A player may lift their pivot foot before the ball is released on a pass or a try for goal, however, the pivot foot may not be lifted before the ball is released to start a dribble.
Rule 4.44 Article 3 states, “After coming to a stop and establishing a pivot foot:
a. The pivot foot may be lifted, but not returned to the floor, before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal.
b. If the player jumps, neither foot may be returned to the floor before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal.
c. The pivot foot may not be lifted before the ball is released to start a dribble.”
You have to watch carefully, and it happens fast, but in the following video, the player establishes the left foot as the pivot foot. As she begins her move, her pivot foot comes off the floor before the start of the dribble. This is a traveling violation.
I have heard discussions about when a dribble actually ‘starts.’ Some say it is when the ball touches the floor, others say it is when the ball leaves the players hand. I have even heard some say when the downward motion of the ball begins. However, article ‘c’ actually tells us that it is on the ‘release to start the dribble.’
On this play, it is important to know when the dribble starts. If we are looking to see if the players hand is still on the ball when the pivot foot comes up, this is an easy call.