In basketball, what exactly is carrying? What Is The Repercussion For Carrying The Ball? The solutions, as well as advice on how to dribble to avoid being called for a carry, are all included in this post.

It will be challenging for the typical spectator to comprehend the rules and mistakes of basketball unless you’re among the die-hard basketball fans. Carrying is one of the most frequent errors made in amateur competitions.

So, what is carrying in basketball? A carry in basketball is when a dribbler keeps dribbling after letting the ball rest in one or both hands.

Carrying resembles a double dribble in which the player briefly pauses before picking up the ball again. Carrying is equivalent to traveling for a moving ball handler. Carrying is also referred to as palming, which involves holding the ball with one hand so that gravity has no bearing on your carry.

Continue reading this article to find out more about the regulations and facts concerning the carrying infraction.

What is a Carry in Basketball?

Carrying, known as “turning the ball over” or “palming the ball,” is an offense in basketball.

When dribbling, ball handlers will either place their hand on the bottom half of the ball or flick their hand underneath the ball’s plane. The ball will pause for a brief period as a result. A violation occurs if the server keeps moving their feet or dribbling after that.

Players are not permitted to move their feet or dribble if their hand is blocking the ball’s downward motion or pushing it up. Otherwise, the official may designate it as a carrying phase.

Different Variations of a Carry in Basketball

We can categorize carrying errors into different groups depending on the player’s method of handling the ball. When you start carrying the basketball, we sometimes have a double dribble even though you are technically stopping a dribble. Another instance of moving while holding the ball stops in your hand is traveling.

You can find a summary of the two variations of this basketball mistake in this section.

Carry – Double Dribble

The majority of basketball games frequently involve this kind of violation. When the player’s hand is under the ball while the ball handler is dribbling and it stops, it is called a double dribble.

A carrying error will be recorded if the player keeps dribbling.

Due to the player’s stopping and restarting of their dribble after it has finished, the referee calls it a double dribble.

Carry – Traveling

When a player has their hand on the bottom half of the ball and is still moving, this is referred to as traveling. Instead of continuing to dribble, players decide to move forward with their feet. Some referees refer to this activity as carrying or traveling.

Hand Signal for a Carry Violation

The referee will extend his hand with the palm facing up after blowing the whistle to make a carrying call. Then, to mimic basketball players carrying the ball, he would flip his hand over. Repeating this maneuver will alert the office staff, says the referee.

What is the Penalty for Carrying the Ball?

Both have double dribble and the same effects when they travel. A turnover occurs as a result of the team making a mistake. The point on the touchline that is closest to where the error was made is where the referee returns the ball to the opposing team. Only when a foul is detected during play and signaled by the referee is this penalty applied.

Carry in Basketball2

Tips on How to Dribble to Avoid Being Called for a Carry

Basketball rookies might be concerned about getting cited for carrying. To prevent that from occurring on the court, consider the following advice.

  • Always keep your hand on top of the basketball while dribbling
  • You can dribble with the side of the ball a little bit but never raise your palm to the sky
  • Don’t fool with crossover moves or hesitation dribbles until you’re a seasoned ball handler
  • Work on dribbling the ball as low to the ground as possible

Is Palming the Ball Legal?

This is a fascinating query, and the solution is somewhat intricate. The basketball player’s palming technique is everything. Here are a few instances.

Consider a situation where a player is dribbling the ball and then momentarily palms it from the bottom to attempt a hesitation move. In this case, palming the ball is prohibited because it unfairly favors the offensive player over his opponent.

Consider a scenario in which a player has already picked up his dribble while positioned low on the block. In order to get a better grip and keep the defender from getting the ball, he chooses to palm it. Because the player isn’t breaking the rules of carrying or gaining an unfair advantage in this situation, palming the ball is acceptable.

It is a legal play when a player palms the ball before launching into a thunderous dunk. In other words, palming the ball is both permitted and prohibited. Everything simply depends on when and how the player palms the ball.

