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What is the bonus in NBA basketball?

A bonus is when one team reaches the maximum number of allowed team fouls within a single quarter. It means that once a team is in the bonus, they automatically get a free throw attempt when fouled on offence.

In the NBA, when a team commits a defensive foul while in the bonus, the opposing team will automatically get free throws. This is not the case when teams are not in the bonus. When you are not in the bonus, only fouls committed while you are shooting result in free throws. All other types of fouls – offensive, loose ball etc –  result in the team who is fouled holding onto possession and the shot clock reset.

A team enters into the bonus when they are fouled for the fifth time within a quarter. Any defensive fouls after that will automatically result in free throws. While this is the case in the NBA, other governing bodies like FIBA and the NCAA have different rules for the amount of fouls required to enter the bonus. When a new quarter starts the team will have a fresh set of fouls to use before entering the bonus.

There are however different regulations within the final two minutes of the half. Before the rule was implemented, the NBA was seeing too many teams foul late as it disrupted the opposition’s attack. This also meant the last two minutes of the game was not particularly exciting to watch as there were stoppages for inbounds from fouls.

So the NBA decided to change the bonus rule for the final two minutes. During the final two minutes of regulation or overtime, each team can only commit one foul before their opposition enters the bonus. If they foul more than once, it automatically results in free throws even if the foul is not a shooting foul. This was brought in to stop a team fouling another continuously if they are below the foul limit.

There are some specific fouls that do not draw free throws when in the bonus. If a team is on offence and they commit an offensive foul like charging or illegal screens or the ball is loose, this does not result in free throws, however it will still count as a team foul if the opposition is not already in the bonus.

How long does a bonus last in the NBA?

In regular time, the bonus foul rule resets every quarter. So when one quarter ends and another one starts, both teams’ fouls are reset to zero. The end of regulation rule is only for the final two minutes of the game, so in most cases it lasts for the final two minutes of the game.

What happens to the NBA bonus on overtime?

When overtime begins, both teams’ fouls are reset down to zero and are put down to zero for all overtimes that could be required. In regular time, it is the fifth foul that starts the bonus phase. However, in overtime the penalty phase begins once the fourth foul is committed due to the brief length of the period.

The reason for this difference is of course because overtime is much shorter in time than regular quarters and so therefore less fouls should be allowed. Once in the bonus, two free throws are awarded for a foul, the same as in the regular season.

Personal fouls against players remain in place for overtime.

What is the bonus in NCAA basketball?

The foul bonus is also used in NCAA basketball. There is of course one complication that makes the rules different. IN NBA basketball, it is four quarters of 12 minutes, but in the NCAA it is two halves made up of 20 minutes which means the same bonus rules cannot be applied.

Instead, the bonus phase begins when a team commits its seventh foul within the half. This means that each team can commit six fouls before any type of foul results in free throws. Another difference is down to the free throws awarded.

The NCAA has a process called the one-and one. So when a team makes their seventh foul within a single half, the opposition is awarded a single free throw. They do have the chance of another free throw, but they only get it if they make the first one. This is not always the case. When a team commits ten fouls within a half, the opposing team will automatically get two free throws even if the foul is not a shooting one. All of these rules are intended to deter teams from committing fouls.

What is a foul in the NBA?

Today, it seems like you can be called for a foul for doing pretty much anything in the NBA, but the rules do make some fouls pretty clear.

The most common is a shooting foul. This is when a defensive player hits the body or arm of an offensive player while they are in the process of shooting. This automatically results in two free throws no matter if a team is in the bonus or not. A shooting foul can also be called if the defensive player does not allow the offensive player to land safely on the ground after a jump shot.

A flagrant foul refers to a foul which could potentially injure an opponent. These are the fouls which cause ejections and suspensions. Offensive fouls are often common in the game. These happen when the attacking team commits a foul like charging or an illegal screen. These do not count towards the bonus.

A technical foul also does not count towards the bonus but it is one of the most controversial fouls in the NBA. A technical foul occurs when a player is violating the game’s administrative rules. Essentially, this occurs when players are rude to the officials, with officials often deciding themselves when technical fouls occur.

One of the more obvious examples of technical fouls occurs when fighting happens, which is rare. These fouls result in a change of possession and a free throw for the team who did not commit the foul.