SprotsGloss: Bonus (Basketball)


by @meganmtrout  megan

You might hear any variation of “bonus” or “in the bonus” or “fouls to give” during a basketball game. What does this mean? In the NBA, after the 5th team foul is committed per quarter, the opposing team gets to shoot free throws for any fouls against them. Team fouls are accumulated by any player on the team that commits a defensive or loose ball foul.

Basically, if your team gets fouled a lot, they are rewarded with “bonus” points in the form of free throws. The PA guy will announce with every foul what the team foul count is at. Teams that have “fouls to give” late in a quarter may commit minor fouls in order to get the ball back with no penalty.

In the NCAA, the bonus rules are much stricter. NCAA only allows 6 fouls per half. If a non-shooting foul is committed, the person shooting the free throws has an opportunity to get two bonus points, instead of only one. If the shooter makes the first basket, he is awarded a second free throw chance aka a “one-and-one”. If a team has ten fouls in a half, the opponents are then granted “double bonus” and get automatic two free throw shots every subsequent foul.


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