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What is a Carry in Basketball?

Last Updated April 22, 2024 Last Updated October 12, 2023 by Edward Pullen

Basketball, a sport that resonates with the rhythmic bounce of the ball and the exhilarating swoosh of the net, is a dance between players and the court.

Dribbling, a fundamental basketball skill, adds an element of finesse and strategy to the game. But have you ever wondered about the carry in basketball?

Lace-up your sneakers, and let’s dive right in!

What Defines a Carry in Basketball?

What is a Carry in Basketball?

Imagine a player sprinting down the court, ball in hand, and executing a mesmerizing crossover dribble. At its core, the carry occurs when a player momentarily places their hand under the ball while dribbling, disrupting the game’s fluidity. This ‘palm’ or ‘carry’ violates rules emphasizing a clean, controlled dribble. The beauty of basketball lies in its continuous flow, and carrying infringes upon this essence.

What is the New Carry Rule in the NBA?

The NBA introduced a new carry rule to keep the game evolving and ensure fair play. This rule eliminates the gray area in determining a carry and maintaining a balance between offensive and defensive gameplay.

According to the new rule, a player is deemed to have committed a carry if they momentarily halt the dribble’s downward motion by allowing the ball to rest in their hand. This tighter interpretation adds a layer of challenge and excitement to the game, pushing players to refine their dribbling techniques.

Is a High Dribble a Carry?

The heart of basketball is versatility. Players employ various dribbling techniques to outsmart defenders and maneuver across the court. A high dribble, where the ball nearly reaches shoulder height, can sometimes appear to be a carry, especially when a player momentarily pauses the downward trajectory of the ball.

However, a high dribble itself is not inherently a carry. It’s essential to distinguish between a high dribble and a carry, ensuring that players can maintain a fast-paced, engaging game.

Why Can NBA Players Carry? What is the Difference Between a Carry and a Travel?

The allowance for carrying in the NBA hinges on recognizing that instantaneous actions can sometimes appear as violations in the heat of the game. Carrying, unlike traveling, is primarily associated with the dribbling aspect of the game. While carrying involves improper ball-handling during a dribble, traveling occurs when a player takes too many steps without dribbling, leading to a turnover. The difference lies in the mechanics – carrying pertains to the ball’s movement while traveling focuses on the player’s footwork. Make sure to catch this video for all the stunning details.:

Mastering the Court with the Best Grip: Top Indoor Basketballs Reviewed

When it comes to basketball, having the right ball in your hands can make all the difference. The ball’s grip affects your control, shots, and overall performance on the court. In this review, we’ll take a close look at three top-notch indoor basketballs renowned for their exceptional grip: the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, the Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball, and the Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball. Let’s dribble into the details and find the perfect ball for your game.

1. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball: The Epitome of Indoor Play

“The Ultimate Indoor Ball”

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

Best Key Features:

  • Cushion Core technology for a soft touch and enhanced grip around the rim.
  • Pebbled composite channels ensure consistent texture and superior control.
  • NFHS approved for high school play.


  • Widely regarded as the #1 indoor game basketball in America.
  • Signature Evo feel offers unparalleled softness and grip.
  • Trusted by high school players as it’s approved by the NFHS.
  • Consistent performance and durability.


  • Some users might find it slightly expensive.
  • Limited color options.


The Wilson Evolution Game Basketball stands as a testament to the evolution of indoor basketballs. With its innovative Cushion Core technology, this ball provides a soft feel that’s a delight to grip. The pebbled composite channels contribute to a consistent texture across the surface, ensuring players have unmatched control.

It’s not just a basketball; it’s a symbol of superior craftsmanship, trusted by players and coaches. Its NFHS approval further solidifies it as a top choice for high school competitions. The Wilson Evolution is your winning ticket if you’re seeking the ultimate grip and control on the court.

2. Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball: Where Grip Meets Performance

“Your Performance, Our Legacy”

Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball

Best Key Features:

  • Wet grip microfiber composite leather cover for optimal control.
  • Deep channel design for quick recognition and true bounce.
  • Rotationally balanced butyl bladder for air retention.
  • Official ball of the KHSAA.


