What Is Technical Foul In Basketball?

Technical Foul In Basketball

In basketball, a technical foul is a rules infraction involving unsportsmanlike behavior. Technical fouls can be issued for various reasons, including fighting, abusive language, taunting, and excessive celebration. Technical foul results in free throws for the opposing team, and the player who committed the infraction may also be ejected from the game.

While technical fouls are designed to punish players for bad behavior, they can also significantly impact a game’s outcome. A single technical foul can swing momentum in favor of the other team, and multiple technical fouls can result in an automatic victory for the opposing team. As such, players must be careful to avoid committing any infractions that could cost their team the game.

Types Of Technical Fouls In Basketball

There are a few types of technical fouls, which include: Unsportsmanlike conduct, illegal defense, and delay of game

  1. Illegal Defense:

An illegal defense is when a player uses his body to impede the progress of an offensive player who does not have the ball. This can be done by blocking him with your arms or legs or holding him back with your body. If the officials determine that the defensive player was not making a legitimate attempt to play the ball, they will assess a technical foul.

  1. Delay Of Game:

A delay of the game occurs when a team deliberately tries to slow down the game’s pace. This can be done by stalling on offense or intentionally fouling on defense. A delay of the game can also be called if the offensive team takes too long to inbound the ball after a made basket.

  1. Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

Arguing In Basketball

In basketball, unsportsmanlike conduct is any behavior that is not in line with the spirit of the game. This can include taunting, fighting, or excessive celebrations. Technical fouls are often given for unsportsmanlike conduct, which can lead to a player being ejected from the game.

Rules/Regulations for Technical Foul In Basketball

NBA Technical Foul Fines

In the NBA, a technical foul is an infraction that results in the assessment of one or more free throws to the opposing team and possession of the ball if it occurs on defense. A player or coach can be assessed a technical foul for actions such as arguing with officials, fighting, or excessively delaying the game.

Technical fouls are penalized more severely in the NBA than in other leagues. In addition to free throws, players and coaches who accumulate seven technical fouls in a season are automatically suspended for one game. Technical fouls also count towards a player’s or coach’s total of flagrant fouls, which can result in additional fines and suspensions.

How Many Free Throws For A Technical Foul?

The number of free throws awarded for a technical foul depends on the league and the situation. In the NBA, two free throws are awarded for a technical foul that a player does not commit.

Technical Foul vs. Flagrant Foul:

Two types of fouls can be called on a player: a technical foul and a flagrant foul.

Technical Foul signal
  • Technical fouls are less serious than flagrant fouls and are usually given for things like unsportsmanlike conduct or excessive celebration.
  • Flagrant fouls, on the other hand, are given for more serious offenses, such as dangerous or violent play.

High School Basketball Technical Foul Rule:

Technical fouls in high school basketball result in the opposing team getting two free throws and the ball. If a technical foul is called on a player who is shooting, they get to shoot their free throws. If a technical foul is called on a player who is not shooting, the opposing team gets to choose which player shoots the free throws.

Technical fouls are considered minor infractions in high school basketball. However, if a player receives two technical fouls in one game, they are ejected from the game.

WNBA Technical Foul Rule:

In the WNBA, Technical fouls result in free throws for the other team and can also lead to ejections from the game. In some cases, a player who accumulates too many technical fouls in a season can be suspended for a game or more.

The WNBA has been criticized in the past for being too lenient with technical fouls, but they have been working to crack down on them in recent years.


What is a reach-in foul?

A reach-in foul is a basketball foul called when a defensive player reaches their hand or arm into the playing space of an offensive player, making contact and impeding their movement.

Is taunting a technical foul in basketball?

Yes, taunting is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and can result in a technical foul being called on the offending player.

How many free throws for a technical foul?

A technical foul typically results in one free throw for the opposing team.

What constitutes a foul in basketball?

In basketball, a foul is called when there is illegal physical contact between players. Common fouls include pushing, hitting, tripping, and impeding an opponent’s progress.

Who has the most technical fouls in a basketball game?

Karl Malone holds the record for the most fouls in NBA history, encompassing both technical fouls and personal fouls.



A technical foul in basketball can be given for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is for unsportsmanlike conduct, such as arguing with the refs, but it can also be given for things like having too many players on the court. Technical fouls can be costly, as they often result in free throws for the other team.