What is traveling in basketball – (With 4 Common Examples)

What is traveling in basketball? Some people may think that traveling means going from one place to another, but this traveling is not a road trip😉; this type of traveling is made at the basketball court, which is a contravention of the rules and regulations of the basketball game. 

Traveling is a violation of the rules of basketball. The player can take one or two steps in basketball without dribbling the basketball. If he takes more than two steps, the third step is traveling. Traveling is also known predominantly in streetball games.

If you regularly watch the basketball games, you may see that the referee blows the whistle and calls’ traveling’. However, this type of incident is rarely found in NBA games because professional players are well aware about this violation.

You have especially seen this type of moment in the youth league because they are not properly knowledgeable about this as they are just learning to play basketball.

Now we will tell you about traveling in basketball. However, traveling is a violation in which one of the basketball players holds basketball, but he cannot dribble it.

However, this is a brief definition of traveling on the basketball court. Now, we will discuss this term in detail to clarify all the questions that are bothering you in your mind. So, let’s start it: –

Factors about traveling in the basketball court

There are several circumstances in which traveling is to be made, sometimes it will be noticed by the referee, and sometimes the referee cannot stay focused on it. There are some common factors about traveling on the basketball court, which we will write below: –

  • The pivot foot is the main factor of traveling in basketball 
  • A player could not be called for the traveling if he was dribbling the basketball ball
  • Only that player is called for traveling if he has a ball
  • A player who does not grab the basketball ball cannot travel.

Pivot foot  

What do you mean by pivot foot? Pivot foot plays an important role in the traveling of the basketball.

A pivot foot is a legal movement in which a player who has held a ball has to contact his one foot to the floor (which may be left or right); you can think that his foot has been stick to the ground, but he can rotate his pivot foot.

The player’s pivot foot remains in contact with the floor until the player has the ball, and he does not dribble or jump into the air or pass to any other player.

Moreover, once the pivot foot is established, you cannot change, and you have to bear this thing in mind that you cannot hold the ball for more than 5 seconds.

The pivot foot starts when the player holds a ball, not dribbling. The player can move one foot in any direction, but the player can only rotate that foot with the pivot. 

There are many cases in which players cannot establish the pivot foot. This most common cause is the ‘jump shot.’ A jump shot can be defined as when a player catches the basketball ball while moving, then stops with one foot on the floor and then jump off the floor and then land with both feet.

Illegal movements in the basketball court

There are some illegal movements by whom the referee calls the traveling. Let’s see that which those illegal movements are: – 

  1. The first illegal movement is that the players slide the pivot
  2. The player’s move their pivot foot before releasing the basketball
  3. Fall to the floor without maintaining the pivot foot
  4. Double dribble the basketball
  5. A player moves more than two steps with holding the ball; this is the most common illegal movement in basketball, which is mostly held in the youth league
  6. If a player rolls on the floor
  7. Pushing or shouldering any other opponent player

Common examples of traveling on the basketball court

If you watch the basketball game on your mobile, TV, or any other device, you may think it is very easy to detect the traveling violation, but it is very difficult to see as a player moves their feet. The referee performs this task with great skill.

There are so many examples of committing the traveling violation in the basketball court, from which we pick the most popular models, and we will explain all these examples in detail. So, that you may be well understood. Now, let’s see those necessary points: –

Up and down

An up and down is a common violation of the basketball rules in which the player grabs the basketball and jumps up. After that, he lands on the floor without releasing the basketball.

Early step

Players lift the pivot foot before dribbling or passing the basketball. This is also one of the common examples of traveling on the basketball court.

Three-point step 

A player gets the ball in the three-point line, then takes a back action without dribbling by which their pivot foot lifts, and the referee makes the traveling violation.

Rebound shuffle

Due to the heat of the game, the player gets a rebound and shuffles their feet. This example also comes in the term of traveling violation.


Q 1. Is traveling a foul in basketball?

Answer. Traveling is not a foul; however, it is a violation of the basketball rules in which the player took more than two steps while holding a basketball. In NBA and FIBA, it is also known as ‘gather steps.’

Q 2. Can you turn your pivot foot?

Answer. No, you cannot turn your pivot foot forward or backward. You can only rotate with the pivot foot. You cannot lift your pivot foot until you pass or start dribbling the ball.

If you raise your pivot foot before shooting or dribble, the referee will commit you to a traveling basketball violation because this thing is against the basketball rules.

In addition to that, you must have to release the ball within five seconds, and once your pivot foot is established, it cannot be changed after that.

Q 3. What are the types of violations of basketball?

