Are You Allowed to Fake a Free Throw?

Free throws are regular in every basketball game, and people use several techniques and practice to get accurate shots. However, since faking throws are part of the basketball game, it might be confusing to know if it applies to free throws.

So straight to the title: Are you allowed to fake a free throw?

No, you are not allowed to fake a free throw purposely. When you’re at the free-throw line, you must follow through if you commit to your shot. Faking a free throw attempt will result in a penalty. You have a maximum of 10 seconds to shoot a free throw.

That aside, there are other ways around this if you know a lot about the repercussions and any penalties for doing it wrongly.

Penalties for Faking a Free Throw

If a player fakes a free throw attempt intentionally, the following penalties can come into play:

  • The player will violate all their free throw attempts, and if the opponent violates any free throw rules, it won’t cause a double violation.
  • If the free throw attempt is to stay in play, the opposing team will inbound on either of the sidelines at the free-throw line extended.
  • If the free throw attempt is not to remain in play, then the game will continue from that point.

Check out this video, Carmelo Anthony with a pump fake at the free throw line and gets called for violation.

How to Bypass the NBA Rules with a Clever Pump Fake?

A pump fake is a skill where you pretend to shoot the ball to fake the shot and get your defender to jump and block you. At this point, it is easier to dribble past the defender because they would still be recovering from the pump fake. It also creates an opening for you to pass to your open teammate or take the scoring shot yourself.

Some people mistakenly assume that you can’t dribble after a pump fake, but it’s far from the truth. If you have not already dribbled, it is absolutely fine to dribble after a pump fake. If you have dribbled already and you have the ball in both hands, that is when you cannot dribble the second time. If you dribble, it is a violation, and they’ll give the ball to the other team.

A great example of this in effect is Jared Sullinger’s legal pump fake throw in 2016. Even though the shot was from 18-feet out, he executed it perfectly by extending his arms just slightly to see if it psyched out any defenders as he moved the ball up.

Can You Jump During a Free Throw?

Yes, you can jump during your free throws. However, while jumping during your free throw, ensure you do not cross or land on the free-throw line while you’re shooting your basketball into the rim. You may need to jump to shoot a free shot because of the player lacking enough strength to throw a free shot without jumping. Most players that jump are on the younger side with bodies that are still developing.

Even though it isn’t a violation to jump during free throws, it is not ideal to do so, and it is far better to shoot the ball standing still. That said, you can keep jumping for your free shots if you do not have the power to shoot from a standstill position. So keep practicing on your standstill shots until you get better at it and can do so comfortably.

Factors to Consider While Jumping During a Free Shot

  • Check out some of the factors you have to consider while Jumping During a Free Shot so you can understand why it is necessary to practice shots in a standstill position.
  • You have to make sure to stand far away from the line, giving enough distance, so you don’t cross or land on it after the jump. If you hit or cross the line, it is a violation even if the ball goes inside the rim, which won’t be a point.
  • Fatigue is a factor you have to consider, especially later on in the game when your legs are tired. It becomes more challenging to hit the basket if you’re tired because of your exerting power.
  • Since no defenders attempt to block your shot during a free shot, there is no need to jump as it will only exert your strength. So, it is far easier standing still than jumping.

How to Shoot a Free Throw Without Jumping

If you want to learn how to shoot a free throw without jumping, you can start with the following tips:

  • The best way to perfect your skill in basketball is by practicing. Try to throw free shots without jumping during practice regularly, and it will improve your muscle memory.
  • Work out at the gym to improve your body strength. Doing exercises like cardio, lifting weights, and leg exercises regularly can help in this regard.
  • Rehearse and practice your shooting form regularly. It will make you get more accurate shots without jumping, and you’ll start to see results quickly.

Penalties for Leaving the Free Throw Line

If the shooter steps over the plane of the free-throw line before the ball touches the basket ring, backboard, or the end of the free throw, there are the following penalties:

  • It is a clear violation by the shooter on all the free throw attempts, and officials will award no points.
  • If the free throw attempt is to remain in play after the violation, the opposing team will inbound on any sideline at the free-throw line extended. If both teams commit any violation during this free throw, they’ll administer a jump ball at midcourt between any two opponents playing the game.
  • If the free throw attempt is not to remain in play after the violation, the play will continue. If the opponent commits a violation too, it will cause a double violation, and the play will continue from the point.


Free throws are an aspect of basketball; every player must have some skill for a well-balanced team. However, faking a free throw during games will attract a penalty, but there are ways around this, like a pump fake. It would help if you practiced your pump fakes regularly to perfect your skill, so you don’t get a violation.

Jumping during a free throw isn’t a violation, but it is not ideal, especially for experienced players. You also have to make sure to stay within the boundary of free-throw lines to avoid penalties and lose points.

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