Unusual Basketball Rules You Never Knew Existed

Basketball is one of the most beloved sports not just in the United States (where the game originated) but also in most parts of the world. This popular sport enjoys millions of followers and has also turned into lucrative cash cow, attracting throngs of advertisers and netting billions of dollars each year. Not to mention that basketball has produced several legendary names such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well as recent superstars like Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Fans of the sport may be familiar with how the game is being played and how the rules are implemented and enforced. But even the most devoted basketball fanatics may have not been aware of a few unusual rules which are unheard-of in usual basketball circles.

You may not believe it but these ridiculously strange rules, in fact, do exist! We will take a look at what are those weird and lesser-known basketball rules that may make you scratch your head:1. Ten-second violation in free throws

In National Basketball Association (NBA) rules, players are only allowed to have ten seconds in completing a free throw. It may be a no-brainer, but surprisingly, some players are having a hard time with it – even some NBA players such as Karl Malone.

2. No dunking during warm-ups

While you are allowed to take the fans’ breaths away with your flashy slam dunks, you are not otherwise allowed to dunk during a pre-game warm-up. It may sound weird, but this rule does exist. You may wonder why you are allowed to dunk during the game itself when you are not otherwise permitted to dunk before the game. What if you want to perfect your slam dunk style? This rule exists in several high school ball leagues.

3. Scoring at own team’s basket

This rule exists in International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and NBA leagues. According to this rule, scoring at your own basket instead of your opponents’ is considered illegal especially when it is done intentionally.

There’s actually an instance of this during an NBA game in November 2009. Literally running against time, New York Knicks player Nate Robinson had the bizarre decision to shoot at his own team’s basket. Even if he did swish a goal before the buzzer sounded, Robinson’s basket wasn’t counted, resulting to turnover against his team.

4. Staying in the game even after being fouled out

What happens if a team cannot have all five players on the court either because of injury or ejection? The solution: send any fouled-out player to the game! But there’s a big catch – when that player commits a subsequent personal foul, that shall be now considered a technical foul (which usually awards the opposing team a free throw).

It means that if the already fouled-out player re-enters the game and goes on to commit eight personal fouls, then his team would also have to be penalized for three technical fouls – each for the sixth, seventh and eighth personal fouls. This bizarre rule exists in the NBA.

It’s otherwise different in high school and college basketball. When a player commits a maximum of five personal fouls, he will be thrown out of the game. This leaves his lineup reduced to four players on the court.

5. A technical foul for breaking the backboard

Backboard shattering is very dangerous because it sends shards of glass that fly over the other players as well as spectators. Although backboards have been considerably improved over the years, unfortunately a few instances of backboard shattering still happen. In an NBA game during the early 1990s, Shaquille O’Neal did a slam dunk with too much force that he did not only shatter the glass, he also destroyed the structures that supported the backboard.