bonus in basketball

What Does Bonus Mean In Basketball? Explained for Newbies

The word Bonus in basketball means that a team has reached the maximum fouls count in a quarter or half, enabling the fouled team to shoot free throws whether there was a foul or not during a shot.

Other names associated with the bonus include “in the bonus” and “fouls to give.”

Though this is the general meaning of the term bonus, you’ll find meaning slightly varying as you move from one league to another.

Let’s look at the meaning of the word in different leagues:

NBA professional basketball league:

In an NBA match, after a team commits the maximum number of fouls (or the 5th foul) per quarter, the opponents' team will from then onwards get to shoot free throws for any foul committed against them.

The team fouls are counted whenever any of the players commits a foul.

The team that gets fouled many times will get rewarded points in terms of free throws. The points are basically what we’re referring to as the BONUS.

FIBA international basketball league:

FIBA leagues involve international matches, and most of the leagues played outside the US. Under the FIBA rules, if a team commits up to 5 fouls per quarter, the opponents will get rewarded free throws for the 5th and all the subsequent fouls.

For all the non-shooting fouls committed by a team, the opponents will earn a bonus in terms of 2 free throws.

As you can see, FIBA league fouls rules are similar to those of NBA.

NCAA College basketball league:

When it comes to the college leagues, you’ll find that the bonus rules are quite stricter. Only 6 fouls are allowed for each half.

If a team commits a non-shooting foul, the opposing team will get rewarded up to 2 bonus points and not one as it’s the case with NBA leagues.

If a shooter makes free basket, he’ll get rewarded with a second free throw opportunity. This is commonly known as “one-on-one.”

In a case where a team commits up to 10 fouls in half, the opposing team will be granted a “double bonus.” And this means they’ll automatically get 2 free throws for every foul committed afterward.

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