Types of Passing in Basketball – Common And Uncommon

Last Updated on: 19th September 2023, 12:26 am

Do you want to elevate your basketball game and become a master passer? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ll explore the different types of passing in basketball, from the common ones you see on the court every day to the lesser-known techniques that can take your game to the next level.

Get ready to learn, practice, and impress your teammates with your newfound passing skills. Let’s dive in!

types of passing in basketball

Common Basketball Passes

When it comes to basketball, mastering the art of passing is crucial.

There are several common passes you should be familiar with. The chest pass, bounce pass, overhead pass, and push pass are all essential techniques to help you effectively distribute the ball to your teammates.

Chest Passes

To execute a chest pass effectively, you must maintain a strong grip on the basketball. This fundamental pass is crucial for moving the ball quickly and accurately to your teammates.

Here are four key tips to master the chest pass:

  1. Start with a solid stance: Plant your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent. This provides a stable base for generating power.
  2. Position your hands correctly: Place your dominant hand on the back of the ball and your non-dominant hand on the side. Keep your fingers spread wide for better control.
  3. Utilize your chest and shoulders: Use your chest and shoulder muscles to generate power as you push the ball forward. This will give your pass more speed and accuracy.
  4. Follow through: After releasing the ball, extend your arms fully towards your target and snap your wrists. This ensures a smooth and accurate pass.

Bounce Passes

You can improve your basketball effectiveness by mastering the bounce pass technique. Bounce passes are a fundamental skill that every basketball player should learn. This pass type involves throwing the ball towards the ground, allowing it to bounce towards your teammate.

Bounce passes are particularly useful when defenders are in the passing lane, or your teammate is not in an ideal position to catch a chest pass. By practicing bounce passes, you can improve your accuracy, timing, and decision-making on the court.

Incorporating basketball drills focusing on bounce passes can help you develop this skill and become a more well-rounded player. Remember, mastering the basic skills, such as catching and passing, is essential for all basketball players.

Advantages of Bounce PassesDisadvantages of Bounce PassesTips for Executing Bounce Passes
Difficult to interceptCommunicate with your teammates to ensure they are ready to receive the passAim for the bounce halfway between you and your teammate
Effective against tight defenseRequires practice to masterUse your wrist to generate backspin on the ball
Taller opponents can block itIt can be used to pass under defenders’ armsIt can be blocked by taller opponents

Overhead Passes

Mastering the technique of overhead passes can greatly enhance your passing skills in the game of basketball. This pass type is executed by extending your arms above your head and using a two-handed motion to propel the ball toward your target.

Here are four key points to keep in mind when performing overhead passes:

  1. Proper grip: Hold the ball with both hands, spreading your fingers out for better control.
  2. Footwork: Position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent for stability and power.
  3. Target selection: Identify the open teammate and aim for their chest to ensure a catchable pass.
  4. Timing and accuracy: Release the ball at the peak of your jump for maximum power and accuracy.

Push Passes

When executing push passes, maintain a strong grip on the ball to ensure accuracy and control. This type of pass is commonly used in basketball to move the ball from one player to another quickly. The push pass uses both hands to push the ball directly toward your teammate.

Using your wrists and fingers to generate power and accuracy in this pass is important.

Mastering the push pass, along with other types of passing, is crucial for effective teamwork and maintaining possession of the ball.

Other Less Common Basketball Passes

Now, let’s explore other less common basketball passes that can be game-changers on the court. These passes require skill and precision, adding an element of surprise to your game.

Wraparound passes, behind-the-back passes, no-look passes, alley-oop passes, and baseball passes are all unique techniques that can catch your opponents off guard and create scoring opportunities for your team.

Wraparound Passes

You can easily execute wraparound passes to surprise defenders and create open scoring opportunities for your teammates. This pass type involves wrapping the ball around your body to deliver it to a teammate.

Here’s how you can master the art of wraparound passing:

  1. Chest wraparound pass: Hold the ball with both hands, bring it across your chest, and then quickly release it towards your teammate. This pass is effective for short to medium distances.
  2. Bounce wraparound pass: Similar to the chest pass, but bounce the ball off the ground before it reaches your teammate instead of releasing it directly. This pass is useful when defenders are close, and you must avoid their reach.
  3. One-handed wraparound pass: Use one hand to grip the ball and wrap it around your body towards your teammate. This pass adds a level of deception and can catch defenders off guard.
  4. Overhead wraparound pass: Raise the ball above your head, wrap it around your body, and release it towards your teammate. This pass is effective for longer distances and can surprise defenders expecting a different pass type.

