Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (2023)

One of the things you probably already know about basketball when you play or watch it is that it is a very physical sport that can be painful to play or sometimes watch because of all of the contact. When you try to get a layup, either someone tries to take your head off to foul you or contests your shot while banging bodies with you in the middle of the air.

The eye test will always tell you that basketball is a contact sport because of all the physicality and contact on the floor. Then again, is it a contact sport? As far as the definition of a contact sport is, does it include basketball within the purview of its definition? That is something we are here to find out.

What We Review hide

I.First Things First: What is a Contact Sport?

II.What Sports are Considered Contact Sports?

III.Is Basketball Considered a Contact Sport?

IV.7 Types of Contact in the Game of Basketball

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V.Wrapping Things Up: Is Basketball a Contact Sport?

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (1)First Things First: What is a Contact Sport?

Yes, basketball is a physical sport. We all know that when we play or watch the sport. However, one of the things that are usually up in the air is whether or not basketball is a contact sport. So, in that regard, we need to determine what is contact sports so that we can easily see whether or not basketball is a contact sport.

As the word “contact” implies, contact sports regularly require physical contact between the players. We are not merely talking about incidental contact here because we discuss how contact is required to properly play the sport. This means contact between the players happens regularly because it is part and parcel of the sport’s rules.

When we say contact here, we mean to say any kind of physical contact required to play the sport. For example, punching in boxing is considered contact. The same goes for tackling, which is often required in many other contact sports. As long as body contact in any way is required or is quite emphasized, then that is when a sport becomes a contact sport.

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (2)

On the other hand, when the sport only involves incidental contact and is not part and parcel of how you play the sport because it is not in the rules that you need to make contact, you cannot consider that sport a contact sport. In most cases, such a sport is probably just a limited-contact sport.

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (3)What Sports are Considered Contact Sports?

When you talk about different contact sports, we have to classify them into three categories because there are different levels in terms of how much contact is present in a certain sport. These categories are full-contact, semi-contact, and limited-contact.

1. Full-contact sports are the most physical types of contact sports and are often considered the true contact sports. In such sports, physical contact is often emphasized either incidentally or deliberately because of how the rules of the sports allow or require contact between the athletes. Such sports include American football, Australian rules football, rugby, ice hockey, lacrosse, and combat sports like Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, and MMA. The list of contact sports is so long, but the point here is that full-contact sports involve both deliberate and incidental physical contact.

2. Meanwhile, semi-contact sports are usually combat sports that involve striking or physical contact between the athletes. However, the difference between semi-contact and full-contact combat sports is that rendering the opponent unconscious is not allowed. Instead, a point system determines which athletes are the winners. Such sports include karate, kickboxing, Kenpo, and taekwondo.

3. Finally, limited-contact sports are those wherein the contact between the players is merely incidental because physical contact is not part of the rules but is not entirely illegal. That means that the contact between the athletes is not required or merely happens due to the very nature of how the sport is played. These sports include association football (soccer), baseball, volleyball, and squash.

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (4)

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (5)Is Basketball Considered a Contact Sport?

Now that you know what a contact sport is and what are considered contact sports, let us go back to our main point here. Is basketball considered a contact sport? And if yes, what kind of contact sport is basketball?

While there is a lot of physicality happening in a single basketball game, the thing is that basketball is not a contact sport if we are to use the definition of what a full-contact sport is. It is not the same as football, where tackling and blocking are allowed without getting penalized. Basketball is not even a semi-contact sport.

However, we can say for certain that basketball is a limited-contact sport. Going back to what a limited-contact sport is, this is a sport that has physical contact between the players or athletes but only at an incidental level. This means that limited-contact sports do not necessarily require physical contact as part of their rules.

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Looking at basketball contact rules, we know for certain that deliberate contact such as punching, kicking, tackling, and blocking another player’s body with your body is not allowed. Doing any of those physical actions will warrant a foul or an even heftier penalty, depending on the extent of the physical contact and the intentions behind it. That is why basketball cannot be considered a full-contact sport.

