The ‘Hand Check’ is again a focus on the points of emphasis for high school basketball.


Rule 4.24 article 5 states, “It is not legal to use the hands on a opponent in such a way that it inhibits the freedom of movement of the opponent or acts as an aid to a player in starting or stopping.” Typically, violation of this rule is a hand check.


Even with the increased focus on calling the hand check, officials still let this play go too often.  In areas where officials have consistently tightened up on this call, the flow of the game has improved dramatically.  Allowing the dribblers to have a greater freedom of movement has also made the game more enjoyable to watch.


The points of emphasis have stated that the following acts are an automatic foul.

  1. Two hands on the dribbler
  2. The second ‘touch’ – a defender can extend the hand once to gauge the offensive player, the second touch is a foul.
  3. An extended arm on the player, which is therefore used to guide the offensive player.


In the following video, the calling officials correctly rules this foul as a ‘hand-check.’  The defender places is forearm on the hip of the offensive player.  Again, this is an automatic foul.