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What Does Bonus Mean in Basketball?

Last Updated July 15, 2024 Last Updated February 22, 2024 by Brian Aquino

In basketball, “bonus” carries a significant weight, often heard during intense games and pivotal moments. But what exactly does it mean, and how does it impact the course of the game?

Expand your knowledge about the basketball bonus system, exploring its various facets at different levels of play, including the NBA, FIBA, college basketball, and high school basketball.

Why Does Basketball Score Say Bonus?

What Does Bonus Mean in Basketball?

The term “bonus” in basketball is primarily related to free throws, which are awarded to a team when their opponents commit a certain number of fouls in a specific period. This system is designed to penalize excessive fouling and reward the fouled team with opportunities to score points without any defensive pressure.

In basketball, teams typically enter the bonus when their opponents commit a set number of team fouls within a quarter or half. In most cases, this number is set at five fouls. Once a team reaches this limit, the opposing team is said to be in the bonus, and the fouled team is awarded free throws for any subsequent fouls.

The bonus system encourages clean and fair play while allowing teams to capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes and rack up points from the free-throw line.

How Does Bonus Work in NBA?

The National Basketball Association (NBA) follows a bonus system that is slightly different from other levels of play. Teams enter the bonus in the NBA when their opponents accumulate four team fouls in a quarter. This rule encourages a faster-paced game, as fewer fouls are required to trigger the bonus situation compared to other basketball leagues.

When a team enters the bonus in the NBA, any fouls committed by the opposing team result in free throws for the fouled player. If the player makes the first free throw, they are awarded a second attempt, commonly known as a “one-and-one” free throw. Discover more about NBA bonus here.

  • FIBA: In FIBA basketball, teams enter the bonus when their opponents commit five fouls in a quarter. This leads to free throws for fouled players, similar to the NBA’s system.
  • College Basketball: College basketball follows a rule similar to FIBA, where teams reach the bonus after five team fouls in a half. Players are awarded free throws for fouls; the bonus situation is similar to FIBA.
  • High School Basketball: The bonus typically begins after seven team fouls in a half in high school basketball. Like FIBA and college basketball, players receive free throws for fouls during the bonus.

Each level has its own slight variations, but the basic concept of the bonus system remains consistent across these categories.

What Is the 1-and-1 Bonus in NBA?

The “one-and-one” bonus system in the NBA is an intriguing twist that adds extra pressure to free throws. Here’s how it works: when a team is in the bonus, and a player is fouled while attempting a free throw, they get to shoot a second free throw only if they successfully make the first one.

This system demands precision and skill from the foul-shooting player. If they miss the first free throw, the opposing team gains possession of the ball without needing further play. This makes each free throw attempt in the bonus situation critical and can lead to intense moments in high-stakes NBA games.

Best Mini Basketball Hoops for Bonus Practice

When honing your basketball skills, especially as a young or beginner player, having a mini basketball hoop can be an invaluable training tool. These hoops provide an excellent way to practice shooting, improve hand-eye coordination, and have fun.

This review will explore the best mini-basketball hoops, perfect for high school students and young enthusiasts looking to elevate their game.

1. SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop: Best in Portability and Durability

SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop

Key Features:

  • Pro-grade, spring-action break-away rim for dunking practice.
  • Foam padded slide-on door mounts for easy setup.
  • Includes a 5″ diameter Pro Mini Hoop Basketball.
  • 9″ diameter spring-action “break-away” steel rim.
  • 18″ x 12″ clear polycarbonate shatterproof backboard.
  • Portable and suitable for indoor use.


  • Durable construction ensures longevity.
  • Easy to install on any standard door.
  • Ideal for slam-dunk practice.
  • Includes a quality basketball.
  • Shatterproof backboard for added safety.


  • Limited adjustability.
  • Not designed for outdoor use.

2. Spalding Slam Jam Over-the-Door Hoop: Best in Polycarbonate Board Design

Spalding Slam Jam Over-the-Door Hoop

Key Features:

  • Board size: 18″ x 10.5″ padded polycarbonate board.
  • 9″ steel breakaway rim for realistic play.
  • Mounts securely on any door.
  • Comes with a 5″ mini ball and assembly tool.
  • Designed for indoor play.


  • Sturdy polycarbonate board construction.
  • Realistic breakaway rim for authentic play.
  • Easy door-mount installation.
  • Includes essential accessories.
  • Suitable for indoor practice sessions.


  • Smaller backboard compared to other models.
  • Pump for the basketball is not included.

3. Silverback 23″ LED Light-Up Over-the-Door Mini Basketball Hoop: Best in Illumination and Entertainment

Silverback 23" LED Light-Up Over-the-Door Mini Basketball Hoop

Key Features:

  • LED light-up backboard for enhanced visibility.
  • Heavy-duty metal spring action break-away rim.
  • Extended bracket design for easy door mounting.
  • Includes a game-quality Silverback mini basketball.


  • Exciting LED lights for added fun during play.
  • Sturdy rim with break-away feature.
  • Quick and secure door mounting.
  • High-quality mini basketball included.


  • Requires batteries for LED lights (not included).
  • Slightly higher price point.

4. Franklin Sports Mini Basketball Hoops: Best in Durability and Pro-Style Setup

Key Features:

  • Shatter-resistant backboard for long-lasting performance.
  • 9.5-inch metal rim with an 8-loop net.
  • Dual spring rim for advanced shooting practice.
  • Fits all regular-sized doors with protective EVA foam.
  • Includes a 5-inch rubber basketball, hoop, and pump.


  • Highly durable construction.
  • Professional-style rim for serious practice.
  • Easy installation on standard doors.
  • Protective EVA foam for door protection.
  • Comes with a complete basketball set.


  • Limited adjustability.
  • Not suitable for outdoor use.

These mini-basketball hoops offer young and beginner players a fantastic way to practice and develop their basketball skills at home. Each option has its unique features, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Whether you aim for durability, authenticity, or entertainment value, these mini hoops have covered you.

If you’re ready to take your basketball game to the next level, these mini-basketball hoops are the perfect addition to your high school practice routine. Get your hands on one of these, and start making those slam dunks and three-pointers in the comfort of your own space!

What Does Double Bonus Mean in NBA?

The “double bonus” in the NBA comes into play when a team accumulates seven or more team fouls in a quarter. Unlike the one-and-one bonus, the double bonus offers a more lenient opportunity for the fouled team.

In the double bonus, a player fouled while attempting a free throw is awarded two free throws, regardless of whether they make or miss the first one. This system removes the added pressure of potentially losing possession after a missed free throw and allows teams to maximize their scoring potential during the bonus situation.

The term “bonus” in basketball refers to the opportunity for a team to earn free throws due to their opponent’s fouls. The specific rules regarding the bonus can vary between different levels of play, such as the NBA, FIBA, college basketball, and high school basketball. Understanding these bonus systems is crucial for players, coaches, and fans alike, as it can greatly influence the outcome of a game.