Special Moves That People May Mislead into a Carry

At the highest levels of basketball, including the NBA, there are a few unique moves that are frequently used. NBA officials must be very knowledgeable and experienced to distinguish them from making mistakes.

The Hesi

The Hesi, also known as “Hesitation Dribble,” is a technique that can easily be confused with carrying if the player lacks the skill. You must appear to be about to shoot as you dribble down the court and toward the three-point line.

You’ll need to fake a shot while dribbling. One technique is to pretend to be picking up the ball with your other hand, pause for a brief moment, and then resume dribbling. Each one happens simultaneously.

This maneuver deceives the opposition’s defense, forcing them to get up and attempt to block your shot. This maneuver is difficult and requires lots of practice. Highly skilled players like Isaiah Thomas frequently take advantage of the game’s hesitant movements to open up numerous scoring opportunities.


In today’s game, this maneuver is common. It takes place when players attempt to manipulate defenses by moving in one direction rather than the other.

To put it simply, imagine that you are carrying the ball as it is falling and moving it the other way around against gravity.

Sometimes subtle crossovers can get past the referee’s eyes and convince them to count it as a legal move. The majority of the time, there is no room for doubt or anxiety. You can easily draw the referee’s attention to the mistake at any point during your pause.

Stationary Dribble

While defending the ball, the players in the attacking position will run and watch for the development of the play. They passed the ball to an available teammate as the defense closed in.

The dribbler’s instinct is to naturally squeeze the ball to gain control if the defender becomes aggressive and attempts to steal it.

Over Hand Crossover

During the transition, if a player is dribbling down the middle of the field, they might try to block the opposing player in the wide open space.

To pass an opponent, for instance, a right-handed dribbler would catch the ball with his right hand and throw it over his left hand in an overhand motion.

Who is the King of Crossover?

Allen Iverson is regarded as one of the greatest basketball handlers of all time. In his first season, 1997, he surpassed Michael Jordan in popularity. His crossovers are so ethereal that many people mistake them for basketball carries.

Iverson’s crossovers are long but quick exaggerated crosses that move from left to right before being blown away by his defense. Iverson is often credited as the crossover’s creator, but he believes these improvements are essential for his performance and competition.

Allen Iverson once acknowledged that his fabled crossover was actually a carry that was against NBA regulations. He is still remembered for that specific talent, though, and is a Hall of Famer.

The decision as to whether the action constitutes a breach rests with the referee. Up until this point, there have been numerous disagreements and controversies surrounding this special dribbling technique.

Final Thoughts: Turning The Ball Over

Being called for a carry is typically avoided by developing sound ball-handling techniques and practicing fundamental basketball techniques, but it can still occur when attempting novel moves like a cross over or hesitation dribble. Depending on the referee calling your game, carrying calls can also be highly subjective, so be sure to understand their guidelines and don’t be afraid to try new things.

It’s fortunate that this call doesn’t cause much concern in the college and professional games. It’s not that carrying doesn’t happen; rather, it is disregarded by officials because of the players’ skill, speed, and awareness of the fact that original moves and fast-paced action are more exciting.

I hope this article has enlightened you on more fascinating basketball information. If you think it’s useful, don’t forget to share. I’m grateful you read.


Is a High Dribble a Carry?

As long as your hand remains in contact with the basketball, you are free to dribble as high as you like. If your hand ends up on the bottom of the basketball it is a carry and the opposing team is awarded the basketball.

How Long is a Carry Basketball?

Carrying in basketball is a violation in which a player “carries” the ball or allows his hand to go underneath the ball while dribbling. A carry is when a player halts his dribble by supporting the ball from underneath (even for a split second) and then resumes dribbling.

How Many Steps is a Carry?

In the NBA and FIBA, when a player has taken more than two steps without the ball being dribbled, a traveling violation is called. Two steps are prohibited by the NFHS and NCAA. In 2018, FIBA revised the rule so that one can take a “gather step” before taking the two steps.