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What is Double Dribble in Basketball?

Last Updated July 15, 2024 Last Updated October 18, 2023 by Edward Pullen

In basketball, where finesse, skill, and strategy blend seamlessly on the hardwood court, the term “double dribble” resonates significantly. To those well-versed in the sport, it’s a fundamental rule violation that can lead to turnovers, altering the course of a game.

Want to know more about double dribbling? Let’s dive into its legality, consequences, and its place within the basketball subculture, including the dynamic world of Streetball.

What is Double Dribble in Basketball?

What is the Definition of a Dribble in Basketball?

In basketball parlance, dribbling is the art of bouncing the ball repeatedly while maintaining control. It’s a fundamental skill that enables players to move the ball strategically across the court, evade defenders, and set up scoring opportunities.

A dribble begins when a player gains possession of the ball and ends when they cease to bounce it or use both hands simultaneously to control it.

Why is Double Dribble Illegal?

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – why is double dribble illegal? In basketball, a double dribble occurs when a player already dribbling the ball resumes dribbling after briefly stopping. This act violates the rules by granting the player two starting points for a single play. It introduces ambiguity into the game, making it challenging for defenders to anticipate and react to the player’s moves.

The essence of the rule is to ensure fairness and maintain the fluidity of the game. If double dribbling were allowed, it would give players an unfair advantage, potentially disrupting the balance and excitement of the match. Check out this video to learn more!

What Happens If You Double Dribble in Basketball?

The consequences of committing a double dribble in basketball can be pivotal. When a player is deemed to have double-dribbled, possession of the ball is turned over to the opposing team. This shift in possession can be a game-changer, as it robs the offending team of the opportunity to score and gives the opposing team a chance to seize control and momentum.

How Do You Double Dribble?

Understanding how a double dribble occurs is essential to avoid committing this infraction. It typically transpires when a player momentarily ceases dribbling, often to pivot, and then starts dribbling again. This action is against the rules, as players should pass the ball to a teammate or attempt a shot once they have ceased dribbling.

What is the Difference Between a Carry and a Double Dribble?

While a double dribble and a carry are rule violations related to ball-handling, they differ in their execution. A carry, also known as palming or carrying the ball, transpires when a player’s hand remains under the ball while dribbling.

It involves prolonged and excessive contact with the ball during a dribble, giving the player an unfair advantage. In contrast, a double dribble involves a player stopping their dribble and then resuming it, creating confusion on the court.

Is There a Dribble Limit?

In official basketball games, there is no specific limit on how many times a player can dribble the ball. Players are allowed to dribble as long as they maintain control and adhere to dribbling rules, such as not double-dribbling or carrying the ball. Dribbling is a versatile tool, enabling players to maneuver and orchestrate plays effectively.

The Best Basketballs for Dribbling Mastery

When it comes to mastering the art of dribbling in basketball, the choice of the right basketball ball is crucial. A well-crafted basketball can make all the difference in your game, providing the grip, control, and feel necessary for precision dribbling. Explore these three top-notch basketballs that stand out, each offering unique advantages for dribbling enthusiasts.

1. Spalding TF-Trainer Weighted Men’s Basketball, 6 lbs, 29.5″

“Best in Weighted Training”

Spalding TF-Trainer Weighted Men's Basketball, 6 lbs, 29.5"

Key Features:

  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Size: 29.5 inches
  • Material: Leather
  • Color: Brown, Black


  • Ideal for strength and skill development
  • High-quality leather construction
  • Precise and consistent bounce
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Trusted Spalding brand


  • Heavier weight may not be suitable for all players

The Spalding TF-Trainer Weighted Men’s Basketball is designed with one primary goal in mind – to enhance your dribbling skills through weighted training. Its 6 lbs weight provides a challenging workout that strengthens your wrists and arms while improving ball-handling control. Crafted from premium leather, it offers exceptional durability and a comfortable feel.

Customers have praised this basketball for its ability to improve dribbling speed and accuracy. However, it’s essential to note that its weight may not be suitable for beginners or younger players.

2. Molten BG-Series Leather Basketball

“Your FIBA Approved Performance”

Molten BG-Series Leather Basketball

Key Features:

  • FIBA Approved official 12-panel design
  • Size: 7
  • Material: Leather
  • Color: 2-tone


  • FIBA approval ensures top-notch quality
  • Unique 2-tone design for visibility
  • Top Grain Leather cover for excellent grip
  • Nylon wound and Butyl Bladder for durability
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty


  • Slightly higher price point

The Molten BG-Series Leather Basketball, specifically the BG5000 model, is a top-tier choice for those seeking the best FIBA-approved performance. It features a 12-panel design, providing superior control and grip during dribbling. The unique 2-tone design not only looks stylish but also enhances visibility on the court.

Customers have praised the BG5000 for its consistent bounce and premium leather construction. The FIBA approval ensures you’re using a ball of the highest standard, suitable for serious players and competitions.

3. WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs

“Perfect for Strong Grip and Ball Control”

WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs

Key Features:

  • Available in Size 5 (27.5″), Size 6 (28.5″), and Size 7 (29.5″)
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Wilson is the official basketball of the NBA
  • Ever Bounce Construction for consistent bounce
  • Pure Feel Microfiber for enhanced grip and control
  • Air Retention lining for longer-lasting air retention
  • NBA Pro Seams for specialized bladder construction


  • Wide range of sizes to choose from
  • NBA authenticity and quality
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor play
  • Excellent grip and ball control
  • Durable construction


  • Some may find the microfiber texture different from traditional leather

The WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs are synonymous with NBA quality and performance. Available in multiple sizes, they cater to players of all ages and skill levels. The microfiber construction offers a unique feel, enhancing grip and control during dribbling.

As the official basketball of the NBA, Wilson ensures that these basketballs meet the highest standards of the game. The Ever Bounce Construction, Pure Feel Microfiber, Air Retention lining, and NBA Pro Seams contribute to a premium dribbling experience.

The best basketball for dribbling depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for weighted training, FIBA-approved performance, or NBA authenticity, these options cater to different aspects of dribbling mastery.

Consider your skill level, playing environment, and desired features when selecting. Each of these basketballs brings unique advantages to the court, ensuring you can elevate your dribbling skills and enjoy an enhanced playing experience.

Is Double Dribble Allowed in Streetball?

Streetball, an urban and less formal version of basketball, often features a more relaxed set of rules than traditional basketball. Double dribbling might be tolerated in some Streetball games, and the rules may vary from one neighborhood court to another.

However, even in Streetball, players are encouraged to play with fairness and sportsmanship, making it important to establish ground rules before a game begins to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Final Words

The double dribble is an intriguing aspect of basketball that embodies the sport’s dedication to fairness and maintaining a level playing field. Understanding its definition, the reasons behind its prohibition, and the consequences of committing this violation is crucial for players and fans.

Whether you’re playing on the hardwood of an official basketball court or the asphalt of a neighborhood Streetball game, respecting the game’s rules ensures that the essence of basketball is preserved – a thrilling, dynamic sport that captivates hearts worldwide.