What Is Basketball Walking?

In sports, there are some decisions and actions during play that are frowned upon or prohibited. They are known as violations or fouls during the game and will attract the attention of the official in charge of the game, causing him to intervene in one way or the other depending on the sport in question.

Basketball is not an exception to this rule and in this article, we will be discussing waking in basketball or basketball walking.

What Is Basketball Walking?

Basketball walking is a dribbling violation that happens when a player moves with the ball in an improper manner, such as when a player moves their pivot foot or moves without dribbling.


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A walking violation will result in a turnover and can also be called traveling.

What Counts As Walking Or Travelling in Basketball?

A walking violation occurs whenever a player in possession of the ball moves without dribbling. Other scenarios where walking or traveling will be said to have taken place are listed below.


  • Shuffling of the feet before starting a dribble
  • If a player falls with the ball and does not continue dribbling, they have walked if no foul is called.
  • A player has walked if they change, move, or move their pivot foot after they have established it after the dribble.
  • Taking several steps.
  • A player has walked if they jump and land with the ball in their hands both before and after jumping.
  • Any action in which the pivot foot is lifted and then dragged along the floor.

The aforementioned instances will count as walking because the player in possession of the ball moves without making any dribble.

Meanwhile, basketball is very popular at the NBA, college, and high school levels. Therefore, we will be looking at the rules that govern walking in basketball at these levels.

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College Basketball Travel Regulations

According to NCAA Men’s and Women’s Rule Book, travel, or walking in basketball, occurs when a player holding the ball moves a foot or both feet in any direction beyond the prescribed limits.

It should be known that the limits are two and a half steps. Therefore, it is considered travel if a player picks up the ball and moves two and a half steps further without dribbling.

Traveling occurs when a player fails to maintain his established pivot foot, according to the rules. This means that if a player has chosen one foot to pivot on while holding the ball, he cannot change feet without being penalized.


A traveling violation is also committed when a player jumps up with the ball and returns to the ground without shooting or passing.

Traveling or walking in basketball can also be called on a player who falls to the floor and does not keep his dribble, or on a player who receives the ball on the floor and then stands up.

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NBA Walking Regulations

Although there is a rule against basketball walking in the NBA, referees are less strict about calling a violation.

The official NBA Rule Book, Section VIII, Rule 10, defines what constitutes and does not constitute a walking violation in professional basketball.

The NBA allows players to take three or more steps, with two additional steps allowed when catching the ball on the run or stopping dribbling before passing or shooting the ball.


Also, a player on the ground with the ball in the NBA is allowed to stand up without being called for a violation.

High School Basketball Walking Regulations

A significant number of secondary sports in the United States are governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations or NFHS.

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With the exception of a few minor differences regarding a player on the ground with the ball, the rules are nearly identical to those used by the NCAA.

After a made basket, a high school basketball player may run up and down the baseline without dribbling as he tries to inbound the basketball.


Finally, it appears that referees do not spot all walking incidents in a basketball game as sometimes the game may be fast-paced for such to be caught by the officials during the game.


This further gives credence to the fact that human error will always come into play in sports. Regardless, we are convinced that your understanding of walking in basketball has been enhanced by this article.

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