But because there are incidental and non-deliberate types of physical contact in basketball, and such contact is part and parcel of the game, we can consider basketball a limited-contact sport. It is not required that under the rules that you should be making incidental or non-deliberate contact with the opposing players, but being physical to a certain extent is what allows a team to win a game of basketball.

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (6)

Then again, there are some instances where it is up to a referee how much physicality they will allow. But the one certain thing is that the same kind of physical contact you see in full-contact sports is not allowed under the rules of basketball.

Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (7)7 Types of Contact in the Game of Basketball

As a limited-contact sport, basketball allows a certain level of physicality between the players. Here are some of the types of contact that is allowed in a game of basketball:

1. Boxing Out for a Rebound

When an offensive player shoots the ball, all players on the floor are allowed to box out opposing players. Boxing out is a way of deliberately using your body to ward off any other player from trying to get the rebound when the shot misses. When you box out, you are not allowed to extend your limbs so that it appears that you are throwing an elbow or going for a bunch. Instead, what you are allowed to do is to put your body between the opposing player and the basket so that you will be in the best position to rebound the ball. You can also use your body to “push away” an opposing player without extending your arms.

2. Holding Post Position

Posting up is one of the most fundamental ways to score a basket. This can be done in either the high or the low post positions. Posting up requires that you put your back against your defender while essentially pushing it against them to get as close to the basket as you can or to get to the best spot on the floor to score the ball. Holding your post position creates contact between you and the defender.

However, you are not allowed to use your shoulder, throw elbows, or use your arms in any manner while holding your post position. At best, the offensive and defensive players at the post position are only allowed physical contact between their bodies but not their limbs. However, depending on how the referees are calling the game, the defender may put an arm against the offensive player’s back without extending it.

3. Taking the Charge

In basketball, the offensive player has the right of way in the sense that defenders are not allowed to suddenly cut their path whenever they are dribbling or moving without the ball. However, if the defender was the first to establish their position and the offensive player barrels through the defender, that is an offensive foul. This is what taking a charge means when it comes to playing defense.

4. Tracking Offensive Players

In a general sense, defenders are not allowed to use their hands when defending the ball player. However, defenders are usually allowed to use their hands to feel their surroundings and keep track of any off-ball players near them. This will allow the defender to know when the off-ball players will set a screen.

5. Setting Screens

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Speaking of screens, another type of contact allowed in basketball is setting a screen. A screen is when an off-ball player uses their body to create a wall between the on-ball player and their on-ball defender. This allows the on-ball player to get rid of their defender. However, setting a screen requires the screener to be completely stationary. Anything more than merely standing up and acting as a wall can constitute an offensive foul.

6. Incidental Contact

As mentioned, there is incidental contact in basketball, but such a type of contact is not necessarily required to play the sport. This usually happens when the players go after a loose ball, and they collide with one another. In most cases, referees allow that level of physicality without calling a foul unless it was clear that the contact was not merely incidental. However, incidental contact tends to be a judgment call on the part of the referees.

7. Contesting a Shot in the Paint

When you contest a jump shot, you are not allowed to make any sort of contact between you and the jump shooter. However, the rules tend to be different when close to the basket or in the paint. A certain level of physicality is allowed inside the paint when you are contesting a shot. When an offensive player goes for a layup, the defender is allowed to make body contact with the offensive player, provided that the defender is jumping straight up in the air. Jumping into the offensive player to contest a shot is always a foul.

Wrapping Things Up: Is Basketball a Contact Sport?

Yes, we know that basketball is a very physical sport because of all of the physical contact happening on the floor during a single basketball game. However, that doesn’t necessarily make basketball a contact sport. Even though a single basketball game can lead to bruises and welts, it is still a limited-contact sport because the rules do not allow deliberate contact between the players. Then again, basketball is still physical, and that is why basketball players need to be strong enough to take the physicality of a basketball game.

