What Is Turnover In Basketball? A Quick Review

What Is Turnover In Basketball A Quick Review

Whenever a basketball game is on, the pundits will frequently discuss turnovers and how the team with the fewest has a higher chance of winning. It is likely that a coach will emphasize the necessity to minimize these errors when speaking to his team. Coaches often think about those kinds of plays at night because they are fatal mistakes.

You may already be aware that turnovers are a bad thing by this point. Basketball aside, turnovers are typically very terrible in other sports and frequently result in a team losing the game.

So what exactly is a basketball turnover? We’ll examine what is turnover in basketball, why it happens, and how to avoid it.

What Is Turnover In Basketball?

If a player gives the opposition side possession of the ball prior to taking a shot, that player commits a turnover.

A turnover can occur for a variety of reasons, such as an offensive foul, a faulty pass, a throw out of bounds, a step out of bounds, a double-dribble, palming, or traveling infraction, a violation of the shot clock, a three-second or five-second violation, or an opponent stealing the ball (charge or illegal screen).

Turnover Types In Basketball

As we can see, this definition is fairly broad, and there are many instances in a game that can be defined as turnovers. To provide more detail, let’s first look at the two main categories.

Forced Turnover In Basketball

This is a ball control error, caused by the opposing defender. In other words, the defense has “forced” or created a mistake. For example, a defender steals the ball from the point guard while dribbling down the court, or a defender intercepts an offensive player’s pass. From a defensive point of view, these are also called “tackles”.

While forced turnovers are still bad, sometimes those turnovers are thought to be the result of great defensive play, usually not the result of poor fundamentals or lack of concentration on the part of offensive players. It’s still good to use your skills to overcome a good defensive performance to limit them, but it happens in almost any good defensive game.

Unforced Turnover In Basketball

This is the worst way to lose the ball because it is usually done through silly mistakes and can usually be avoided by playing basic basketball well. While everyone makes mistakes, coaches often want to eliminate them because they are unnecessary.

Unforced errors are dribbling the ball out of your feet and throwing it out of bounds or to another team, passing it over your teammate’s head while the ball is out of bounds, or any violation of the rules. These unforced errors can make a big difference in a match and many times can be the difference between winning and losing.

The Main Reason For Turnover In Basketball

A violation is a foul in basketball, usually involving the rules of the game, such as timing rules and dribbling. Many times, turnovers are related to game violations, as many violations result in turnovers and sometimes free throws.

Some of the reasons why mistakes can happen in basketball include:


A positive, aggressive action is when a defensive player attempts and succeeds in stealing the ball from their opponent.

Ball Handling

An ambiguous situation in which two players hold the basketball firmly.

3 Second Violation

A violation in which a player cannot remain in the penalty area for more than three consecutive seconds will result in a foul and the opponent will gain possession of the ball.


This can be due to any number of fouls, including individual, team, offensive, shooting, charging, and technical fouls.

Illegal block: When the blocker makes illegal use of contact, it usually results in an offensive foul.

5 Second Violation

This is a rule that instructs players not to dribble, shoot or pass for more than five seconds due to tight defense of the opponent. Flouting this rule leads to fouls and turnovers.

8 Second Violation

This is when a player is unable to cross half court within 8 seconds (10 seconds in women’s Basketball Association, high school, and college basketball) after the team pulls in with the basketball.

24 Second Violation

A violation occurs when a team fails to hit the basket within 24 seconds of the shot clock.

Backcourt Violation

Occurs when a basketball team is unable to move the ball from the back court to the front court within eight seconds.


Occurs when a player takes three steps without carrying the ball.

What Is Turnover In Basketball A Quick Review

Double Dribble

A player stops dribbling or holding the ball with both hands and then starts dribbling again.

Out Of Bounds

This occurs when an offensive player steps out of bounds and impedes possession of the ball by the leading defensive team.

Shot Clock Violation

This occurs when a team fails to attempt a shot within the allotted time.

Pass Interception

This occurs when the defensive team successfully catches the offensive team’s pass.

Hand Hold/Carry

When a player reaches under the basketball while dribbling and then stops for a period of time.

Throw The Ball Out Of Bounds

A player intentionally throws the ball out of bounds to prevent catching it.

Why Do We Record Turnovers In Basketball?

In expert basketball, turnovers have been first recorded at the begin of the ABA in 1967. The NBA then commenced recording them in 1977. Now almost any league or group that maintains music of information will encompass this as one of the necessary benchmarks in a game.

The cause that we document them, like most different statistics, is so that we can measure how our group is doing and strive to locate symptoms of their sport results. Giving up the rock can be a clear indicator of a crew enjoying poorly and you will frequently hear commentators say “whoever wins the turnover battle, will in all likelihood win the game”. See more about What Is ISO In Basketball?

Why Do Turnovers Happen In Basketball?

In order to correct a participant or team’s issues with dropping the ball, it helps to first recognize why the hassle is happening. There can be many one of a kind motives and most of the issues can be fixed.

Forced turnovers are brought about by way of a exact opposing protection and/or bad offensive play, which may additionally be due to horrific teaching or terrible participant ability. The opposing crew may additionally have a extraordinary rapid athletic participant who intercepts a lot of passes or possibly the crew wants some new performs on offense. It should be that the factor defend is a terrible ball-handler and receives the ball stolen from him easily.

Unforced blunders are any other story. These are most frequently the end result of intellectual errors or lack of focal point however may additionally simply be due to a player’s lack of journey or ability. They may want to additionally be due to a lack of instruction and ineffective practice. These problems are very irritating for an instructor due to the fact they are nearly constantly avoidable with the appropriate fundamentals and can make a distinction in the result of a game. 

How To Prevent Turnovers In Basketball?

You will regularly see an instructor get very pissed off if his group is continuously dropping the ball on offense. While this is understandable, most of the troubles can be alleviated through top coaching. Offenses are designed to hold the ball out of the defense’s palms and instruct the gamers how to use angles options and monitors to make smooth passes. An easy method whilst passing is to be positive and provide your passer a goal away from the protection to limit steals.

Unforced blunders can be decreased by first making sure that the gamers have discovered the fundamentals of basketball. Things such as dribbling, pivoting, making crisp passes, and many others can all assist alleviate the problems. Much of this goes lower back to how nicely the crew practices. The train additionally wants to make positive that his crew is mentally organized and centered at sports time and no longer chasing butterflies.

So, whilst coaches are regularly pissed off by way of an excessive wide variety of turnovers, it is regularly bad teaching that leads to the hassle and exact teaching that will restore it. 


If a player gives the opposition side possession of the ball prior to taking a shot, that player commits a turnover.

A turnover can occur for a variety of reasons, such as an offensive foul, a faulty pass, a throw out of bounds, a step out of bounds, a double-dribble, palming, or traveling infraction, a violation of the shot clock, a three-second or five-second violation, or an opponent stealing the ball (charge or illegal screen).

Basketball turnovers are typical, particularly in the lower levels with players who are still learning the game. All coaches put in a lot of effort to reduce them with their teams because they can significantly affect whether a team wins or loses a game. Their turnover numbers may be a fantastic place to start if you ever want to gauge how a team is doing.