Is A Push Off Legal In Basketball? (Must Read!)

Is A Push Off Legal In Basketball? (Must Read!)

No, it’s not legal in basketball. A push-off is when a player uses his or her body as a lever to get an advantage on the other team.

In basketball, a push-off is not only illegal; it is hazardous. If a player pushes off while jumping to gain an advantage over another player, he can lose balance and fall, which is very hard to do on a hardwood court.

What is a push-off?

A push-off is when a player runs into the opponent and pushes him away to start the offense. It is a very common occurrence in basketball. The player with the ball tries to get an advantage by 

pushing his defender away from him. This enables him to either shoot or pass. If the defender doesn’t go far enough, then the offensive player may not even shoot or pass effectively.

That’s why it is so essential for defenders to always be ready for a push-off.

Why is a push-off Illegal in basketball? 

The answer is simple: It is dangerous. A lot of players lose their balance when they use a push-off and fall. That is hard to do on a hardwood court.

If a player loses his balance and falls on a hardwood court, he will likely hurt himself. He could easily break a leg, ankle, or worse. That’s why a push-off is not only illegal; it is hazardous.

However, this is a very common sight in NBA; many players would use the push-off to gain an advantage over their opponent. 

Some players like Curry, Lebron, and Harden usually use this the most in their attempt to drive to the basket. 

Can you push with your off-hand in basketball?

No, you can’t. You cannot push any player during an offense to gain any advantage. This illegal move may get your team into foul trouble and lose out on essential possessions during the game. It is also very dangerous and may lead to a Flagrant foul or Technical Foul.

What is a Flagrant Foul?

A flagrant foul is the most severe foul you can commit in basketball. It is defined as “a flagrant foul is committed by a player when he is clearly showing intent to injure the opposing player.”

If you are called for a flagrant foul, you will be automatically ejected from the game and receive a suspension for three to ten games. The refs have the final say on whether or not you committed a flagrant foul. Usually, they call it if they think you did it on purpose.

How can you defend against pushing off? 

There are many ways to stop a push-off but, the best way is to always be ready for it. One of the best ways to do this is by anticipating it.

As soon as your defensive player senses the offensive player preparing to use a push-off, he should step back quickly and make himself big and strong, so the offensive player cannot use his body as a lever to get an advantage. The defensive player will put himself in a better position to make a block or interception.  

Suppose the offensive player manages to get a slight advantage by pushing off. In that case, the defensive player should immediately move his feet and put some space between him and the offensive player. This will force the offensive player to either pass the ball or shoot the ball from a less effective range.

If the defensive player does this often enough, the offensive player will soon learn not to use the maneuver again. That’s why it is important for defenders to always be ready for a push-off. They must anticipate it and respond effectively. If they don’t, then the offensive player will gain an advantage every time he uses this illegal move.


Is A Push-Off Legal In Basketball? No, It is not legal in basketball. However, it is a very common foul that occurs nearly every game. Many people think it is legal because they have seen it used often enough in other sports to assume it is also legal in basketball.