Double dribble

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An Illegal dribble (incorrectly identified in common wording as a double dribble) in basketball occurs when a player dribbles with two hands simultaneously.

Official NBA rules[edit]

In the National Basketball Association, a dribble is movement of the ball, caused by a player in control, who throws or taps the ball into the air or to the floor.[1]

The dribble ends when the player:[2]

  1. Touches the ball simultaneously with both hands
  2. Permits the ball to come to rest while he is in control of it
  3. Touches the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor.

Officials' hand signals[edit]

If an illegal dribble occurs, the official will first blow his whistle. To signal the violation of an illegal dribble, the official will place both hands straight in front of them with fingers straight out in front of him/her palms facing the ground and move one hand up and the other hand down.[3]


Under NCAA and NFHS rules, if an illegal dribble violation occurs, then the ball is awarded to the opposing team out of bounds nearest the point where the violation took place.[4] Under NBA rules, the ball is awarded to the opposing team at the nearest spot, but no closer to the endline than the free throw line extended.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 4, Section II, A. Retrieved July 26, 2010
  2. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 4, Section II, a. Retrieved July 26, 2010
  3. ^ Official Referee Hand Signals: Illegal Dribble
  4. ^ 2009-2011 Men's & Women's Basketball Rules Rule 9, Section 15, Article 1. Retrieved July 26, 2010
  5. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section II, e, Penalties