How Many Steps Can You Take In Basketball? 2023 Rule

Understanding the rules around steps in basketball is crucial for players to maintain proper technique and avoid penalties. 

How many steps can you take in basketball? In today’s article, we will explore the guidelines for efforts in this sport and the situations that determine the number of steps allowed.

How Many Steps Can You Take In Basketball For 2023? 

In 2023, a player can take one or two steps non-dribbling the ball. However, the specific number of steps can vary depending on the situation and the rules being enforced. 

How Many Steps Can You Take In Basketball For 2023?

Numbers of steps without dribbling

Within the game, you can take two steps without dribbling the ball. How many steps in basketball can you take after catching the ball while standing still? You can take two steps before dribbling or passing the ball

If you are already moving when you catch the ball or shooting the ball, you can take another step to stop yourself before taking your two allowed steps. After taking two steps, you must pass or shoot the ball, or it will be considered a traveling violation. 

Numbers of steps during dribbling 

During dribbling in basketball, you can take as many steps as you need to maintain your dribble as long as you do not lift both feet off the ground simultaneously or engage in other traveling violations. 

Consequently, you can move around the court freely while dribbling, taking multiple steps to evade defenders or find a better position to pass or shoot. 

However, it’s crucial to maintain control of the ball and avoid carrying or palming violations during passing or shooting the ball. 

Read more: What Does PF Mean In Basketball

Numbers Of Steps During Dribbling

Numbers of steps without traveling

Generally, the rule is to take two steps after gathering the ball (commonly called the “gather step”) before releasing the ball. 

This means you can take one step with each foot or jump off one foot and land on the other as your second step.

Before taking your third step, you must release the ball to avoid a traveling violation. When a player takes more than the proper steps without dribbling or properly creating a pivot foot, this is called traveling in the sports.

Read more: How Many Quarters In Basketball

Numbers of steps before shooting

The number of steps you can take before various factors, including the rules and regulations in particular leagues or levels of play, determine shooting. 

How many steps in a layup are typically allowed? The most widely acknowledged rule states that you may take two steps after grabbing the ball before shooting. This implies you can take one step with each foot or jump from one foot and land on the other.

Read more: How Many Players On A Basketball Team

Numbers Of Steps Before Shooting

Numbers of steps for a layup 

In basketball, a layup is a fundamental and commonly used scoring technique where a player approaches the basket and shoots the ball close to the rim. 

Typically, players take two steps before releasing the ball when executing a layup. The first step is the gather step, where you secure the ball and prepare to drive toward the basket. 

The second step is takeoff, where the player pushes off with one foot to generate power and lift off the ground.

Essential Information To Restrict Travel Violation In Basketball

Let’s see some vital pieces of information to help prevent travel violations:

  • Establish the pivot foot: Players must plant one foot as their pivot foot when they catch the ball.
  • Maintain the pivot foot: Once established, it cannot be lifted or slid before passing, shooting, or dribbling.
  • Two-step rule: You can take two steps after gathering the ball when driving for a layup or dunk.
  • Avoid shuffling or dragging feet: Players should only mix or drag their feet with dribbling or passing the ball.
  • Jump stops and hop steps: You can use a jump stop or hop action to come to a quick halt and regain balance.
  • Understanding the gathering step: The gathering step is gathering the ball before dribbling or shooting.

Read more: Who Is The Goat Of Basketball

Essential Information To Restrict Travel Violation In Basketball


How many steps can you take in basketball games? As an integral part of the game, the number of steps allowed in basketball is regulated to ensure fair play and prevent traveling violations. 

Players can showcase their skills and contribute to an exciting and competitive basketball experience by mastering the footwork techniques and following the rules.


  1. Should you take a pivot after taking two steps?

    No, once a player has taken two steps after gathering the ball, they are not allowed to take a pivot. After the two steps, the player must pass, shoot, or dribble the ball. 

  2. What is a traveling basketball violation?

    A traveling violation in basketball occurs when a player illegally moves with the ball without dribbling or takes plenty of steps without dribbling. 

  3. Why can NBA players adopt three steps in basketball?

    In the NBA, players can take three steps when driving to the basket due to the “gather step” or “gather rule.” 
    This rule permits players to take another step or two while gathering the ball before establishing their pivot foot and taking the final two legal steps.

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