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Is Basketball a Contact Sport? | Hoops Addict (8)

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Is basketball considered a high contact sport? ›


For instance, "Basketball, by rule, is a non-contact sport." However, there is a great deal of contact in basketball, which referees tolerate at their discretion until it negatively affects the game.

Is there body contact in basketball? ›

Personal Foul. A player shall not hold, push, charge into, impede the progress of an opponent by extending a hand, arm, leg or knee or by bending the body into a position that is not normal. Contact that results in the re-routing of an opponent is a foul which must be called immediately.

How much contact is in basketball? ›

Basketball is considered a low contact sport, but it is still involved in the game. Players constantly make contact with each other, whether it is slapping a player's hand while they are taking a shot or putting a hand on the other player's back to aid in defending them.

Is basketball a more contact sport than football? ›

Basketball is a relatively low contact sport. This means that players are generally not allowed to push or tackle another player in an attempt to get the ball. As for American Football, however, it involves both pushing and tackling – this makes American football much more physical than basketball.

What is the least contact sport? ›

As it's a low-impact, no-contact sport, it comes with little chance for injury, and golf finds itself high on our list of safest sports in the world.

Why is basketball a no contact sport? ›

Basketball is a contact sport but not in the same way as other sports such as football and rugby. Basketball is a physical game but much of the contact is discouraged by the rules that are in place. Due to this, many people consider basketball to be a non-contact or a limited-contact sport.

What sport has the most physical contact? ›

According to several studies about “science of muscles and movement” experts label boxing as the most demanding sport for an athlete. Boxing requires strength, power, endurance, and the ability to withstand huge hits over a period of time.

Is basketball a hard sport to play? ›

Will they be able to tread water while they're pushed, shoved, kicked and elbowed? And yet, the panel of experts who ranked sports' degree of difficulty for us determined that basketball is the fourth-hardest sport to play.

What body type do basketball players have? ›

Most elite basketball athletes tend to be relatively tall and lean. A specific body composition may not be an essential factor for success in basketball as in other sports, although it strongly determines a player's position.

What is excessive contact in basketball? ›

This is usually when a defensive player swings and makes hard contact with the offensive player or makes hard contact and then follows through. A flagrant foul 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. This usually has a swinging motion, hard contact, and a follow through.

What are non contact sports? ›

Non-contact sports are those sports where participants should have no possible means of impact, such as sprinting, swimming, darts, snookers where players use separate lanes or take turns of play.
The following are examples of non-contact sports:
  • Darts.
  • Snooker.
  • Chess.
  • Swimming.
  • Gymnastics.
  • Tennis.
  • Table tennis.
  • Badminton.

Is it better to play basketball in contacts or glasses? ›

In fact, contacts are one of the safest types of corrective eyewear for physical activity. Eyeglasses can easily be knocked off by contact or slide down the nose during gameplay. Children are more likely to lose their eyeglasses when playing sports, and if they break during a game or practice, they can injure the eyes.

Which is more stressful basketball or football? ›

I would rate Basketball more tiring because it involves sprinting, continuous running, jumping, pushing not to mention the sudden change in movements, screens(standing in the way of the opposite player) etc.

What sport is considered the hardest? ›

According to Sports Virsa, the top 10 hardest sports in the world to play in 2022 are as follows: Boxing (hardest), American football, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, wrestling, rugby, and water polo.

What sport has the least injuries? ›

Swimming is the safest sport to take part in. Its easy on the joints and can be an aid in recovery after an injury so making it the safest sport in America.

What is the slowest ball sport? ›

In general the slower you hit the ball, the more accurate you are in croquet. If there is a title for the slowest sport, croquet would be a close contender.

What is the simplest sport to play? ›

The 7 Easiest Sports to Play
  • Volleyball.
  • Table Tennis/Ping Pong.
  • Running.
  • Spikeball.
  • Badminton.
  • Cycling.
  • Bowling.

