Defensive three-second violation
Defensive three-second violation, also known as illegal defense, is a rule violation in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is assessed when a member of the defending team spends more than three seconds in the free throw lane (also known as the 16-foot lane, or colloquially as "in the paint") while not actively guarding an opponent. To be considered actively guarding, a defender must be within arm's length of an opponent and in a guarding position. A three second count is suspended if:
- a player is in the act of shooting
- there is a loss of team control
- the defender is actively guarding an opponent
- the defender clears the painted area
- it is imminent the defender will become legal
In addition, a player guarding an opponent with the ball may be in the paint without actively guarding the opponent.
Previously, any form of zone defense was considered an illegal defense violation and resulted in a warning on the first violation and then a technical free throw for any subsequent violations. In the spring of 2001 the rule was changed to its current form as part of an initiative to speed up play in the NBA. The high school and college game do not use this rule, nor does European basketball.
- NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section VII, B. Retrieved July 25, 2010
- NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section VII, D. Retrieved July 25, 2010
- NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section VII, E. Retrieved July 25, 2010
- NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section VII, Penalty. Retrieved July 25, 2010
- Blinebury, Fran (June 8, 2006). "Rule changes have NBA back in the fast lane". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "WNBA Announces Rules Changes for 2013 Season" (in English). Retrieved Dec 16, 2012. Unknown parameter
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