Basketball Instruction/Basketball


Missed attempt to rim and backboard

Player has the basketball about 6 foot away from basket near the baseline. Turns and quickly (off balance) and shoots to the basket.
The ball misses everything – rim, backboard, net…….. the shooter does as he was taught and follows his shot.   The same shooter picks the ball out
Of the air  making a successful rebound….or picking up the ball after it hits the floor…….
 I have read recently that this is a legal play for most levels and up to NCAA but within the NBA is illegal.
Can you provide the rule points for each level of play from age 12 to high school…..

Does this cover all levels of play……..

Have you ever seen this at any level of play?

4.44 SITUATION B: A1 attempts a try after ending the dribble. The try does not touch the backboard, the rim or any other player. A1 runs and is able to catch the ball before it strikes the floor. Is this traveling? RULING: No. When A1 recovered his/her own try, A1 could either dribble, pass or try again. There was no team control after the ball was released on a try. (4-12; 4-41).

It is perfectly legal for a player to rebound his/her own air ball, provided the official deemed the shot a legitimate shot. Comment:  Case Book 4.44-B describes this play exactly.


I see this play all  the time. In High School this is a legal play. As long as the shooter makes a legitimate shot attempt, he/she may catch their own air ball, and either dribble, pass or shoot the ball again.

I'm not 100% sure if its legal or not in college, but I know it is not legal in the NBA.

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.

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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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