pushing is also common when two players are running down the court and one player tries to prevent the other from getting ahead by pushing them from behind.


Slapping is another type of foul that can take place with or without the ball. A player may slap another player in order to get them out of the way, but this often happens when two players are going for a loose ball. Slapping is also common when two players are jostling for position, and one player tries to use their open hand to hit the other player in the chest or face.

what is reaching in basketball


Holding is a type of foul that can be committed by both offensive and defensive players. Holding is usually committed when a player uses their arm or jersey to grab another player in order to prevent them from getting away or making a play. Holding can also be committed by a player who wraps their arms around another player in an attempt to stop them from moving.

Illegal Screen

An illegal screen is a type of foul that is committed by an offensive player. An illegal screen is set when an offensive player uses their body to block a defender who is trying to guard another offensive player. Illegal screens are often committed by players who are not tall enough to block the defender legally, so they use their bodies to make it difficult for the defender to get around them.

Examples Of Reaching Foul

The most common reaching foul in basketball occurs when a player dribbles across a defender. When the offender attempts to dribble crossover and cross over the defender, the defender attempts to steal the ball, resulting in a reach-in penalty.

When a player grabs the ball forcefully, he or she is called for a reach-in foul. This may be seen when a point guard predicts that the attacking team will move near the three-point line and then another player grabs the ball from him or her when the ball handler stops moving within a few seconds, prepared to pass it.

A reach-in foul occurs when a defensive player touches the ball handler’s hands without making physical contact with him or her. When a player is in a triple threat stance, he or she is vulnerable to being reached into. Then, a defender attempts to grab the ball by tapping it out of the player’s hand, but accidentally makes physical contact with his or her arms.

Reaching In Fouls And You

Now that you know what a reaching-in foul is, you can be sure to avoid committing this type of infraction next time you’re playing basketball. Alternatively, if you’re on the receiving end of such a play, you’ll know what action to take to ensure that your team isn’t disadvantaged.


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