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Basketball Instruction/Double Dribble lost ball Control


Hi Bret

I was watching my sons basketball game where his teammate was dribbling in the front court, attempted to stop his dribble but lost the ball, the ball bouncing away from him down the court.  He caught up to the ball resuming the dribble never having actually picked up the ball and controlled it.  The ref called a double dribble violation. Having been a CIF level referee for several years, though many years ago, I immediately thought it was incorrect or a very strict interpretation of double dribble.  In your view of the rule, would this example be a double dribble?

Thank you for the clarification.

HI Todd,

You are correct. That was an incorrect call by the official. A player is aloud to fumble the ball, recover and then dribble again. The player lost control of the ball, therefore there cannot be a violation called.

Thanks for your question.

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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

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