Traveling is one of the most common -- and misunderstood -- rules in all of basketball. The travel rule is intended to prevent players from gaining an advantage by moving with the ball without dribbling. Traveling is a violation in basketball and is penalized by awarding the ball to the opposing team out of bounds closest to where the travel occurred.
The basic concept of traveling is based on the “pivot foot.” Once a player receives the ball or picks up his dribble, he is allowed to move one foot, while the other foot has to remain on the floor as a pivot foot. This foot is allowed to rotate, as long as the ball of the foot remains on the floor at all times. A travel occurs when the player lifts the pivot foot and then returns it to the floor before releasing the ball on a pass or a shot. For instance, if a player receives a pass and jumps with both feet to attempt a shot and returns to floor without shooting, it is considered a travel.
The jump stop rule is part of the traveling rule that allows a player to make a jump stop move, which can be useful when trying to change directions quickly. According to the traveling rule, if a player, while in possession of the ball, jumps off one foot, he may then land on two feet and use either one as the pivot foot or jump again off both feet before passing or shooting the ball. However, if the player jumps off one foot and then returns both feet to the floor at slightly different times, it is considered a travel, as the first foot would then be considered the pivot foot.
Other Traveling Rules
There are other situations which constitute a travel that aren’t covered under the main traveling rule. For instance, if a player is standing and holding onto the ball and falls to the floor, it is considered a travel. Also, if the player is kneeling or laying on the floor and stands up without first dribbling the ball, it is also considered a travel. A player is also not allowed to touch any part of the body to the floor -- other than the hand -- while holding the ball. If he does, he will be called for a travel. If a player, without possession of the ball, slides across the floor to retrieve a loose ball, he is permitted to slide with the ball without being called for a travel.