You are here:

Basketball Instruction/Fumbling the ball


A player is dribbling the ball and begins to fumble it.  On one hand you have said that a player may fumble the ball and then regain control and continue to dribble.  Is this a judgment call?  How long or how far can a player go "fumbling" the ball before it is a violation?  I figure there has to be some limiting factor or else a player could "fumble" his way all the way down court.   Thank you


First of all, in order for there to be a traveling violation, a player must be "in control" of the ball. If a player is fumbling the ball, they don't have control. This really isn't a judgement call. A player is either in control or not and most of the time its pretty evident to the officials which one it is.

If a player is fumbling the ball all the way down the court, then they really aren't fumbling it, they are in control and dribbling it. There is no limit as to how long a player can fumble the ball.

Hope that helps.

Basketball Instruction

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bret Temple


My expertise is in the craft of Officiating Basketball and I can answer questions pertaining to basketball rules; youth level through CIF High School, NCAA college and NBA rules as well. I can either help define a specific rule for you, or interpret a specific rule to clarify how other officials and I view and call the game.


I have been a Basketball Official now for over 19 years, officiating at all levels. I have attended numerous training camps throughout the years in an attempt to constantly become a better official. I have been evaluated by top Officiating organizations and Assignors, and I've had the fortunate experience to officiate former Division 1 and NBA players.

NASO (National Association of Sports Officials) CBOA (California Basketball Officials Association)

El Sorrino Officials Association Accreditation CIF Certified(California Interscholastic Federation)

Past/Present Clients
Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation, Calabasas Basketball League, Calabasas Semi-Pro Men's League, AYBA, California Interscholatic Federation, ARC League , Gary Grant Youth Basketball Program

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]