Is Palming The Ball In Basketball Illegal? A Referees Guide To The Rules

basketball shoot on the basket

Is Palming the Ball Illegal in Basketball?

Basketball is a game filled with rules and regulations, but do you know all of them? Many players may not be aware that palming the basketball is illegal. The rule of palming was established to prevent players from having an unfair advantage when dribbling down court. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what constitutes as palming and how referees can identify it.

What Is Palming in Basketball?

Palming is a term used by referees to indicate when a player has their hand illegally underneath the ball while they are holding or controlling it. This type of contact between the hand and basketball gives the player more control over their dribble than what would normally be allowed. It also allows them to move faster while having better control over the ball than if they were just using their finger tips on top of it like normal dribbling technique requires.

How Referees Identify Palming

Referees will use visual clues on court to identify if a player is palming or not. One clue could be where a player’s fingertips are placed on top of the basketball – if they’re only touching lightly then this indicates that there isn’t enough pressure for proper control, which means that either an illegal palm was used or no palm at all was necessary for proper dribbling technique due to good body positioning and skill level with handling balls in general. Another clue would be watchful eye-contact: If an official notices that a particular athlete keeps glancing at their hand beneath the ball during playtime then this could indicate intentional use of an illegal palm motion rather than just accidental contact being made due to poor technique (in which case warnings should still apply).


When playing basketball it’s important for everyone involved, including both players and referees alike, to understand each rule – especially those regarding fair play such as palming violations! Knowing what constitutes as “palm” versus regular dribble techniques can help ensure smooth gameplay without any foul calls being made unnecessarily throughout matches – so make sure you brush up your knowledge before hitting up any courts near you!