Can contacts fall out while playing basketball? ›

Contacts are unlikely to fall out or need adjusting. Fogging is not an issue, nor are raindrops. You don't have to worry about how the style makes you look. Headgear easily goes on when someone wears contacts.

Why is there no 69 in basketball? ›

No NBA player has ever worn the number 69, which is believed to be implicitly banned due to its sexual connotations; the NBA has never confirmed this. Dennis Rodman allegedly requested the number 69 when he joined the Dallas Mavericks but was refused and instead wore 70.

Which sport is a non contact sport? ›

Examples Tennis, cricket, darts, bowling, volleyball, netball, squash.

What is the most mentally draining sport? ›


Gymnastics is one of the most physical and most mentally challenging sports in the world. Many people don't realise the amount of strength that it takes to tumble, twist, and vault and also many people don't realise the constant pressure of competing against yourself.

What sport has the fittest athletes? ›

Water Polo is your Fittest Sport
RankingSportOverall Fitness Rating (%)
1Water Polo80.3
2Rugby 7s79.6
3American Football79.3
50 more rows

What's the most exhausting sport? ›

According to several studies about "science of muscles and movement" expert label boxing as the most demanding sport for an athlete.

What is the hardest sport with a ball? ›

As a field hockey player will know, it's tough enough to dribble with a ball and stick on foot, but to do it at speed and on skates is incredible. Ice hockey really is one of the toughest sports around.
5. Ice Hockey: 39 Points.
2 more rows

Is basketball a stressful sport? ›

Basketball is one of the most fun sports on the planet. But basketball can also add to stress in life. There is a sweet spot when we are operating in excellence, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

What is the hardest skill to learn in basketball? ›

Passing. Passing has to be the hardest skill to work on individually. Passing is not so much about making an accurate pass--the hard part is getting it there on time and under pressure. Yes, you need to get it there on time on target, but everyone should be able to get the ball there on target.

Which sport gives the best body? ›

So if you're thinking of moving your workouts away from the gym and your goal is to get as cut as possible, you should definitely consider one of these sports.
They are the no-fail solution to building a body that demands attention.
  • Rowing. ...
  • Wrestling. ...
  • Bouldering. ...
  • Surfing. ...
  • Swimming. ...
  • Gymnastics. ...
  • Parkour. ...
  • Sprinting.
Oct 28, 2015

What is the most athletic body type? ›

Mesomorphs are athletic, solid, and strong. "They're not overweight and not underweight," says Colby, "and they can eat what they want without worrying too much about it." They both gain and lose weight without too much effort.

Is basketball mental or physical? ›

Depending on who you ask, most agree that basketball is around 75 percent mental (Bob Knight was even quoted as saying the "mental is to the physical as 4 is to 1").

What is the 5 rule in basketball? ›

Five-second throw-in violation

Under all basketball rule sets, a team attempting to throw a ball in-bounds has five seconds to release the ball towards the court.

What sport makes u skinny? ›

Swimming is one of the best sports to lose belly fat fast. Individuals can burn more calories when they run faster and cover more distance. Also, the rate of fat loss depends on the strokes chosen.

Is baseball a contact sport? ›

"Baseball is considered a contact sport under this order because the players come into contact with one another," she said.

Is baseball a contact or non contact sport? ›

It's not that the players are forbidden to touch, and it's not like there's anything you can do to totally eliminate all collisions. But baseball, at its core, isn't a contact sport. It's a bat-and-ball sport, part catch and part golf.

How many NBA players wear contacts? ›

16 percent of NBA players.

Do NBA players play with contacts? ›

You can wear contact lenses during a basketball game as there are no rules prohibiting it in the official rule book of NBA and other players wearing contact lenses during the game. players are those who are most alert and aware of what is going on up and down the court.

What counts as a contact sport? ›

Contact/Collision Sports and Activities

Examples: boxing, ice hockey, football, lacrosse. In contact sports, the person is constantly making contact with other people or objects, but with less force than in collision sports.