  • Wet grip microfiber cover ensures a game-ready feel from the box.
  • Deep channel design aids in instant grip recognition.
  • Butyl bladder and nylon windings contribute to durability and bounce.
  • Official ball of the KHSAA adds to its authenticity.


  • Some users mention that it may require frequent inflation.
  • Limited user reviews compared to other options.


Spalding’s Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball combines a perfect blend of grip and performance. The wet grip microfiber composite leather cover sets the stage for immediate control and enhanced ball handling. Its deep channel design is a boon for players who rely on quick recognition during intense gameplay.

Combining the butyl bladder and nylon windings ensures the ball retains its structure and bounces over time. This basketball proudly holds the title of the official ball of the KHSAA, further validating its place among the greats. If you’re searching for a ball that marries grip with consistent performance, the Legacy TF-1000 is a formidable choice.

3. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball: The Elite Choice for Superior Control

“Elevate Your Game with the Elite Choice”

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

Best Key Features:

  • Composite microfiber cover with proprietary moisture grip.
  • Cushion Control Technology (CCT) for softness, true bounce, and durability.
  • Perfection Symmetrical design for balanced ball flight.


  • Proprietary moisture grip enhances ball control.
  • CCT ensures a soft feel, true bounce, and extended life.
  • Perfection Symmetrical design guarantees balanced flight and consistent bounces.
  • Available in intermediate and official sizes.


  • Some users may find the price on the higher side.
  • Limited color options.


The Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball lives up to its name by offering elite-level grip and control. Its composite microfiber cover, with a moisture grip, promises unparalleled ball handling. The Cushion Control Technology (CCT) delivers a soft touch, reliable bounce, and lasting durability, making it a ball that can withstand the rigors of intense play.

The Perfection Symmetrical design ensures that your shots and passes maintain their accuracy. With intermediate and official sizes options, the Baden Elite empowers players of varying skill levels to confidently elevate their game.

Choosing Your Perfect Grip

Regarding indoor basketballs, the right grip can mean victory or defeat. Each of these top contenders – the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, the Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball, and the Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball – offers unique features tailored to enhance your performance on the court.

Whether you prioritize the signature Evo feel, the wet grip microfiber cover, or the proprietary moisture grip, these basketballs ensure you can dribble, pass, and shoot your way to success with the ultimate grip.

How Do You Avoid Carry in Basketball?

Mastering dribbling skills and avoiding carries involves practice, precision, and understanding. Here are some strategies to keep your dribble clean and effective:

  • Controlled Hand Placement: Ensure that your hand remains on the side or top of the ball while dribbling without pausing the downward motion. This prevents the ball from coming to rest and eliminates the risk of a carry.
  • Consistent Reps: Practice various dribbling drills to hone your muscle memory. Focus on executing crossovers, behind-the-back dribbles, and spins while maintaining a controlled dribble height.
  • Game Simulation: Incorporate defenders into your practice sessions. This will help you adapt your dribble to real-game scenarios and keep it under control even under pressure.
  • Video Analysis: Study your own gameplay and professional players. Pay attention to their hand positioning during dribbles and learn from their techniques.
  • Coaching Feedback: Seek guidance from coaches or experienced players. They can provide personalized advice to refine your dribbling technique and minimize the risk of carrying.
  • Stay Updated: Keep an eye on rule changes and interpretations, especially with the evolving nature of the game. Staying informed about the latest carry rules will prevent inadvertent violations.

Bottom Line

Carrying in basketball is more than just a rule – it reflects the sport’s essence. Dribbling, a core aspect of basketball, demands finesse, control, and a bit of creative flair. By understanding the nuances of carrying, adapting to new rules, and committing to disciplined practice, players can elevate their dribbling game to new heights.

So, whether you’re a rookie aiming to make a mark or a seasoned pro looking to refine your skills, mastering the carry is essential to dribbling your way to victory on the hardwood stage.