What is the “Gather Step” Rule in Basketball? (Explained)

What is the “Gather Step” Rule in Basketball? (Explained)


Perhaps there’s no louder criticism of the NBA than the incessant grievance that gamers are allowed to journey at any time when they want within the identify of flashy dunks and SportsCenter highlights.

I received’t deny that the touring violation ought to most likely be known as extra within the NBA, however in recent times the implementation of the “gather step” rule has made what seems to be a journey, authorized.

Also known as the “zero-step,” this new rule confuses many gamers and followers.

To make issues even tougher, the breakneck tempo of basketball on the skilled stage makes it extremely troublesome to course of with out going again and watching the play body by body.

In this text we’ll attempt to make clear what constitutes a collect step and why you may cease yelling at LeBron James and James Harden for getting away with touring violations time and again.

What is a Gather Step in Basketball?

A collect step refers to an additional third step {that a} participant could make after selecting up their dribble.

In the NBA the depend begins with step one taken after a participant has stopped dribbling.

This first step is also known as the “zero” step, with two extra steps being allowed afterward.

This means the pivot foot technically can hit the bottom earlier than the ball is both shot or handed with no journey being known as.

What Leagues is the Gather Step Legal?

Contrary to the favored legend that NBA gamers journey always, the collect step is authorized within the NBA, offering gamers with that further third step that usually sends followers and typically even coaches and gamers into hysteria. 

While touring is sadly missed in some instances, there’s an enormous distinction between this, and a authorized collect step (proven within the video above).

The NBA clarified the idea of the collect step earlier than the 2019 season and technically made it authorized whereas FIBA legalized the transfer the yr prior.

What could make this rule complicated for younger gamers is the collect step is taken into account a journey at the highschool and faculty stage, a lot to the chagrin of some coaches

In these decrease ranges, the primary foot to the touch the ground after the dribble has been picked up is the pivot foot. It can solely come off the bottom to launch the ball and will probably be known as a journey if it touches the bottom whereas the ball handler nonetheless has possession.

Gather Step Examples:

The collect step rule change has been utilized by a various vary {of professional} gamers in a number of distinctive methods. 

Let’s check out one of the vital bodily gifted athletes on the planet…

a. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis is so lengthy and coordinated, that giving him the good thing about a collect step with out dribbling permits him to choose up his dribble as far-off because the three-point line and nonetheless attain the rim.

Check out the drive on the 1:40 mark within the above video the place he manages to go from the highest of the arc to the rim in two-and-a-half steps.

b. James Harden

No one has made the 0-step extra controversial than The Beard, James Harden. 

Harden makes use of the collect step to not get to the rim, however to create separation on his step-back soar shot. The interpretation of what constitutes a “gather” in these conditions has created one thing of a Pandora’s Box for the NBA.

Many would argue that is an unlawful transfer, even underneath the collect step provision. And boy do a few of these appear to be a journey once you’re watching stay. 

The precept is identical because the Giannis drives nonetheless…

The distinction is Giannis will get to the ring so shortly and thru site visitors so we’re not watching his steps as intently. 

Harden alternatively, is utilizing the collect step on the perimeter in isolation the place that further step stands out clear as day. 

We’ve additionally grown up with it ingrained in our minds that any third step ought to lead to a touring violation.

It appears unfair for a participant to cowl that a lot floor with out the ball touching the courtroom. But by the letter of the regulation, what Harden is doing right here, at the very least by NBA and FIBA guidelines, is authorized. 

What About the Euro Step?

There’s additionally the Euro Step, which shares quite a lot of similarities with the brand new collect step.

The Euro step has a free definition as a horizontal jab with one foot earlier than pushing off in the other way to get round a defender, often on the rim. 

Manu managed quite a lot of these underneath the previous rule interpretation, mastering the “two-and-a-half step” drive which allowed him to create an incredible quantity of house within the paint to get off his floater or layup.  

Nevertheless, you may nonetheless hear shouts for “travel” on the 0:53 mark of the above clip.

The footage is grainy, however you may see the inspiration for the collect step in Ginobli’s drive.

It’s exhausting to inform precisely when he picks up his dribble, however his skill to get from the highest of the important thing to the rim in a few strides is spectacular.


The line between a touring violation and the newly interpreted collect step on the skilled stage is terribly small.

Add within the unimaginable tempo that the sport is performed within the NBA and FIBA, and it may well take a body by body breakdown to find out if that James Harden step again was authorized or not.

Along with the saturation of three pointers and an total improve in tempo, the collect step has been instrumental within the skyrocketing offensive effectivity within the NBA.

The end result being, one might argue, a extra entertaining model of basketball to observe than an endless parade of post-ups and fallaway jumpers. 

But till these guidelines are carried out in the highschool and faculty ranks, there’s little younger gamers can be taught from watching their favourite athletes pull off strikes that will be known as a turnover in the event that they tried it.

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