Southorn
Basketball
Association

Steals

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

A steal is charged to a defensive player when his positive, aggressive action causes a turnover by an opponent. No steal is charged if the ball becomes dead and the defensive team is awarded possession of the ball out of bounds. A team steal does not exist and therefore cannot be charged.

A defensive player can achieve a steal in a number of ways:

  • Taking the ball away from an opponent holding or dribbling the ball.
  • Intercepting an opponent’s pass.
  • Tipping the ball away from an offensive player in control of the ball or deflecting an opponent’s pass either:
    • Directly to a team-mate.
    • Such that the ball is loose and a team-mate retrieves the ball.
    • Such that the ball is loose and a team-mate and an opponent grab the ball simultaneously, a held ball results and the defensive team is awarded the ball according to the alternating possession rule. (Obviously this cannot happen when the alternating possession is awarded at the start of a period of play). The tipping or deflection of the ball does not necessarily have to be controlled.

The only time a steal can be charged when the ball goes dead is when the actions of a defensive player causes a held ball to occur and his team wins possession as a result of the alternating possession rule.

To earn a steal, the defensive player should be the initiator of the action causing a turnover, not just the benefactor. For example, if an offensive player passes directly to a defensive player who did not have to move to intercept the ball, no steal would be charged.

If a steal is charged to a defensive player, there must be a corresponding turnover charged to an offensive player. (The opposite does not apply – a turnover does not always mean a steal has occurred, it may have been a violation, bad pass or offensive foul). The statistician must realise that the ball must actually be turned over for a steal to be charged.

In all these situations, the player who first deflected the ball initiated the turnover so is charged with the steal, not the team-mate who recovered the loose ball. A player taking a charge is not to be charged with a steal.

Examples

1. A5 is dribbling when he mishandles the ball and it bounces toward B4 who recovers it without moving.

Charge A5 with a turnover (Ball Handling), but do not charge B4 with a steal, as he did not initiate the action.

2. A5 is dribbling the ball when B5 knocks it away to B2.

Charge A5 with a turnover (Ball Handling) and B5 with a steal.

3. B2 applies vigorous defensive pressure that causes A2 to commit a violation without B2 touching the ball.

Charge A2 with a turnover (Violation) but do not charge B2 with a steal.

4. B5 deflects a pass from A4 intended for A5 who, in a reflex action, tries to catch the ball but can only deflect it over the sideline. Team B is awarded the right to a throw in from the sideline.

Charge A4 with a turnover (Passing) but do not charge B5 with a steal.

5. B5 deflects a pass from A4, intended for A5, into the open court where A5 and B2 both grab the ball and a held ball is called. Team B is awarded the ball for a throw in from the sideline (alternating possession rule).

Charge A4 with a turnover (Passing) and charge B5 a steal. A5 and B2 receive no statistics. If team A were awarded the ball as a result of the alternating possession rule, then no statistics would be charged.

6. A2 passes the ball directly out of bounds.

No steal is charged, whilst A2 is charged with a turnover (Passing).

7. A1 is dribbling the ball and unintentionally dribbles the ball off his foot. The ball rolls along the playing court and is picked up by B2.

No steal is charged as 82 did not initiate the turnover, whilst Ai is charged with a turnover (Ball Handling).

8. Team A gain possession of the ball following the opening jump ball.

No steal is charged as no team was in possession of the ball before the jump ball.

9. A4 misses an FGA. The ball hits the rim, bounces off the floor and is caught by B2.

No steal is charged. Charge A4 with an FGA and B2 with a defensive rebound.