By Ray Lutz – Dave Hall Officiating

Why is knowing when a ball is at the “disposal” of a player important to understand?


There are two major reasons. Time outs and types of fouls.


Here is where disposal and timeouts come into play. Once the ball is at the disposal of a player only that player’s team may call time out. This rule applies to both free throws and to throw-ins.


Here is an example. The official has bounced the ball to a free thrower for the first free throw of two awarded to her. After the ball has bounced on the floor but before the shooter has it in her hands either team may call time out. However, once the shooter has the ball in her hands, only she or her team may call time out. The opponents are out of luck, time out wise, that is. The same kind of example could be applied to a throw-in as well.


Once the ball is at the disposal of the free thrower or the player making the throw-in the ball becomes “live.” Not alive, but “live.” All contact fouls during a live ball are “personal fouls.” They may be intentional or even flagrant, but they are “personal” just the same.


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