April 3, 2024

Five Star Sport

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Is Basketball a Contact Sport? Things to Know

5 min read
is basketball a contact sport

More details about why basketball is regarded as a rough but non-contact sport are provided below.

Then, is basketball a contact sport?

Although not in the same way as other sports like football and rugby, basketball is a contact sport. Although there is a lot of physical contact in basketball, the rules have been set up to discourage most of it. Because of this, basketball is frequently referred to as a sport with little to no contact.

I will clarify the ins and outs of contact in basketball because there is a lot more to this question than first appears. I have years of experience as a competitive player and basketball coach.

Is Basketball Considered a Contact Sport?

Let’s get back to our main point now that you are familiar with what contact sports are and what they entail. A contact sport is a basketball. If so, what kind of contact sport is basketball?

However, if we use the definition of a full-contact sport, basketball is not a contact sport despite the amount of physicality that occurs in a single basketball game. It differs from football, where tackling and blocking are permitted without consequence. Not even a semi-contact sport, basketball.

Basketball is a sport with limited contact, that much is certain. Recall that a limited-contact sport is one that only occasionally involves players or athletes making physical contact with one another. As a result, limited-contact sports rules do not always call for direct physical contact.

You Might Also Like: Is Soccer a Contact Sport?

Why Basketball Isn’t Considered a Contact Sport?

Basketball is not regarded as a contact sport because it rarely involves excessive contact. Basketball players and teams are punished when there is excessive contact and the referee calls a foul.

Let’s use the example of an opponent being slammed into the boards by an ice hockey player as a point of comparison. A penalty isn’t called and the play is considered a legal “check”. Because of this, hockey is regarded as a collision sport.

is basketball a contact sport

It is referred to as an illegal screen and may also result in a flagrant foul when a basketball player sets a screen too forcefully and it sends a player flying. The reason we can’t classify basketball as a full-contact sport is demonstrated by this example. A certain amount of contact is forbidden by the game’s rules.

The common injuries that occur in the sport of basketball are another reason why it isn’t regarded as a full-contact activity. Basketball carries a high risk of injury, but most incidents on the court don’t result in serious harm.

For instance, violent head injuries, such as concussions, are quite common in full-contact sports like American football, boxing, and wrestling. Basketball concussions are rare, but they can occur.

Why is Basketball a Limited-Contact Sport?

Basketball must be a low-contact sport because players will inevitably collide with one another to gain possession of the ball, open up space on the court, contest passes, block dribbling lanes, set up screens, or any of the other countless situations that could arise during a game.

Players are capable of making physical contact with one another, such as slapping an opponent’s hand while they attempt to make a shot.

However, they are limited by the official rules and regulations of basketball. Any contact that results in an unfair advantage is considered “illegal.” Holding is a great illustration of this, where players use their arms to stop an opponent from moving.

In order to avoid being flagged for a foul while physically obstructing the opposing player, you may have noticed some defenders raising their hands in the air.

Basketball is a high-impact sport with a player injury risk that is already quite high. The full-contact play would make the game we all know and love appear more violent and brutal and less about skill and strategy.

Basketball is a sport with little contact, but players can still sustain serious harm.

Common Injuries in Basketball

Basketball injuries come in many different forms due to the jumping, cutting, shooting, and fouling involved. Here is a list of the most common injuries in the game:

is basketball a contact sport
  • Ankle Sprains – The most frequent basketball injury is probably this one. A player will frequently twist their ankle when they land on their foot incorrectly. A severe sprain can cause significant pain, swelling, and discoloration. A severe ankle sprain can keep a basketball player out for several weeks.
  • Cuts or Abrasions– These typically occur when two athletes collide while pursuing a loose ball. A defender may unintentionally cut a player with his fingernails after the player has been fouled.
  • Wrist Injury– Basketball is played with a lot of repetitive motions like passing and shooting. Strains or sprains in the wrist or forearm may result from this, as well as tendonitis, which is a naggingly painful condition. Fortunately, the majority of these injuries are treatable with NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin, lots of rest, and icing.
  • Knee Injuries – Basketball players’ knees take a beating from all the running and jumping. Knee injuries, which can range from a deep contusion to a torn MCL or ACL, are regrettably quite common in the sport. Due to this, many players will be sporting knee braces on the court.

The Types of Contact Common in Basketball

Basketball is a very physical sport even though it isn’t regarded as a contact sport; as a result, some people might classify it as a limited-contact sport. Here are a few instances of the different kinds of physical contact that can be seen in a typical basketball game.

  • Hand Check– this is when a defensive player puts his hand on the offensive player’s back or shoulder. In most cases, unless the referees deem it excessive, no foul is called for this.
  • Posting Up- this happens when an offensive player (usually a forward or center) uses his legs, shoulders, and butt, to get a better position over a defender. A foul won’t be called unless a player posts up violently because it’s regarded as a normal part of the game of basketball.
  • Elbowing– Players frequently use their elbows on the court, particularly when attempting to grab a difficult rebound. For elbowing, referees typically call a foul.
  • Screens – This article has already mentioned screens. When an offensive player tries to block a defender, this occurs. A screen’s objective is to create a clear path for the ball handler.


So, is basketball a contact sport? Yes, it is, but there are certain tackles or contacts that you must avoid. A rough tackle will be considered a foul, and the players will be penalized.

Basketball isn’t nearly as full contact as boxing or mixed martial arts, but only within the confines of the rules.

Avoid taking unnecessary fouls and penalties unless they are tactical. The ability to maintain composure is what sets professionals apart from amateurs. You will succeed if you maintain your composure while playing.

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