It’s a Technical Thing


When administering a technical foul do you know:

Which technical fouls get charged to the player and the team or just only the team?

Here’s three concepts to help you remember this.

Concept #1

All technical fouls count toward the bonus.  Every one.

Anytime you rule a technical foul it will always count towards the bonus.  Now if bench personnel receives a direct technical foul, this will also result in the head coach receiving an indirect technical foul.  Only one team foul will be penalized – not two.

Concept #2

All player technicals (including substitutes and bench personnel) count toward their five personal fouls.

Anytime you penalize an athlete (versus the team) — this technical foul is also counted against their count of five fouls toward disqualification.  The technical foul could be the tipping point for an early exit of that player.

Concept #3 — The Exceptions

Administrative (type) technicals are charged to the team only and not to the player.

This list provides the instances when a PLAYER (in the game;  substitute at the table; or reserve on the bench ) is NOT CHARGED with a technical directly.  Try to remember the following technical infractions which are charged to the TEAM only:

  • Scorebook Stuff: This includes not supplying rosters / starters, changes to numbers, additions to rosters, etc. prior to the 10 minute mark or after.  Remember only one administrative foul can be charged for the roster and starter infraction and only one foul per team for additional infractions (changes / additions) after the 10-minute mark. Check out this previous Ref 60 article that describes an easy way to remember this one.
  • Delay of Game: If after a formal (recorded) warning a team is charged a technical foul for any of the four delay of game scenarios this is also a team foul – not to a player even if they caused the delay.
  • Ready to Play: While rare, this could happen. If a team is not ready to start the the game (or 2nd half) a team technical foul may be called. This includes all players not returning at the same time after a time-out or intermission.  Be judicious here, as it’s the referee’s responsibility to alert the team the half is about to begin.
  • Too Many Players: When a team has more than 5 players participating in the game, this is a team technical foul and is not charged to the excessive player(s).
  • Excessive Time-Outs: If a coach / player requests and is granted a time-out in excess of their allotted quota, this is a team technical foul and is not charged to the individual.
  • Bench Stuff:  While these probably don’t typically happen – they are team technicals and not charged to a player. This includes using a TV monitor / electronic equipment on the bench or not occupying the assigned bench results in a team technical foul being charged.

Don’t forget Concept #1 above as it relates to Administrative Type Technical Fouls.  While they are exceptions and not charged to the player — they are counted toward the team-foul count as it relates to the bonus for the half.

In general players, substitutes, bench personnel, DQ’d players on the bench, assistant coaches and head coaches are all responsible for their actions — and are penalized as such.  All technical fouls count toward the bonus and most technicals count toward the player’s five fouls of disqualification.  Know the administrative exceptions that don’t count toward the personal count and you will always be on the correct side of the ruling.

NFHS Rule References
10-1, 10-3, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6

About Billy Martin

Co-creator of "60 Seconds on Officiating" and co-author of Beyond the Rules (book series) for Basketball Officials. Billy is a 35+ year basketball official with IAABO (Camden Board 34 and Cum-Cape 196, in Southern NJ). He also is a collegiate softball umpire with the Eastern Collegiate Softball Umpires (ECSU), and created the best selling "Bluebook 60" for fastpitch umpires, and coaches. He is considered one of the nations top authors and instructors on basketball officiating for over two decades. He lives in Wildwood, New Jersey - just a few steps away from the sand and surf. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | More Posts

1 Comment on It’s a Technical Thing

  1. AREF43@YAHOO.COM' Dieter Henkelmann // February 20, 2018 at 9:54 am // Reply

    Tech article great. Timing is good on most articles published… The tech best at the beginning of league play….violations like travel, DBL dribble, FT, etc best at beginning of season play.
    Excellent reading, TY.

    P.S. post/playoff….coach/game Mgmt article? Pressures of “one n done” at the game?

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