Adverse effects of technical fouls in elite basketball performance

Miguel Ángel Gómez, Simcha Avugos, Enrique Ortega, Michael Bar-Eli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined the temporal effects of technical fouls on the performance of the fouling and opposing teams in elite basketball games. A sample of 80 technical fouls was collected from 65 international games. The fouls were charged either to players on court or to the bench players/coaching staff. Performance measures considered were the points scored (during 1, 3, and 5 ball possessions), fouls received, violations, and turnovers during 5 ball possessions before and after a technical foul was called. Data were also obtained on several contextual variables. The results showed that the opposing team scored slightly more points compared to the fouling team during 1 ball possession before and after a foul was charged to the coach/bench personnel (F=5.934; p=0.019; ES=0.11). The results also showed that both types of technical fouls are generally positive for the opposing team (mid-term effects) and for the fouling team only during the short-term performance (points scored after 1 ball possession). Furthermore, significant differences between teams were found when comparing the fouls received, with the opposing team receiving more fouls after both types of technical fouls (F=5.364; p<0.001; ES=0.50 and F=26.350; p<0.001; ES=0.35). However, the gender and contextual variables had no significant effect on any of the performance measures. The results highlight the positive short-term (1 ball possession) and the adverse mid-term (5 ball possessions) strategic effect of technical fouls for the fouling team, and call for coaches and practitioners to design specific training scenarios that involve tactics and strategies to avoid a negative performance immediately after the technical foul.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Aggression
  • Basketball
  • Fouling
  • Game strategy
  • Performance analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Physiology (medical)


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