Can a Basketball Player Step Out of Bounds & Step Back in & Touch the Ball?

Basketball Players
Basketball (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The rules of basketball make it pretty clear that you can't touch the ball while any part of you is out of bounds. The rules are different if a player steps out without the ball. Players who go out of bounds can legally rejoin the play and touch the ball once they have both feet back on the court.

Establishing Position

Players are considered in or out of bounds based on where their feet were before they touched the ball. If a player leaps from out of bounds to touch a ball before she lands in-bounds, it's a turnover. The reverse is also true, as players can jump from inside the court and touch a ball as long as they're not touching it when they land out of bounds. An example is a player leaping to tip a ball that was going out of bounds toward a teammate to avoid a turnover.

Rules Comparisons

The requirements for players leaving and reentering the field of play are different for basketball than in some other sports. For example, in football, a receiver who leaves the field without being forced out becomes an ineligible. Any pass he catches will be waived off.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.