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GETTING IT RIGHT - Inbound From The Corner


Michael Leavitt BlogThe ball goes out in the corner of the court and the dilemma arises as to where and how the ball should be inbounded. Too many times we see the official place the inbounding player at the corner of the court and then have them try to inbound the ball. More often than not the play develops into a turnover for the other team. Why? Not only do they have a defender in front of them, but the end lines and side lines unfairly become defenders by severely limiting the inbounder’s ability to get a pass to an open teammate.


Place the inbounder at the exact corner location where the ball went out of play. This also will draw complaints from coaches that watch their team become disadvantaged by the inconsiderate or unknowing official. If you do this and they complain, then own it... You blew it with poorly thought out inbounding mechanics. Please consider the following...


Refer to the chart from the NFHS Official's Manual and use one of the preferred locations nearest where the ball went out of play.

Throw in Coverage MDL


In the Varsity world, there is all kinds of side line and end line room due to the huge show courts upon which they play. The more rural the school and the lower the level of play, the court surroundings become much more limited. There are times when you have to tell the defender to stay 3' from the side or end line to allow the inbounder the needed room to get a decent inbound pass. The goal is to NOT allow the offense be disadvantaged by the court and position where they are placed to inbound the ball. Done consistently, then neither team is ever disadvantaged when it is their turn to inbound.


Near corner inbounds are administered by the Lead official.

END LINE - If the ball is to be inbounded from the end line, then the official stands nearer the corner of the court. The ball is handed to the inbounder with the hand closest to the player. The arm farther away from the player is raised to “Chop The Clock.” The arm nearest the player is used for the five count.


  • 9. The administering official shall begin the five-second count, using the arm nearer to the thrower, when the ball is at the thrower's disposal. The count is silent and visible.
  • 10. If the clock has been stopped, the administering official should signal to start the clock, using the arm farther away from the thrower, when the released ball legally touches a player who is inbounds.

SIDE LINE -  When the ball is to be inbounded up the side line at lower preferred location, then the Lead stands on the end line near the corner and bounces the ball to the inbounder with the hand closest to the player. The farther away arm is raised to “Chop The Clock” and the nearer is used for the five count.

NOTE: Looking at the diagram from the Officials Manual above, if the ball is to be inbounded further up the side line, then this should be done by the Trail official, there is no rotation by the officials on an out of bounds play. If there is a foul called, then a rotation would typically occur.


Normally not needed when there is no delay or distractions. The Officials Manual recommends that the whistle be used sparingly, and there should not be a tweet with each inbound. Crowd noise, distraction, and player attention needs to be considered. In most cases, simply hand or bounce the inbounder the ball and start the five count.


  • 8. The administering official shall sound the whistle to indicate play is about to begin only following a charged time-out, an intermission or an unusual delay.


Watch closely for the defender reaching across the end or side line. This would result in a delay of game warning.


The Lead administers the inbound in the same manner as the 2-man mechanic described above. This places two officials on the strong inbounding side with the C on the weak side.

Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah

Does the cover image convey "Not The Best" or "Preferred" Mecahanics?

Inbound 02

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BSK State 300


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