NCAA Basketball Rules for Team Fouls


NCAA basketball games are divided into two 20-minute halves, with five minute overtime periods following if the score is tied at the end of regulation. Each foul committed on the floor is counted against an individual player and against the offending team, according to the rules of the game. A player can ultimately be punished by being removed from the game with too many personal fouls (five), while the type and number of free throws being shot after a foul can depend on the number of team fouls. The personal-foul count applies to the entire game, whereas the team fouls are reset at halftime.

Types of Fouls

Regulation basketball games have a number of different types of fouls: common fouls, technical fouls, intentional fouls, and flagrant fouls.

1. ​Common fouls:​ A common foul is also called a personal foul, and they are committed in the flow of the game by one player against another. Some examples are reach-in fouls, blocking fouls, and moving screens.

2. ​Technical fouls:​ A technical foul is usually committed outside the flow of the game. Direct technical fouls can include things like an unsportsmanlike conduct or arguing with an official, while an indirect technical foul is called due to a major infraction of the rules, such as trying to call a timeout when a team has none remaining.

3. ​Intentional fouls:​ An intentional foul is contact against a player with or without the ball that is deemed unnecessary by the officials.

4. ​Flagrant fouls:​ A flagrant foul is contact against a player with or without the ball that is deemed unnecessary by the officials, and is excessive in force. Players are given either a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 depending on the severity of the foul, and both cases result in different penalties.

First Six Fouls

The first six team fouls in each half are treated differently than those that follow after a team hits seven team fouls.

  • A player who is fouled in the act of shooting the basketball at any time in the game is awarded two free throws, or three if he is behind the three-point-line
  • A non-shooting foul that is committed before a team reaches seven team fouls results in the team that was fouled taking the ball out of bounds
  • Technical fouls, intentional fouls and flagrant fouls always send a team to the free throw line for two shots

The Bonus

The seventh team foul in either half in a game earns the opposing team the right to shoot free throws, regardless of whether the foul was committed against a player who was shooting or not.

  • When a team commits its seventh, eighth and ninth fouls in either half, the other team shoots a one-and-one, meaning that if the player makes the first free throw, they shoot another; however, if they miss the first free throw, the ball is live off of the rim
  • The double bonus kicks in on the 10th foul of the half. Once that happens, each subsequent foul by that team results in two free throws for the opposing team