What is the 5 Second Violation Rule in Basketball?

While watching basketball, some people confuse the two similar rules; the ten-second and five-second violation rule.

But, you should not get confused because I would clear all your misunderstandings regarding the five-second violation rule. In basketball, a five-second rule is a significant rule which prevents the offender from holding the ball. 

However, talking about the NBA and the NCAA, this rule varies from each other. Although, both leagues serve similar functions in which the offensive player is forced to make his next move.

Basically, five seconds countdown starts when the player starts making his next move, either holding the ball, dribbling the ball, or shooting the ball. Thus, the ball-handler must guard the length of his arm to fulfill his move within five seconds.

Five-Second Violation Rule in Basketball

A five-second rule in basketball is the type of violation that is called against the ball handler or the offensive player on the court.

This violation occurs when an offender drops the ball, he has only five seconds to handle the ball, and within those five seconds, he has to pass, shoot, or dribble the ball. This rule would only be begun when the defensive player would guard the ball handler.

In the rulebook of basketball, the five-second violation rule is known as Closely Guarded. His is called because the five-second countdown is started when the ball-handler or the offender is closely guarded. This rule is referred to the ball-handler as a closely guarded who is 6 feet in height.

Types of Five-Second Violation

There are three types of five-second violation rules, which I have elaborated on below in a detailed manner.

Five-Second Back to the Basket Violation

This is the latest rule in the rulebook of the NBA league. In this violation rule, a player under the circumstances of the free-throw line cannot dribble the ball with his back or side of the basket within five seconds.

Interestedly, sometimes this rule is called the Charles Barkley rule because this rule was introduced by a fabulous and highly-skilled basketball player, Charles Barkley, in 1999. 

He spun his back towards his opposite player, dribbled the ball while pushing his opponent, and found a considerable position within a limited time.

However, this position helped him a lot in making a high score. Hence, whenever this violation takes place, the ball is given to the opposite team.

Five-Second Closely Guarded violation

I have discussed a bit of a closely guarded above, but a five-second closely guarded violation occurs when the player holds the ball for five or more seconds, and he does not make his next move; either shoot, dribble, or pass the ball.

In this position, that player is closely guarded by the opposing team members. Well, this violation does not occur too often because as the game develops and becomes more dynamic, the players start shooting, passing, or dribbling the ball more rapidly and rarely get closely guarded by the opposite team.

Yet, if a player somehow gets guarded closely by the opposing team, this violation would be called against the ball-handler. The ball would be provided to the competing team.

Five-Second Inbounding Violation

This type of five-second rule is one of the most common and easily catchable violations on the ground. This violation occurs when the player receives the ball from the referee and unsuccessfully inbounds the ball within five seconds. The ball could be given from any place on the court under any circumstances all across the game. 

Usually, this violation occurs when the opponent significantly guards the inbound, and the opposing team avoids the ball-handler from inbounding the ball. Once the time of five seconds passed, the referee would call out for a five-second violation, and the ball would be handed to the opponent team.

Five-Second Rule Violation in NBA

The NBA league follows the five-second back-to-the-basket violation rule. The player turns his back towards the opposite defensive player to defend the basket and makes his next move.

However, if the player fails to make his next move within five seconds, he would be called out. The penalty for this violation is to provide the ball to the opposing team. 

Five-Second Rule Violation in FIBA

Under the International Basketball Federation, the five-second rule varies from other leagues. In this league, the five-second rule violation is called when the player fails to make a free throw towards the basket’s hoop within five seconds.

If the player has successfully free throw the ball, no points would be counted. However, the opposite team would take over the ball at a free-throw line extended, except the player has made another free throw.

The North America Rulebook follows the same rule but with an interval of ten seconds.

Five-Second Rule Violation in NCAA

On the other hand, the NCAA league follows the rule of the five-second closely guarded violation, in which the rival team closely guards the offensive player, and the team tries its best to prevent him from making the next move.

This rule is quite similar to the NBA five-second rule in which defense is involved. The penalty for this violation would be that the ball would remain dead while the violation and then it would be awarded to the other team.

Concluding Thoughts

The five-second rule is essential in the basketball sport because it keeps the players active throughout the game since they have to move within five seconds.  Although different leagues adopt different five-second violation rules, there are a few things common in every type. 

The rule is straightforward; for the offender, he must make his next move when the countdown starts within five seconds, and for the defender, they must guard the offensive player and avoid him to make the next move.

I hope this article was quite informative for you to make a difference between the five-second and ten-second violation rule.