What Is “Kick Ball” Rule In Basketball?

Basketball Kick ball Rule

Key Takeaway: The basketball kick ball rule is not a common occurrence in NBA games, but it's crucial to understand the intentional and unintentional violations. The penalty for a kick ball violation results in a change of possession, with specific rules in place for offensive, defensive, and throw-in situations in various basketball leagues.

If you are a diehard NBA fan, you might have seen the Kickball violation in some of the matches. Basketball Kick ball Rule appears at least 2 to 3 times in every NBA season. It is not a common occurrence, but you still need to know about this rule. 

If a basketball violation is intentional, there will be a penalty. However, if it is unintentional, the game continues. Like all the other rules, the decision lies in the hands of the referee. 

The referee has to check clearly if the rule violation includes an intention or by mistake. If you want to know about this rule, we can help you. 

In this article, we will explain to you about the basketball kick ball rule. We will also discuss the penalty.

What Is The Official NBA Kick Ball Rule In Basketball?

Kickball is not an official rule in the NBA. This rule falls under a section which we regard as ‘Strike the Ball”. The strike can be complete with your hand as well as your foot. So if you punch the ball or kick it, the same rule will be applicable. 

Basketball Kick ball Rule openly illustrates itself in the official rule book of the NBA. It illustrates under Rule No. 10. Violations and Penalties. Strike the ball elucidates in the IV section of rule no. 10.

The rule is as follows,

A player should not strike the ball with the fist or kick the ball.

When a player kicks the ball or strike it intentionally, it will be a violation. If the ball strikes the foot, leg, or fist by mistake, then it will not be a violation. 

A player cannot use his leg or his foot to touch the ball or move it in the court.

These are the official rules pertaining to kickball. However, the referee makes the decision. It can be quite problematic as the referee may, at times, get the wrong interpretation of the intention of the player.

What Is The Penalty For A Kick Ball Rule In The NBA?

Now that you know about the rule, we will discuss the penalty. As you know, each violation has a penalty, let’s learn about kickball penalty.

Breaking the basketball kick ball rule is a violation, not a foul. It means that they will not count it as a person or team foul. There will be no free throws involved with this rule. Also, a player will not be removed from the game because of this violation.

Offensive Penalty:

If the offensive team does this violation, the ball’s possession will be given to the other team. However, the possession of the ball will be given near the violation spot. It will be given near the sideline, not the baseline.  

Defensive Penalty

If the defense does this violation, then the offensive team will be given the possession of the ball. The ball will be given near the site of violation on the sideline. It will not be given near the baseline.

Throw In Penalty

If it happens during a throw-in, then the opposing team will be given the possession of the ball. The ball will be given at the throw-in spot. If there are any privileges, they will allot it to the team.

In simple words, if a team commits this violation, the possession of the ball will be given to the other team. The game will stop and resume from the spot of the violation.

But if the offensive team gets the ball, then the stop will change. It will fail to award near the basket or free throw line. The team will get the ball from the throw-in spot.

What Is The Penalty For Kick Ball In Other Basketball Leagues?

Now that you know about the penalty in NBA let’s learn about the penalty in other basketball leagues.


WNBA is nothing but the Women’s National Basketball Association. NBA is from men, while WNBA is for women. So the rules are basically the same. The penalty for Kick Ball in WNBA is the same as the NBA.


In the Olympics and in the World Cup, the rules are different than the NBA. FIBA has its own version of Kick Ball.

Kick Ball Rule

A player cannot intentionally run away with the ball. They cannot kick the ball with their leg, foot, or any other part. They cannot strike it with their fist. If it is unintentional, then it is not a violation.

Kick Ball Violation Penalty

The possession of the ball passes to the other team for a throw-in from the spot of violation. The position cannot be directly behind the backboard.


NCAA also considers kickball as a violation and not as a foul. Here are the rules and penalties regarding kickball.


If a player kicks the ball or strikes it with the fist or makes it pass through the basket from below and enter the cylinder, it is a violation. It should be intentional.

Suppose a player touches the ball with his foot or any other part of the leg intentionally than it is a violation. If the ball touches the leg by mistake, then there is no penalty.

3V3 Basketball

The kickball rule is in regards with the violation in 3V3 Basketball.

Suppose the player uses his foot or part of the leg to touch the ball intentionally than it is a violation. If it happens intentionally, there is no violation.

The penalty is mostly the same. Moreover, the ball will be given to the other team against whom the violation is done.

History Of Kick Ball Rule In Basketball

Now, we will discuss the history of basketball kick ball rule.

1980 – 1981

If some one kicks or punches the ball intentionally, then the 24-second clock resets directly to 24 seconds.

1999 – 2000

If someone kicks or touches the ball with the leg or fist intentionally, then the clock resets. The 24 seconds clock would be reset to 14 seconds if the violation happened when less than 14 seconds was remaining on the clock. The clock would remain unchanged if it happened when more than 14 seconds was remaining.

2000 – 2001

If someone kicks or punches the ball intentionally, then the clock resets to 14 seconds if less than 14 seconds were remaining on the clock. 


This is all you need to know about the basketball kick ball rule. Although this rule is not common in the game, it is a very important part of Basketball. Players can take advantage of this rule if they use the right tactic. Possession of the ball can change the entire game.

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