What is the Bonus in Basketball? – Complete Guide

The bonus in basketball is encountered when the team has attained the maximum fouls in a half or quarter game.  With this, the fouled team is given a chance to have free throws. Aside from the “in the bonus,” it is also known as the “fouls to give.” The points earned through free throws are what we refer to as the bonus in basketball.

Understanding its meaning just by reading its definition is not enough to get a glimpse of basketball’s bonus rules. If you are a player, you will notice that one league from another league has different rules when it comes to the bonus in basketball. Learn more about it and how it impacts the game’s pacing and scoring.

What is the bonus rule in basketball?

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The perfect word to describe a bonus in basketball is “penalty situation.” Most players avoid it because when a team reaches the foul limit, the next fouls to be committed will grant the other team two bonus free throws. This can be a sure score booster.

No matter what type of foul is committed, there will be two free bonus throws to the opposing team. Only one or two fouls left before the team reached the limit, the opposing team would usually call it “fouls to give.”

Bonus in the NBA professional basketball league

In an NBA game, the 5th foul committed by the team per quarter will then be the point where the opposing team will get to have a free shoot. Like any other leagues, any type of foul committed is counted.

Unique Bonus Rules in the NBA

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  • The only team foul penalty counted are only defensive and loose-ball fouls. The only way for an offensive foul to be counted is when a team is in foul penalty.
  • There’s no need for a team to reach five fouls to have a bonus. When the other team commits foul within the last 2 minutes of the quarter, the other team automatically gets two free throws.
  • During overtime, fouls will revert back to zero. However, the team incurs their fourth foul.

Bonus in the FIBA international basketball league

NBA professional basketball league:

Matches under FIBA involves international leagues that are outside the US. It also has its own rules when it comes to a bonus. As soon as the team incurs five fouls in a quarter, the other team will get a free throw on the 5th foul and all the succeeding fouls to be committed.  The bonus rule of FIBA and NBA are quite the same.

FIBA 3×3

This league is where there will only be 3 players on the field. In this game, each team is allowed to commit at least six fouls in the game. After the 6th foul, any fouls to be committed will be given 2 free throws. On the tenth foul, aside from two bonus free throws, the other team will have possession of the basketball.

Bonuses in the NCAA college basketball league

This is the league where the bonus rule is a bit stricter. There will only be six fouls to be allowed in each half. 

For every non-shooting foul, the other team will be rewarded with two automatic bonus points, unlike in NBA, where the opponent will get free throws.

In the event when the shooter gets a free basket, there will be a second free throw opportunity known as the “one-on-one.”

Bonuses in the High school basketball

The high school league has the same rule as the NCAA college league. However, free throws are only given on the seventh foul. During the tenth foul, there will be a double bonus. Every after the end of the first half, the foul will reset.

Why was the bonus created?

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The bonus in basketball is created because it aims to lessen or prevent the players from committing non-shooting fouls without incurring a penalty. If that continuously happens, there is a possibility that the time will be spent in just committing foul. Free throws are an effective way to keep the game free-flowing and to ensure that all players are honest.

Conclusion – What is the bonus in basketball?

The bonus rules are applied in every basketball league. There may be differences in each league, but its purpose is the same per game, which is to lessen or avoid the incurrences of a foul. Through bonus, the integrity of the game is preserved. To conclude, basketball’s bonus is essential because it teaches each player to follow the rules and regulations and play fairly.

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