Free throw

In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points by shooting from behind the free throw line (informally known as the foul line or the charity stripe), a line situated at the end of the restricted area. Free throws are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team. Each successful free throw is worth one point.

Free throws can normally be shot at a high percentage by good players. In the NBA, most players make 70–80% of their attempts. The league's best shooters (such as Steve Nash, Rick Barry, Ray Allen, José Calderón, Stephen Curry, Reggie Miller, Kevin Durant, and Dirk Nowitzki) can make roughly 90% of their attempts over a season, while notoriously poor shooters (e.g. Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Andre Drummond, Andris Biedrins, Chris Dudley, Ben Wallace, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dennis Rodman) may struggle to make 50% of them. During a foul shot, a player's foot must be completely behind the foul line. If a player lines up with part of his or her foot on the line, a violation is called and the shot does not count. Foul shots are worth one point.

There are many situations when free throws can be awarded.

The first and most common is when a player is fouled while in the act of shooting. If the player misses the shot during the foul, the player receives either two or three free throws depending on whether the shot was taken in front of or behind the three-point line. If, despite the foul, the player still makes the attempted shot, the number of free throws is reduced to one, and the basket counts. This is known as a three-point or four-point play, depending on the value of the made basket.

The second is when the fouling team is in the team bonus (or foul penalty) situation. This happens when, in a single period, a team commits a set number of fouls whether or not in the act of shooting. In FIBA, (W)NBA and NCAA women's play, the limit is four fouls per quarter; in the NBA, starting with the fifth foul (fourth in overtime), or the second in the final 2 minutes if the team has less than 5 fouls (4 in OT), the opposing team gets two free throws. In the WNBA, the fouled player shoots two free throws starting with the opponent's fifth foul (4th in overtime), or second team foul in the final minute if that team has committed under 5 fouls in a period (4 in overtime). In FIBA and NCAA women's basketball, the fouled player also shoots two free throws starting with the opponent's fifth foul in a period, considering that team fouls accrue from the fourth period on, as all overtimes are extensions of it for purposes of accrued team fouls. In NCAA men's basketball, beginning with the seventh foul of the half, one free throw is awarded; if the player makes the free throw, another is given. This is called shooting a "one-and-one". Starting with the tenth foul of the half, two free throws are awarded. In addition, overtime is considered an extension of the second half for purposes of accumulated team fouls. Free throws are not awarded for offensive fouls (most often charging fouls), even if the team fouled is in the bonus. The number of fouls that triggers a penalty is higher in college men's basketball because the game is divided into two 20-minute halves, as opposed to quarters of 12 minutes in the NBA or 10 minutes in the WNBA, college women's basketball, or FIBA play (note that the college women's game was played in 20-minute halves before 2015–16). As in professional play, a foul in the act of shooting is a two- or three-shot foul, depending on the value of the shot attempt, with one free throw being awarded if the shot is good.

If a player is injured upon being fouled and cannot shoot free throws, the offensive team may designate any player from the bench to shoot in the place of the injured player in college; in the NBA, the opposing team designates the player to shoot, and the injured player can't return, unless the foul committed was a flagrant-2, in which case the player's own team also gets to pick the replacement shooter. If a player fouled takes exception to the foul, and starts or participates in a fight, and gets ejected, he or she is not allowed to take his or her free throws, and the opposing team will choose a replacement shooter. In all other circumstances, the fouled player must shoot his or her own foul shots.

If a player, coach, or team staff (e.g., doctor, statistician) shows poor sportsmanship, which may include arguing with a referee, that person may get charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. In the NBA, a technical foul results in one free throw attempt for the other team. In FIBA play, technical fouls result in two free throws in all situations. Under NCAA rules, technical fouls are divided into "Class A" (violent or serious unsportsmanlike conduct) and "Class B" (less egregious violations such as hanging on the rim or delay of game). Class A technicals result in two free throws, and Class B technicals result in one. At all levels, the opposing team may choose any player who is currently on the court to shoot the free throws, and is then awarded possession of the ball after the free throws. Since there is no opportunity for a rebound, these free throws are shot with no players on the lane.

Finally, if a referee deems a foul extremely aggressive, or that it did not show an attempt to play the ball, the referee can call an even more severe foul, known as an "unsportsmanlike foul" in international play or a "flagrant foul" in the NBA and NCAA basketball. This foul is charged against the player (and depending on the severity of the offense, can even be ejected), and the opponent gets two free throws and possession of the ball afterwards. Unlike technical fouls, the player fouled must shoot the awarded free throws.

This page was last edited on 8 July 2018, at 20:43 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_throw_line under CC BY-SA license.

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