Mastering wraparound passes will add versatility to your game and make you a valuable asset on the court.

Behind-the-Back Passes

Try incorporating behind-the-back passes into your game to surprise defenders and create open scoring opportunities for your teammates. This type of pass adds an element of unpredictability and flair to your gameplay, catching your opponents off guard.

Behind-the-back passes involve throwing the ball behind your back, using your hand opposite to the direction you want the ball to go. This pass can be effective when defenders are closely guarding you, or you want to create space for your teammates. However, using this pass sparingly and precisely is important, as it can be risky if not executed properly.

Practice your timing and accuracy to ensure successful behind-the-back passes. Remember, basketball is a team sport, and by utilizing this pass, you can foster reciprocity and create opportunities for your teammates to score.

No-Look Passes

When executing a no-look pass, keep your eyes focused on one direction while quickly flicking the ball to a teammate in another direction. This type of pass requires precision and trust in your teammate’s positioning.

Here are four reasons why incorporating no-look passes into your game can be beneficial:

  1. Surprise factor: By not looking at your intended target, you catch defenders off guard, making it harder for them to anticipate the pass.
  2. Improved court vision: No-look passes force you to rely on your peripheral vision, enhancing your ability to see the entire court and find open teammates.
  3. Increased ball security: Since you’re not looking at your teammate, the defense is less likely to anticipate the pass and attempt a steal.
  4. Style and flair: No-look passes add excitement and creativity to your game, making you stand out on the court and creating a sense of belonging within your team.

Mastering the no-look pass can elevate your game and make you a valuable asset to your team’s success.

Alley-Oop Passes

Executing an alley-oop pass requires precise timing and coordination with your teammate. An alley-oop pass is a high, lobbed pass that allows your teammate to catch the ball in mid-air and finish with a powerful dunk. This pass type is often used to exploit height and athleticism mismatches.

To execute an alley-oop, you must establish eye contact with your teammate and communicate your intention. Timing is crucial, as you need to release the pass at the right moment for your teammate to jump and catch the ball at its highest point. The pass must also be accurate and placed where your teammate can easily catch and finish.

Successful execution of an alley-oop pass can electrify the crowd and create a sense of camaraderie between you and your teammate.

Baseball Passes

You can improve your baseball passes by focusing on your throwing technique and accuracy. Baseball passes are a powerful and effective way to quickly move the ball across the court, allowing your teammates to make fast breaks and create scoring opportunities.

To enhance your baseball passes, follow these tips:

  1. Grip the ball correctly: Hold the ball with your fingertips and place your thumb on the opposite side for better control and accuracy.
  2. Use your entire body: Generate power by engaging your legs and core muscles while throwing the ball. This will add speed and distance to your passes.
  3. Aim for your target: Visualize your teammate’s position and throw the ball accurately to their chest or hands. Practice your aim to develop consistency.
  4. Practice different angles: Experiment with throwing the ball at different angles to make it harder for defenders to intercept.

One-Handed Bullet Passes

Let’s turn our attention to a passing technique that can elevate your game: the one-handed bullet pass.

This pass is a powerful and efficient way to move the ball from one teammate to another quickly. Using just one hand, you can generate more speed and accuracy, making it harder for defenders to intercept.

Your wrist and arm strength is the key to executing a successful one-handed bullet pass. You must generate enough power to propel the ball swiftly toward your target while maintaining control and accuracy.

This pass is particularly effective in fast-paced situations, allowing you to make quick, decisive passes that catch your opponents off guard.

Practice your one-handed bullet pass diligently, and you’ll become an invaluable asset to your team’s offensive strategy.

Skip Passes

When making skip passes, it’s important to maintain proper technique and accuracy to ensure the ball reaches your teammate quickly and accurately. Skip passes are a versatile tool in basketball, allowing you to quickly move the ball across the court and create open scoring opportunities.

