Basketball Rules for Carrying

Portrait of young woman holding a basketball, photographed from a low perspective
Carrying rules need to be known. (Image: FogStock/Vico Images/Alin Dragulin/FogStock/Getty Images)

Basketball players maneuver around the court while dribbling, a skill for which you repeatedly bounce the ball with one hand while walking, running or standing still. Rules govern how to properly dribble, specifically where your hand contacts the ball. To avoid being called for a carry, which is a violation, your hand must be on top or to the side of the ball.

Carrying and Palming Defined

For a legal dribble, the rules state that you must not scoop the ball, let any part of your hand pass underneath it or allow the ball to momentarily rest in your palm while dribbling. If any of these violations occur, you have "carried" or "palmed" the ball, which will be whistled by a referee during a game and result in a turnover.

Double Dribble Vs. Carry

A similar dribbling violation to the carry is the double dribble. This is when you start dribbling a second time after you have picked up your dribble. Carrying the ball is similar because of a brief pause in your action -- the ball momentarily rests in your palm. An official may consider this pause to be the end of your first dribble and if you continue to dribble, you have committed a double-dribble violation.

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