Answer. There are so many violations that include in basketball, but we tell you the most popular violations in bullet points: –

  • 5-second violation
  • 3-second violation
  • Double dribbling violation
  • Traveling violation
  • Backcourt violation

Q 4. Which foot should be your pivot foot?

Answer. However, it is not necessary; you can use any foot as a pivot foot. But the recommendation from professional players is that, righties can use their left foot as a pivot foot, and lefties can use their right foot for it. Moreover, this recommendation makes it easy for you to establish your pivot foot. 

Q 5. Does this is a matter of how many steps you can take while dribbling?

Answer. Absolutely not! It doesn’t matter that how many steps you take while dribbling. You can hold on to a basketball as long as you dribble the basketball, but if you use more than two steps without dribbling or passing the basketball then, it means that you make a traveling violation.

Q 6. What is the meaning of two lines at each end of the basketball court?

Answer. The two lines at each end of the basketball are called baseline or end-line. Usually, these two lines are located 4 feet behind the basketball hoop. However, its total width is about 50 feet. 

Q 7. Where is a free throw line on the basketball court? 

Answer. The free-throw line is about 15 feet away from the front of the backboard. The purpose of the free-throw line is that where any player stands until he shoots a foul.

Q 8. Does dribbling with a small basketball ball improve the newbie skill?

Answer. According to my 15 years of experience and research, I come to that point, the small basketball ball can help you to improve your skills if you are a newbie, but it takes too much time to upgrade your ability.

Q9. How do you get good control on the basketball ball?

Answer. There are a few important points by which you can earn good control on the basketball ball: –

  • Make sure that, basketball ball should be close to you
  • Try to snatch the basketball from the opponent player with your hand outstretched 
  • Now, you take control of the basketball ball. After that, you have to dribble the ball and slowly bring it closer to the basketball hoop by dribbling it. you have to keep this thing in mind that you cannot take more than two steps without dribbling the basketball
  • Score a goal and try to beat your opponent.

Q 10. How can you pass a basketball ball to your teammate?

Answer. There are about four ways to pass the basketball ball. We will discuss all these ways briefly: –

1. Chest pass: – you have to hold a ball with both hands and then take one step in the direction of your target. After that, suddenly press your arms out and throw a ball.

2. Overhead pass: – I hope that you understand what it means by its name. In this pass, you have to grab a ball with both hands and take it over your head. After that, you have to throw the ball in the direction of your teammate quickly. 

3. Bounce pass: You have to take a ball with both hands and take its height to your chest level. Then, extend the arms and throw the ball to the floor forward and down. You have to throw the basketball in the direction that it goes to your partner.

4. Behind the back pass: – in this pass, you have to grasp the ball with your right or left hand then, bring your elbow back and throw it toward your teammate. This can be difficult for a newbie to understand, but if you try it more and more, we hope that you will become an expert player.

Q11: How do you know if someone has traveled?

Answer. In order to make sure that players are not committing traveling violations, officials must be able to see the feet of all players involved in the play.

Players who are dribbling or moving with the ball should be able to move freely without having to worry about a traveling violation being called against them.

The only time it is acceptable for an official to call traveling is if a player regains their balance after moving their pivot foot without dribbling or taking a step.

Q12: When does the clock stop during a travel call?

Answer. The clock stops on all fouls whistled during live action, including travelling calls and violations involving illegal screens set by defenders near half court.

Q13: How do you get a traveling violation?

Answer. A player can be called for traveling when he carries the ball by throwing it, dribbling it or passing it to himself.

A player will also be called for traveling if he fails to keep both feet on the floor at all times during his dribble while attempting to shoot or pass, or if he carries it across his body while dribbling past an opponent.

Q14: What are some examples of traveling violations?

Answer. When a player is dribbling and jumps off one foot to elevate over another offensive player and then lands on his second foot before jumping off again, this is considered traveling because he did not touch both feet down before taking off again as required by NBA guidelines for legal passing or shooting motions with one hand or two hands on the ball prior to shooting or passing away from defenders (see Rule 8-5).


In this part of the article, we want to conclude our whole essay. Although playing basketball without committing a traveling violation is almost seems to be impossible because, when we play any type of game, the player makes mistakes at the start. Still, as he tries the game more and more, he will become an expert one day.

Moreover, we want to give message to our junior players that, keep playing basketball or any other sport that you like and not be afraid from mistakes. We hope that one day you will overcome from those mistakes and will become a professional player.

The traveling violation mostly occurs in youth leagues because they are not professional players.

In addition to that, the traveling violation is very rare in NBA and WNBA leagues because in these both leagues, there is the professional and skillful player, and they know about that better. We expect that you have learned a lot of information from this article. 

If you still have any queries, you can contact us on the contact us page.

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