Can You Rebound Your Own Airball?

Can you rebound your own airball? When it comes to rebounding your own air ball, basketball rules differ as per the league. First, you first need to consider the league. In the NBA, it is a straight foul and leads to heated discussion. However, the rebound rules differ in NCAA and FIBA. In these leagues, they do not consider it a foul straight away. The final decision goes to the officials. They would not consider it a foul if the shot was intentional. However, it can still lead to arguments between the teams. 

what is an air ball in basketball?

Apart from being considered foul, there are several rules when it comes to an air ball rebound. To save you from all the mind-boggling research, I have simplified it very briefly. 

There are two types of rebound, basketball rebound and airball rebound

Before going into the definition of a rebound, let’s first see what an airball is. 

What Is An Air Ball Rebound?

When a player shoots a shot but it misses the basket, the rim, and the backboard completely, it is considered an air ball. When an air ball is being attempted, the stop clock rules vary depending on the ball being within the boundary or out of it. 

What Is An Air Ball Rebound?

Now, if the player gets the ball back and shoots again, this is considered a rebound. In general, you might consider it a foul, because why should a player get another attempt when they lost the first one? However, it is considered normal in many games. 

Can You Rebound Your Own Airball: See What The Leagues Say

Rebounding an air ball has different rules. For instance, when it comes to pickup basketball, there is not even a referee involved, so the players have to lay the rules themselves. Therefore, they decide to call the air ball rebound a foul. However, when it comes to leagues, the rules have been written and there is so much at stake. This is because they need to consider every aspect of the game. So, let’s see what are rebound rules as per different leagues. 

1. NBA

The NBA is the top-rated basketball league out there. The NBA basketball league is more than just a game for both fans and players. If a player does not follow a rule here, it is equivalent to ruining his basketball career. Therefore, there is no confusion when it comes to air ball rebounds in an NBA game. It is considered a violation. 

Hence, no NBA player is allowed to rebound an air ball. If they do so, it is considered a breach and can result in a turnover. 


You might think that if the rebound is considered a foul in the NBA, it must be a foul in other leagues, too. However, this is not the case. When it comes to NCAA, they allow players to rebound their airball. In the NCAA rulebook, there are several rules regarding traveling and dribbling, but the gist is that they allow an airball rebound and do not consider it a violation of any rule.

This is because they consider it a new shot even if the player has caught it in the air. The same rule is followed in high school and college basketball leagues. 


Traveling is a common phenomenon in basketball and there are several rules and penalties attached to it. Let’s see what it counts as traveling. 

  • When a player travels more than the designated number of steps with the ball in hand. It is one form of travel. 
  • When a player catches a ball while one of his feet is in the pivot position. 
  • When a player catches the ball while moving and one of his feet is in a pivot position, it is also considered whether one or both feet are on the ground. 
  • If a player comes to a stop and establishes a pivot foot, one foot should remain in the pivot position before making the goal attempt or a dribble. 
  • If a player falls to the playing court while holding the ball and not maintaining a pivot foot, it is called traveling. 


Just like the NCAA, FIBA also does not consider an airball rebound a foul. However, there are a set of rules to be considered in the FIBA league when a player attempts an air ball rebound. These are discussed below.

  1. The rebound is to be made as a whole new shot and if it is an airborne shot, then the player’s feet should be on the ground when making the throw. 
  1. Even if it is a continuous movement shot, the player should have caught it after a dribble and his feet should return to the ground when the attempt is made. 

Final Thoughts

The air ball rebound rules might confuse you, but if you study them league-wise, they are quite simple. Hence, the next time you wonder if you can rebound your own airball, consider the league you are playing for. You can certainly go for one if you are playing in the high school league, college league, or even NCCA, or FIBA. However, if you are practicing to play in the NBA, then an air ball rebound is a big no. 


You can certainly catch your own airball and make a shot if you are playing for any league except the NBA. In the case of the NBA, catching your own airball and then making a shot is considered a foul move. 

No, it is not considered an airball if it even hits the net. For a throw to be qualified as an airball, it should not touch the rim, net, or even the backboard. 

Yes, you can dribble after catching an airball. This airball should be considered as a new shot attempt.

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