Broadly, there are three types of fouls:
- Illegal contact
- Unsportsmanlike contact – when a player makes contact with an opponent and the official believes that they were not acting in a sportsmanlike fashion
- Technical Foul – when a player acts in an unsportsmanlike fashion, but without making contact with another player (e.g. disputing a referees decision).
In any game of basketball there is a lot of contact between players. Some key concepts to determine if the contact is legal are:
- A person standing in the path of an opponent. However, if the opponent does not have the ball, the person has to give them sufficient opportunity to avoid the contact.
- A player should not extending their arms or legs outside of their “cylinder”: Effectively this is, effectively the width of their body. If they reach with their arms or legs and contact is made beyond their hips or shoulders, it will likely be their foul.
- If the player has good defensive position which a defender must have established, with both feet on the court (before the contact). They must be facing their opponent and have established this position before their opponent makes contact.