NBA and FIBA have Different Rules


Defensive goaltending is a basketball violation. After a player has released the ball, any interference with the basketball after it has reached the highest point of its arc, is considered a goaltend. When this rule is violated, it awards the offensive team with 2 or 3 points, depending on where the shot was released.

However, NBA & FIBA has 1 main difference when it comes to goaltending.


In the NBA, goaltending is called when a player interferes with the basketball while it is:

  • on its way to the basket
  • in a downward motion
  • has already come in contact with the backboard
  • is still in the “imaginary” cylinder above the rim (even after touching the rim)


In FIBA, all the same rules apply except for the imaginary cylinder above the rim. In short, players are allowed to swat/tap with the ball after the ball has come in contact with the rim in FIBA basketball games.

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