What is a Reach-In Foul in Basketball? Explained Thoroughly

To attain discipline in a game, there must be rules that need to be followed. Similarly, basketball is the same sort of game that possesses some basic rules that make it clear for the players that what to do and what not to do.

Moreover, foul is also a common part of any sport including basketball and many others. At times it happens unintentionally but most of the time, players go for it deliberately to dodge the opponent.

That being said, one of the common fouls in basketball is the reach-in foul. The reach-in foul is attempted by the defender when he tries to steal the ball from the handler. In doing so, he tries to make illegal contact with the handler’s body.

Types of Fouls:

While playing a certain sport, you might knowingly or unknowingly commit a foul that can costs you a lot during the game. So, to avoid such fouls, firstly you must know them well. That being said, here are three basic types of fouls that you might commit while playing basketball.


When a player dribbles the ball and proceeds towards the basket, and a defensive player comes in and knocks the handler with his body, then that is known as blocking.


When the defensive player tries to hold, grab or pull the offensive player, irrespective of the fact that if he has a ball or not, then it is known as holding foul.


The pushing foul is attempted by the defensive player when he pushes the body of the offensive player or tries to bump into the opponent’s body to create an obstacle.

How these Three are Different from Reach-in Foul:

Most of the fouls are committed by the defensive player against the offensive player but there is a minute difference between the above-mentioned three fouls and the reach-in foul.

A player attempts a reach-in foul when he comes forward and illegally touches the arm of the handler to take dodge. This is extremely small and hard to notice the difference but it does exist and makes difference.

Can You Reach-In At All

While playing basketball, you can go for various defense strategies but you must be careful as most of the time while going for a defensive game, you commit a foul. Reaching-in in basketball is acceptable if you avoid any contact with the opponent.

But, most of the time, the referees don’t give this chance and they simply take it as a foul. So, to avoid this, you must be careful about the personal space of the player.

Without making any illegal contact with the offensive player, you can go on for defense and hit the ball directly to steal it from the handler.

Ways to steal the ball without creating a reach-in foul

To win the game with the maximum point’s difference, you need to make sure that all the team members attempt fewer fouls and play safe and smart.

That being said, you must know the ways and tactics to steal the ball from the handler without creating a reach-in foul. To avoid the reach-in foul, you must have to avoid contact with the handler’s arm at any cost.

So, one of the possible ways to steal the ball without creating a reach-in foul is to keep eye on the movement of the handler and as soon as you get the chance, hit on the ball directly without having any contact with the handler’s body. As soon as the handler loses the ball, you get to it quickly and dribbles it in the basket.

Secondly, you can also grab it in another way by swiping the ball towards the upward direction. You must be wondering that how is it possible! What you need to do is to again keep an eye on the movement of the ball handler. As soon as you get close to him, slide your hand from the downward direction and swipe the ball towards the sky.

This would be a shocking and unexpected hit for the handler and he would not be able to get to the ball quickly. You can simply grab the ball and go for the basket.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is reaching in basketball?

Reaching-in is a type of foul in basketball. The defender attempts this foul when he moves forward to grab or poke the ball from the hands of the ball handler. While attempting the foul, the defender tries to make illegal contact with the handler to dodge him. Though this reach foul is not mentioned in the rule book of basketball, yet it is the most commonly acknowledged foul by the fans.

2. What are the 5 fouls in basketball?

According to the NBA rules, a basketball is spared until it attempts six fouls. As soon as it attempts the sixth foul, he is thrown out of the game. Five fouls in the basketball include blocking foul, charging foul, defensive foul, double foul, and flagrant foul.

3. What happens when you get 6 fouls in basketball?

In the basketball rule book, there a player is allowed to stay in the game until he attempts six personal fouls. With each attempted foul, one foul is added to the total score of the player and as soon as the player attempts the sixth foul, he is no longer allowed to stay in the game. He is simply disqualified and removed from the game.

4. What is a loose ball foul?

Mostly, personal fouls are committed against the defensive player. Also, there is an offensive foul that is attempted by the team which has the ball possession. But when the ball is not in possession of either of the teams then it is known as a loose ball foul.

5. How do you steal the ball without creating a reach-in foul?

At times when a player tries to steal the ball, he usually attempts a reach-in foul. But there is a possible way in which a player can steal the ball from the handler without getting in contact with him. One possible way is to hit right on the ball without getting in contact with the player dribbling the ball and then without wasting a second, get to the ball as soon as possible and dribble it for the basket.

Some Final Words:

To conclude the whole discussion, this was all about reach-in fouls in basketball. After going through this article, you will surely be well-aware of the facts related to this game and its fouls and also, you will get to know about the ways that can help you to avoid this particular foul.

Leave a Comment