Basketball Rules for a Self-Pass


Basketball is a team sport that usually requires passing the ball to teammates in order to succeed. Anyone familiar with the game by watching it on television, or playing it for recreation, knows that passing the basketball is common. For the most part, you are not allowed to pass the ball to yourself; it's considered traveling. There are, however, a few moves which, if properly used, serve the same function that a self pass would.

Out of Bounds Pass

  • Any player taking the ball out of bounds during a game cannot legally pass the ball to himself. There is a way around this though. According to the National Basketball Association rulebook, a player cannot be the first to touch his own pass unless the ball touches the backboard, basketball rim or another player. As a result, it is possible to intentionally pass the ball off of another player's body first, and then regain possession of the ball. When doing this from an out of bounds play, ensure that both feet are in bounds before you regain possession of the basketball.

Off the Backboard

  • Players looking for a flashier finishing move to score points, can attempt to pass it to themselves by first passing the ball off of the backboard. During actual game play, any player with control of the basketball may aim the basketball at any part of the backboard, and regain possession of the ball once it begins to descend. This maneuver must be used with discretion, because it greatly increases the risk of turning the ball over to the other team.

Missed Shot

  • Although the National Basketball Association disallows this, essentially every other organization and group allows you to recover a missed shot that does not hit the basketball's rim. In theory, you can attempt a shot from anywhere near the rim, and as long as it does not hit the rim nor the backboard, you can reclaim possession of the basketball. This procedure is difficult, because it requires that you use the exact same motion of shooting a regular shot, before you can attempt to reclaim the ball.

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