Here are four key tips for executing skip passes effectively:

  1. Proper footwork: Start by pivoting on your inside foot and step towards your target. This will help generate power and accuracy in your pass.
  2. Arm extension: Extend your arm and snap your wrist to create a strong, accurate pass. Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle for better control.
  3. Aim for the target: Focus on your teammate’s chest or hands when releasing the pass. This will increase the chances of a successful catch.
  4. Timing and vision: Anticipate the defense and make the skip pass at the right moment. Maintain good court vision to spot open teammates and make accurate decisions.

Lob Passes

To execute accurate and effective lob passes, focus on your teammate’s positioning and timing to create scoring opportunities. Lob passes are high-arcing passes thrown over defenders to reach a teammate near the basket.

These passes require precision and understanding between the passer and the receiver. By studying your teammate’s positioning, you can determine the right angle and height for the lob pass. Timing is also crucial, as you need to release the ball at the right moment for your teammate to catch it and finish with a basket. Lob passes can be a powerful weapon in your offensive arsenal, allowing you to exploit mismatches and create highlight-reel plays.

Here’s a table to help you understand the key elements of executing lob passes:

Key ElementDescription
PositioningAdjust the height of the lob pass to ensure it reaches your teammate but it remains difficult for the defender to intercept.
TimingRelease the lob pass at the right moment, accounting for your teammate’s movement and the defender’s reaction.
AngleDetermine the optimal angle to throw the lob pass, considering the distance and height needed to clear the defender.
HeightAdjust the height of the lob pass to ensure it reaches your teammate, but it remains difficult for the defender to intercept.

Mastering the art of lob passes can elevate your game and help your team score more efficiently. Practice and communication with teammates are essential for developing the chemistry for successful lob passes.

Outlet Passes

As the ball is secured after a rebound, quickly scan the court to identify open teammates for efficient outlet passes. Outlet passes are a crucial aspect of basketball, allowing teams to transition from defense to offense quickly.

Here are four key points to keep in mind when executing outlet passes:

  1. Vision: Look up the court and assess the positioning of your teammates. Spot those who are open and ready to receive the pass.
  2. Accuracy: Deliver the pass precisely, ensuring it reaches your teammate in a position where they can easily catch and continue the fast break.
  3. Timing: Release the outlet pass immediately to maximize its effectiveness. Anticipate your teammate’s movements and pass the ball before the defense can react.
  4. Communication: Use verbal and non-verbal cues to signal your intent to pass. This helps your teammates anticipate the outlet pass and get into position.

Mastering outlet passes can greatly benefit your team’s offensive efficiency and create scoring opportunities. So, practice your vision, accuracy, timing, and communication to excel in this game aspect.

Touch Passes

To successfully execute touch passes, make quick and precise passes to your open teammates, allowing for seamless ball movement on the court. Touch passes are a fundamental basketball skill that can greatly enhance team play and create scoring opportunities.

Using a light touch on the ball, you can deceive defenders and catch them off guard. This type of pass requires high awareness and anticipation, as you need to identify the open teammate and make the pass in a split second.

Maintaining control and accuracy while applying enough force to guide the ball toward its target is key. Practice is essential for developing the coordination and timing for successful touch passes.

Dedication and repetition will make you a valuable asset to your team, contributing to their overall success.

Over-the-Shoulder Passes

When executing over-the-shoulder passes, focus on your open teammate and use a quick and precise motion to get the ball to them. This type of pass is particularly useful when your teammate is running towards the basket and you want to lead them with the pass.

Here are some key points to remember when performing over-the-shoulder passes:

  1. Maintain eye contact with your teammate to ensure accurate communication.
  2. Use your non-dominant hand to guide the ball and maintain control.
  3. Generate power from your legs and core to add velocity to the pass.
  4. Aim slightly above your teammate’s head to give them room to catch the ball without interference.


In conclusion, understanding the various types of passing in basketball is crucial for any player looking to enhance their skills on the court.

From the common chest pass to the flashy behind-the-back pass, each technique serves a specific purpose and can greatly impact the game’s flow.

Players can keep their opponents guessing and elevate their team’s performance to new heights by incorporating common and less common passes into their repertoire.

So, keep practicing and perfecting those passes to become a true master of the game.