2024-04-16 06:42:48

(Below is the TURNOVERS section in FIBA Basketball Statisticians’ Manual 2009)

A turnover is a mistake by an offensive player that results in the defensive team gaining possession of the ball without the offensive team having attempted a field goal or free throw, except when a period expires without a field goal attempt.

Any offensive violation by a player will result in a turnover being charged e.g. 3 second violation, offensive foul, offensive goal tending, double dribble violation etc. Likewise, an offensive mistake such as passing the ball directly out of bounds or fumbling the ball in such a way that it is recovered by the defensive team will result in aturnover being charged.

It is important to understand when a team has control of the ball, so that the statistician understands when they turn the ball over and the other team gains control. A team is in control of the ball when:

  • A player of that team is holding or dribbling a live ball.
  • The ball is at its disposal for a throw-in during an out-of-bounds situation.
  • The ball is at the disposal of a player for his first or only free throw.
  • The ball is being passed between team-mates.

If the offensive team is forced into a held ball by the actions of a defensive player the result of the alternating possession rule will determine the statistics to be charged:

  • If the offensive team gains possession as a result of the alternating possession rule – NO statistics are charged.
  • If the defensive team gains possession as a result of the alternating possession rule – charge aturnover to the offensive player at fault and a steal to the defensive player that initiated the turnover.

Turnovers are recorded as one of the following types:

Ball Handling

An offensive player loses possession while originally holding or dribbling the ball or failing to catch a pass that should have been caught.


A violation by an offensive player causes the turnover e.g. travelling, 3, 5, 8 or 24 second violations, stepping out of the playing court when in control of the ball.

Offensive Foul

An offensive player with or without the ball, commits a foul whilst his team is in possession and before a shot is attempted. Once a shot has been attempted the team that shot the ball is no longer in control so a foul by an offensive player is no longer an offensive foul nor aturnover.


A turnover due to a bad pass. The turnover should always be charged to the passer unless the statistician considers that the pass should have been caught, in which case the turnover should be charged to the receiver.

In some situations a turnover could be classified as more than one type, for example when a bad pass causes a team-mate to commit a violation by stepping out of the playing court to catch the ball. The statistician must recognise how the turnover was originally caused. In this example, the bad pass caused the violation so the player attempting the pass should be charged a turnover (Passing).

All 3 and 5 second violations are charged as player turnovers. All 8 and 24 second violations are charged as team turnovers.

There are certain situations where two or more turnovers happen almost instantaneously. The statistician must decide if control of the ball was gained by a team before again losing control. It is good practice to follow the shot clock – if this is reset to 24 seconds and starts counting down then team control is gained and a turnover / steal charged. If the clock continues running down then there was no change in team control and so no statistics should be charged.


1. A5 has the ball stolen from him as he is dribbling down the court.

A5 is charged with a turnover (Ball Handling).

2. A2 passes the ball and it goes straight out of bounds.

A2 is charged with a turnover (Passing).

3. A1 makes a good pass but A4 drops the ball, resulting in B4 picking the ball up.

A4 is charged a turnover (Ball Handling), B4 does not receive a steal as he simply benefited from an opponents mistake.

4. A2 commits a violation (travelling, double dribble, etc.) that results in the opposition receiving the ball.

A2 is charged with a turnover (Violation).

5. A5 commits a foul whilst his team is on offence (charge, moving screen etc.)

A5 is charged with a turnover (Offensive Foul).

6. Team A fail to get a shot off and commit a twenty-four second violation.

Team A is charged with a turnover (Violation).

7. A2 picks up the ball after dribbling and is closely guarded by B2. He is unable to shoot or pass the ball and commits a five second violation.

A2 is charged with a turnover (Violation).

8. A1 is in possession the ball when A4 and B4 simultaneously commit double fouls.

As the foul penalties cancel and Team A are awarded the ball out-of-bounds, no statistics are charged.

9. A3 is holding the ball when B3 knocks it loose. A3 and B3 dive on the floor and a held ball situation between the two players occurs. (a) Team A are entitled to the alternating possession. (b) Team B are entitled to the alternating possession.

(a) No statistics are charged. (b) A3 is charged with a turnover (Ball Handling), B3 is charged with a steal.