What are the top 3 most physically demanding sports? ›

The Top-Ten's Most Demanding Sports
  • Motocross.
  • Swimming.
  • Rugby.
  • Soccer / Football.
  • Skateboarding.
  • Skiing.
  • Weightlifting.
  • Wakeboarding.

What is the #1 sport in the world? ›

Soccer, also known as association football, is by far the most popular sport in the world, despite the fact that it may not be obvious in the United States. Soccer is the most popular sport in practically all of Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and Asia.

Which sport requires the most fitness? ›

Top 15 Fittest Sports: Which Has the Fittest Athletes?
  • #1 Wrestling/MMA. Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are two of the most physically demanding sports out there. ...
  • #2 Boxing. ...
  • #5 Rugby. ...
  • #6 The Decathalon. ...
  • #8 Hockey. ...
  • #9 Soccer. ...
  • #10 Basketball. ...
  • #11 Swimming.
Jun 10, 2022

What sport causes the most injuries? ›

Football. Football is the sport that causes the most injuries, with an estimated 455,449 annually.

What sport has the highest pain tolerance? ›

One study found that cross-country skiers were among the most pain tolerant, along with football players.

What is the most high contact sport? ›

When you think of sports injuries, full contact sports like football probably come to mind. However, one of the most dangerous sports in terms of serious injury is not football, soccer, or basketball…it's cheerleading.

What are some high contact sports? ›

Other common and high-risk contact sports involve cricket, boxing and martial arts, the latter of which occasionally see competitors experience significant and potentially life-changing injuries.

What is the hardest contact sport? ›

Pound for pound, the toughest sport in the world is . . . Boxing. The Sweet Science. That's the sport that demands the most from the athletes who compete in it.

Is baseball a high contact sport? ›

There are contact sports out there. A whole lot of contact sports. Baseball is not and never has been among them. Sometimes, players do come into contact with one another.

What is the safest contact sport? ›

Golf is considered one of the safest sports to play because of the limited contact you have with other players.

What's the safest sport? ›

The safest sport for both male and female student athletes turns out to be swimming. On average, boys had a risk rate of . 17 injuries per 1,000 times they swam. Essentially, this means boys would be at risk for just one injury out of nearly 6,000 practices and meets.

What sport is more attractive? ›

The results revealed that 57% of women found climbing attractive, making it the sexiest sport from a female perspective. In second place was extreme sports (56%), followed by football (52%), and hiking (51%). At the bottom of their list came aerobics and golf, with just 9% and 13% of the vote, respectively.

Which sport suffers the most concussions? ›

Concussions occur in all sports with the highest incidence in American football, ice hockey, rugby, soccer, and basketball.

What are the 10 most physically demanding sports? ›

The Top-Ten's Most Demanding Sports
  • Motocross.
  • Swimming.
  • Rugby.
  • Soccer / Football.
  • Skateboarding.
  • Skiing.
  • Weightlifting.
  • Wakeboarding.

What is the #1 hardest sport in the world? ›

#1: Boxing

Chosen by ESPN as the hardest sport in the world—and routinely landing on the top 10 lists of the toughest sports in the world by other prominent rankings—boxing is universally recognized as a crazy-hard sport. It requires a ton of physical fitness, agility, speed, cardiovascular fitness, and skill.

What is the easiest sport to play? ›

The 7 Easiest Sports to Play
  • Volleyball.
  • Table Tennis/Ping Pong.
  • Running.
  • Spikeball.
  • Badminton.
  • Cycling.
  • Bowling.

Which sport is most difficult to go pro? ›

Here are the top 5 hardest sports to make it pro in (statistically).
  • Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
  • Baseball. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Basketball.

What is the fastest contact sport? ›

Lacrosse is the fastest tempo sport on two feet, where checking and stick contact is common. Endurance is essential when you consistently react and move at top speed with balls reaching 190km/h (115mph).

What are 5 examples of contact sports? ›

The following are examples of contact sports:
  • Wrestling.
  • Judo.
  • Karate.
  • Boxing.
  • Football.
  • Rugby.


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