How Many Technical Fouls Are Allowed In The NBA?

There are only 16 technicals allowed in the NBA. In a regular season, a player gets a warning after assessing 10 technical fouls. After committing 16 technical fouls, the player receives one-game suspension.

Technical fouls are probably one of the most frustrating things for any NBA player. Under the NBA guidelines, it is specified that an official may give a player a technical foul without prior warning. In this post, we’ll find out what constitutes a technical foul and how many technicals are allowed in the NBA.

What is a technical foul?

technical foul?

A technical foul is a serious penalty assessed to players on the court, bench players, or the entire team for poor sportsmanship behavior on an offense that does not include physical contact. Basketball players and coaches are held accountable for their actions on and off the court; speaking or doing anything that violates league rules is not acceptable and will result in disciplinary action.

Common Fouls and Violations in NBA


Technical fouls can be called on players or coaches on the court. There are 6 distinct categories of technical fouls in the NBA. This includes excessive timeouts, delay of game, conduct, and fighting fouls.

Excessive timeouts

If a team runs out of timeouts and still tries to call one, the other team gets a single free throw and possession of the ball.

Excessive timeouts as one Technical Foul is an issue that has been discussed by many NBA players and coaches. It is not clear what the penalty for excessive timeouts should be, and this has led to confusion among players, coaches, fans, and referees.


A technical foul that is rarely called is for a player not subbing into a game properly. Players are required to “check in” at the scorer’s table located on the sidelines before starting the game. If they do not check incorrectly, they are liable for a technical foul.

Delay of game

If a player or coach prevents the game from continuing, they are given a delay of game initial warning before receiving a technical foul on a second offense. This is usually called when a player touches the ball after their team scores a basket.

Number of players

The number of players on the court is one of the most important rules in basketball. If a team has less or more than five players on the court, a technical foul is assessed. If a player leaves the game and his team has fewer than five players, then a substitute player must enter before play resumes.

Basket ring, backboard, or support

If player hands or grabs onto the rim, backboard, or support to take advantage of other players during the game, a technical foul is assessed. However, there is an exemption in instances where an injury is being prevented and the player must hang in order to avoid contact with another player.


Violations such as misconduct are one of the most common types of technical fouls. These are unsportsmanship-like technicals that include swearing or arguing with a referee. A player that receives two unsportsmanship-like technical fouls is ejected from the game.


While fighting is uncommon in today’s NBA, there was a time when it was fairly common. Technical fouls and automatic ejections are issued for players who fight, as well as a fine of up to $50,000.

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How much is the penalty for technical fouls?

technical fouls

When a technical foul is called and what happens? The punishment for a technical foul varies from league to league. Let’s dig a little deeper.

College Basketball

Before, opposing teams used to be given an opportunity to make two free throws on all the fouls committed, however, penalties for “Class A’ and “Class B” technical fouls changed in the 2015-2016 season. A “Class B” technical foul example is, hanging on the rim— the penalty for such a foul is one free throw. On the other hand, two free-throw attempts are awarded to your opponent for any “Class A” technical fouls assessed


All technical fouls in high school carry the same penalty. Your opponents are given two free-throw tries, followed by control of the basketball.

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How many technical fouls before a suspension?

Non-unsportsmanlike fouls include hanging on the basketball rim, slowing the game, and having too many players on the floor. Other unsportsmanlike technical violations include insulting, mocking, and physically attacking an official. Suspension may follow after such fouls.

After incurring his tenth technical foul, a player receives a warning before being suspended. In a normal league, any player who receives 16 unsportsmanlike technical fouls is punished for one game. A $5,000 punishment is imposed for committing the 17th offense. A player can also receive a second ban if he commits two more technical fouls after his 16th unsportsmanlike foul.

In the playoffs, players are banned after their seventh technical foul and issued a warning after their fifth. It’s important to understand the distinction between suspension and expulsion from a game. When a player commits one or two unsportsmanlike technical fouls, he or she is ejected.

Fighting, engaging in a game without authorization, and committing a flagrant foul can all result in ejection from the game.

Who has the most technical fouls in NBA history?

Throughout the NBA and basketball history, we’ve seen so many players committing technical fouls and facing its consequences. Here are some of the players with the most technical fouls in the NBA:

5. Dennis Rodman: 212 technical fouls

technical fouls

Dennis Rodman is one of the most controversial basketball players in the history of the NBA. He played for six teams during his career and was known for his wild antics on and off the court.

Rodman has received notoriety for his eccentric personality; he is often seen wearing a variety of colorful outfits and matching hats. He has also been known to have long hair at times or wear hairpieces or wigs in different styles and colors while playing. One of Dennis Rodman’s most iconic looks came during his stint with the Chicago Bulls when he had dyed hair that included blond streaks, earning him the nickname ‘the hairdo from hell.’

From headbutting referees to kicking cameramen, Rodman’s temper often got the best of him on and off the court. His place on the list isn’t surprising at all.

4. Gary Payton: 250 technical fouls

Payton: 250 technical fouls

Gary Payton, who is a retired NBA player, played for 18 seasons and had a total of 250 technical fouls. It was the most in NBA history. Payton was known for his aggressive style of play and was often called the “enforcer” because he made sure to keep his team’s opponents in check.

Gary Payton is recognized more for his ability to communicate than he is for his ability to throw passes and defend. Payton’s mouth was continuously flowing, whether he was chatting to teammates, opponents, or officials. This won him many supporters, but it also made him pain for referees.

3. Rasheed Wallace: 317 technical fouls

Rasheed Wallace may be the most linked with technical fouls in NBA history. Beyond all, he was the driving force behind the rule mandating technical fouls after 15 when he piled up a mind-boggling 41 during the 2000-01 season.

Wallace’s actions included yelling at officials, yelling “Ball don’t lie,” and staring at a referee in one funny expulsion. Few players make the technical foul seem better than Wallace. Even when the league amended the regulations, he kept them.

2. Charles Barkley: 329 technical fouls

Charles Barkley

Barkley is the prince of the technical foul, with a lethal combination of Payton’s tongue and Wallace’s whining. He might have some amusing run-ins with officials. His masterpiece, though, may have been a game in 1996 in which the new Houston Rocket received a technical foul for slapping referee Jack Nies on the nose.

1. Karl Malone: 332 technical fouls

When it comes to overall technicals, Malone gains the most from his two-decade career than any other player on our list. This is not to say he did not earn them.

While Malone’s name isn’t as well-known as the other four, his elbows are, since he frequently launched them at other players. When he wasn’t doing that, he was grumbling to officials and occasionally yelling. All of this, along with his longevity, propelled him to the top of a list that may be difficult to break under present criteria.

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Final thoughts

There are many different factors to consider when deciding to give a technical foul. Flow, time and score, language, the number of times a coach has complained, what the coach is complaining about, and whether or not the coach wants one are all things that should be given consideration before calling a technical. Some are easy but there are certain situations where excessive technical fouls can result in severe consequences.

Technical fouls, whether during practice or actual game on the court, can change the outcome of the game and get players out of the game. During practice, try to be aware of the foul rules to know when and how to avoid them in the actual game.

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