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What is Bonus in Basketball?

Last Updated April 22, 2024 Last Updated February 22, 2024 by Brian Aquino

In the thrilling world of basketball, some numerous rules and terminologies may leave even the most ardent fans perplexed. One such term often appearing during a game is “bonus.”  This article will explore the basketball bonus rule, how it works, and why it is important.

What does a bonus mean in basketball?

What is Bonus in Basketball

The term “bonus” in basketball refers to a specific situation during a game when a team accumulates a certain number of team fouls. Simply put, when a team reaches a predetermined limit of fouls in a given quarter or half, their opponent is awarded bonus free throws. This rule encourages fair play and discourages teams from committing excessive fouls.

Is there a bonus in the NBA game?

Absolutely, there is a bonus in NBA games. The NBA, one of the most popular and competitive basketball leagues globally, adheres to rules that include the bonus system. In the NBA, the bonus rule is slightly different from other basketball leagues, adding an extra layer of excitement. Watch out for a detailed NBA rule about a bonus in this video:

Why does the NBA say bonus in basketball?

The NBA uses the term “bonus” to signify when a team has accumulated a specific number of fouls in a quarter or a half. When this happens, the opposing team is awarded free throws, allowing them to score points without the defense’s interference. This rule serves multiple purposes within the NBA:

  • Fair Play: The bonus rule discourages teams from resorting to excessive fouling tactics as a defense, ensuring a more enjoyable and equitable game for fans and players alike.
  • Game Strategy: It adds an intriguing strategic element to the game. Teams must be mindful of their foul count, especially in tight situations, as sending their opponents to the free-throw line can be a game-changer.
  • Excitement: Bonus situations often lead to intense moments as players attempt to capitalize on free-throw opportunities. These moments can sway the game’s momentum and keep fans on the edge of their seats.

What is a bonus free throw in basketball?

A bonus free throw is fundamental in basketball, particularly in the NBA. When a team reaches the bonus, any subsequent foul committed by the opposing team results in free throws for the fouled player. Here’s how it works:

  1. One-and-One: In many basketball leagues, including the NBA, the first set of bonus free throws is known as a “one-and-one.” This means that the player is awarded one free throw, and if they successfully make it, they earn the opportunity for a second free throw.
  2. Two Shots: If the player makes the first free throw in the “one-and-one” situation, they are awarded a second free throw, commonly called “two shots.”
  3. No Rebounds: It’s important to note that in bonus free throws, there are no rebounds on the first free throw attempt. If the player misses the first free throw in a “one-and-one,” the opposing team gains possession of the ball.

The bonus free throw system adds an element of pressure to both the shooter and the opposing team. It requires precision and accuracy, making it a critical game aspect.

The Best Indoor Basketball Balls – Top Picks for Your Game

When it comes to indoor basketball, having the right ball can make all the difference in your performance. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the top contenders in indoor basketballs. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, these basketballs are engineered to provide the best experience on the court. Let’s dive into our in-depth reviews of the best indoor basketballs available:

1. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball: Best in Moisture Grip and Control

Key Features:

  • Official Size 7 (29.5”) for a professional feel
  • Made with premium microfiber material
  • Proprietary composite microfiber cover for superior grip
  • Patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT) for a softer feel and truer bounce
  • Suitable for adults
  • NFHS Approved and ships fully inflated


  • Unrivaled moisture grip for superior ball control
  • Exceptional grip and tack for optimum basketball control
  • Soft feel, truer bounce, and longer lifespan
  • Suitable for both practice and competitive play
  • Available in official and intermediate sizes
  • Meets NFHS standards for official play


  • Priced slightly higher than some competitors

The Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball is a standout choice for those who demand excellence on the court. Its moisture grip, superior tack, and patented CCT make it the best in the business, ensuring that your shots are precise and your control is unparalleled. Whether honing your skills or competing at the highest level, this basketball will help you reach your full potential.

2. Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball: Superior Grip and Game-Ready Feel

Key Features:

  • Official Size 7 (29.5”) for professional play
  • Wet grip microfiber composite leather cover
  • Deep channel design for instant recognition
  • Cushioned carcass for a true bounce
  • Rotationally balanced butyl bladder for ultimate air retention
  • Official ball of the KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association)
  • Shipped inflated and recommended inflation at 8 PSI


  • Game-ready feel straight out of the box
  • Excellent grip and deep channel design for precise handling
  • Cushioned carcass ensures a true bounce
  • Ideal for competitive play
  • The official ball of the KHSAA
  • Shipped inflated for your convenience


  • Slightly lower customer rating compared to others

The Spalding Legacy TF-1000 KHSAA Indoor Game Basketball offers a fantastic game-ready feel, making it perfect for players who want to hit the court with minimal adjustment. Its superior grip and recognition-friendly design ensure that you’ll be in control of the game. Plus, being the official ball of the KHSAA, it’s trusted by high school athletes for a reason.

3. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball: The #1 Indoor Ball in America

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

Key Features:

  • Available in Size 7 (29.5″) and Size 6 (28.5″)
  • Made with high-quality composite material
  • Pebbled composite channels for consistent feel and texture
  • Cushion Core for a soft and grippable surface
  • NFHS Approved for indoor use


  • Trusted as the #1 indoor game basketball in America
  • Signature soft feel for easy grip around the rim
  • Unparalleled control with pebbled composite channels
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Approved for play by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)


  • Premium pricing for a premium product

The Wilson Evolution Game Basketball has earned its reputation as the top indoor basketball in the United States. With its soft feel, exceptional grip, and consistent texture, it’s a favorite among players of all levels. Whether playing in an official league or just shooting hoops with friends, this basketball is designed to elevate your game.

Choosing the best indoor basketball ball can significantly impact your performance on the court. Each top pick offers unique features and advantages, ensuring you find the perfect match for your playing style and preferences. Elevate your indoor basketball experience with one of these exceptional basketballs today.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the term “bonus” in basketball, especially in the NBA, signifies a pivotal juncture where fouls have accumulated, leading to free-throw opportunities for the opposing team. It is a rule designed to promote fair play, strategic thinking, and intense moments in the game.

So, the next time you watch an NBA game and hear the term “bonus,” you’ll have a deeper understanding of its significance in basketball.