Here we see an example of a reckless closeout prompting a correctly called Flagrant Foul 1. We can see just how much space the defender covers when he A) jumps off his left leg and B) lands with his EXTENDED right leg to the landing space of the shooter. Whether the shooter is injured or not, the RECKLESSNESS and EXTENDED LEG here are the basis for the FF1 call.

A nuance in this play is that although the shooter jumps from outside the 3-point-line and lands inside the 3-point-line, this is considered a natural shooting motion and the responsibility lies with the defender to allow him an opportunity to return to the floor. #recklesscloseout

Atlanta Hawks vs Phoenix Suns | March 30, 20201 | Flagrant Foul

Referees may use replay whenever they are not reasonably certain whether a foul meets the criteria for a flagrant foul.  Previously, the foul had to be called flagrant on the floor in order to initiate instant replay.

The definition for a flagrant foul is:

  • Flagrant Foul Penalty 1: Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent
  • Flagrant Foul Penalty 2: Unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent

When a flagrant foul call is made, referees conduct a review and consider the following:

  1. Whether the foul call be categorized as a flagrant 1 or flagrant 2 (thus ejection) or stay as a common foul or changed to a technical foul
  2. Whether any other players committed unsportsmanlike acts immediately prior to and/or immediately following the foul.

Based on their review and the criteria, they will assess the appropriate penalty:

  • Flagrant Foul 1 or 2
  • Foul, but not flagrant
  • Technical Foul

Both flagrant fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. An FF2 also results in the ejection of the player committing the foul (a player who commits two FF1’s in the same game is also ejected).

Final Ruling: On-Court Referees


See Rule