What Is Goaltending In Basketball?

Goaltending In Basketball

In basketball, “goaltending” refers to when a player tries to block a shot that is on its way down toward the basket, whether on a shot attempt or a free throw. Goaltending can be called on any shot within the cylinder above the rim, resulting in the basket being counted as if it was made.

Goaltending can be called on a player who:

Touches the ball or any part of the basket while the ball is on its downward flight.

-Touches the ball while it is within the cylinder above the rim.

-Reaches through the basket from below and contacts the ball.

Types Of Goaltending

There are two main types of goaltending: offensive and defensive.

Offensive Goaltending:

Offensive Goaltending In Basketball

Offensive goaltending occurs when a player attempts to score on a shot while the ball is still in play.

Defensive Goaltending:

Defensive Tactics In Basketball
Defensive Goaltending In Basketball

Defensive goaltending occurs when a player tries to block a shot after the shooter has released it.

Why Is Goaltending Illegal?

The prohibition against goaltending was established in 1944 by the NCAA and in the late 1980s by the NBL due to George Mikan.

Mikan was a dominant center for DePaul University and helped lead the team to three consecutive national championships from 1942 to 1944. He was so effective at blocking shots that his opponents began to complain that he was “goaltending” – that is, interfering with their shots after they had already left their hands.

The NCAA responded by adopting a rule prohibiting goaltending, which has been in effect ever since. The rule is designed to protect shooters from having their shots blocked after they have already released the ball, but it also makes it difficult for big men like Mikan to dominate the game.

Difference Between Goaltending And Blocking

Goaltending is when a player tries to stop the ball from going through the hoop, while blocking is when a player tries to stop the opposing player from getting a shot off. Goaltending can be done with one or both hands while blocking can only be done with one hand.

Goaltending is also considered a more aggressive move since you’re trying to stop the other team from scoring. Blocking is more about using your body position and timing to prevent the other player from getting a good shot off.

Difference Between Goaltending And Basket Interference

Goaltending and basket interference are two very different things in basketball. Goaltending is when a player tries to block a shot that is already in the process of going through the hoop. On the other hand, basket interference is when a player interferes with the ball while still in the basket or within the cylinder above the rim.

What Is The Penalty For Defensive Goaltending?

Penalty In Basketball
Penalty For Defensive Goaltending

The penalty for defensive goaltending is that the team commits a foul, and the offensive team is awarded two free throws. If this happens during play, the player who committed the foul is also given a personal foul. No personal foul is given if it happens during a dead-ball situation.

What Is The Penalty For Offensive Goaltending?

If a player commits offensive goaltending, the basket is awarded to the opposing team, and the player is given a personal foul. This means that not only does the other team get two points, but it also gets to keep possession of the ball.

When Was Goaltending Made A Rule In The NBA?

In 1945, the NBA introduced a rule that prohibited goaltending. This rule was put in place to prevent players from excessively blocking shots and preventing the ball from going into the basket. Before this rule, there was no penalty for goaltending, and it was often used as a strategy to win games.

The rule change had a major impact on the game of basketball and the way it is played today. It opened up the game and made it more exciting to watch. Players can now score more quickly, and there is more opportunity for fast-paced play.

The penalty for goaltending is now well-established and is called whenever a player interferes with the ball while it is on its downward trajectory toward the basket.

Is It Goaltending If You Hit The Backboard?

No, hitting the backboard is not goaltending. However, if a defensive player were to block a shot heading toward the backboard, that would be considered goaltending and would result in the offensive team being awarded two points.


After reading this article, the reader should better understand the role of a goaltender in basketball. A goaltender is responsible for stopping the ball from entering the basket and preventing opponents from scoring. Goaltending is a critical part of the game and can be the difference between winning and losing.