What is an Illegal Screen in Basketball?

While watching a basketball match, one of the most common offensive fouls I notice is an Illegal Screen. It sometimes could be complicated to understand why the referee called out because it is rather challenging to identify this foul.

However, a screen is also known as a ‘pick’ in basketball, which is a legal offensive move to be taken frequently in the game.

The screen encompasses an offensive player who blocks a defensive player’s position and allows another offender to delay the movement to make the defender free. Though this was all about Screen, what is an Illegal Screen in Basketball?

An illegal screen is a pick that does not enable a defensive player to get a chance to prevent an offensive screen, and it becomes a violation. However, the screen is a crucial part of an offensive team.

Yet, screens are called out with certain different words, such as pick and pop and pick and roll. You usually watch this move being executed by the NBA teams. 

Significance of Screens in Basketball

Screens are essential in basketball, and while training players, the coach teaches about screening in the beginning. He trains the players about how they can prepare themselves to avoid offensive screening.

Nevertheless, it is also crucial to learn about some basic strategies to adopt for preventing the opponent’s screening; otherwise, the player would be called out for an illegal screen. 

It is also essential to understand for players the screen concept while getting training because a screen comprises some types; hence, a player must know its different types and understand which moves make the screen illegal. These sorts include a down screen, on-ball screen, back screen, and off-ball screen. 

Anyhow, whatever type it is, the more important thing is to avoid it from being illegal. But how can a screen become illegal? Stay with me to know more about that!

Situations of Illegal Screening in Basketball 

An illegal screen usually occurs in the pick and roll, but there are also some other situations that may result in an illegal screen.

Typically, the screener should give a particular space to the defensive player and provide him a considerable chance to prevent screening. Below, I have discussed plenty of situations that can drive a player to be called out for an illegal screen.

Making Contact

If an offensive player extends his hip, foot, or knee to block the way of a defensive player, it will become an illegal screen.

However, this move can also lead to several severe injuries to the player. Similarly, if a player extends his arm to grip the defending player using his hands, he would be instantly called out for an illegal screen.

Providing Adequate Space

As I discussed above, a screener must provide enough space to the defender so that he could get a chance to avoid the screen. If the defensive player makes his move in a motionless position, it would generally be a one-step move.

Yet, it would be two steps while he makes the step while moving. However, it would be decided by the referee whether the screen is illegal or not by observing that the offender provided adequate space to the defender or not.

Moving Screens

This is the most common kind of illegal screen that occurs on the court in which the offensive player should remain still and must not move towards or along with the defender’s way while he is trying to move around.

Instead, the offender can only move when the contact has been executed to grip the setback. Thus, the player must not move to obstruct the defender purposely.

This kind of foul generally happens when the player is attempting a pick and pop or pick and roll situation, and the screening player gets into the pop or roll earlier.

It can also be executed when the ball handler does not wait for his team member to get prepared and impatiently drives around the screener while he is still in a movement towards the defensive player: it would be called out for violation.

Inclination of Body

It usually happens when a player does not understand the basics of screen appropriately, and he inclines his shoulder or whole body into the way of a defensive player.

During this move, the referee would instantly call out for a violation. Besides, no matter if the offender’s feet are in motionless position, he is still not permitted to incline his body towards the defensive player.

Establish A Screen

When an offensive player establishes a screen, it allows him to enter and attack the court’s open space to boost his score.

However, the ball handler gets more space to move, but the player who established a screen would be available to pass the ball. It happens because the defender helps the offender to recover his screen.

 Screen establishing includes judging the defender about his next move, and the screener should plant his feet at a specific place. Then in a still position, while opening his feet as wide as possible and the defender would collide with the offender, the screen would be established. 

A screener can use his arms to defend his upper and middle body part. But it could sometimes be destructive for the other player while flying limbs. Thus, once the screen has been established, a screener should rub his shoulders with the defender to avoid the defender from moving around.

Final Words

Hence, an illegal screen occurs when the player becomes lazy while playing on the court and makes illegal moves. Or it could occur if a player does not understand the proper fundamentals of this rule.

A screen can be correctly taken place with decent performances in the game and appropriately learns everything about screening.

However, an illegal screen is a significant rule in basketball. In this rule, the players can drive out the defender in his way and help his team to score high.