What Is A Carry In Basketball?

Are you curious to know what is a carry in basketball? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a carry in basketball in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a carry in basketball?

Basketball, a sport celebrated for its fast pace and fluid movement, has its fair share of rules and regulations that govern the gameplay. Among these rules, the term “carry” stands out as a fundamental violation that can impact the flow of the game. Let’s dive into what a carry is in basketball, its implications, and its role in the dynamics of the sport.

What Is A Carry In Basketball?

In basketball, a “carry” refers to an infraction where a player gains an unfair advantage by improperly handling the ball. Specifically, it occurs when a player dribbles the ball and momentarily allows it to come to rest in their hand, followed by resuming dribbling. This action violates the rules established for continuous dribbling, disrupting the fluidity of the game.

Why The ‘carry’ Is Penalized?

The prohibition against carrying the ball serves several purposes integral to the integrity of the sport:

  • Maintaining Fair Play: By preventing players from carrying the ball, the rule ensures that all participants adhere to a standard dribbling technique. This promotes fair competition and equal opportunities for all players.
  • Preserving the Game’s Pace: Basketball thrives on its fast-paced nature, and the carry violation helps uphold this tempo by discouraging actions that could slow down or disrupt the flow of the game.
  • Emphasizing Skill and Technique: Proper dribbling skills are essential in basketball. Enforcing the carry rule underscores the importance of honing dribbling techniques, enhancing the players’ skill and finesse on the court.

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Identifying A ‘carry’

Determining a carry can sometimes be subjective and dependent on the interpretation of the referees. However, common signs that might signal a carry include:

  • The Ball’s Pause: If the ball briefly comes to a stop or appears to rest in the player’s hand during a dribble, it may be considered a carry.
  • Palming or Scooping Motion: When a player uses a palming or scooping motion while dribbling, it could indicate a carry violation.
  • Excessive Control: Attempts to excessively control or guide the ball while dribbling, rather than maintaining a natural bouncing motion, might also lead to a carry call.

The Impact On Gameplay

A carry violation results in a turnover, giving possession of the ball to the opposing team. This turnover can significantly impact the game’s momentum, potentially altering the course of the match by shifting possession and scoring opportunities.


Understanding the concept of a carry in basketball illuminates the importance of adherence to fundamental rules that govern the sport. By upholding the prohibition against carrying the ball, basketball maintains its emphasis on skill, fair play, and the exhilarating, fast-paced nature that captivates players and fans alike. As players strive for precision in their dribbling techniques, the rule against carrying stands as a cornerstone in preserving the essence and integrity of the game.


What Are The Rules For Carrying In The Nba?

“A player who is dribbling may not put any part of his hand under the ball and (1) carry it from one point to another or (2) bring it to a pause and then continue to dribble again.”

Is A High Dribble A Carry?

In basketball, dribbling the ball high can potentially lead to a carry violation. According to the rules of basketball, a player is not allowed to let the ball come to rest in one or both hands while dribbling. This includes dribbling the ball too high, which can give the appearance of the ball coming to rest.

What Is The Difference Between A Carry And A Double Dribble?

With a carry the person with the ball takes an extra step without bouncing the ball, ineffect “traveling” with the ball. Double dribble is either bouncing the ball with both hands, or more usually —stopping the bounce and holding the ball and then proceeding to bounce it again.

What Counts As A Carry?

Carrying is a violation in the game of basketball. It occurs when the dribbling player continues to dribble after allowing the ball to come to rest in one or both hands and/or places their hand underneath the basketball.

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