Passing is the technical skill that brings the individual players together and builds them into a team. All team’s within their offense use passing to move the ball and probe for weaknesses in the defensive team’s armour. In basketball there are a variety of positions, and within each of these positions there are different styles of players. Passing however is a skill that every player, in all positions must be comfortable with to play the game at any level.


There are a number of different techniques that make up the scope of passing within basketball. These include:


  • Bounce Pass
  • Chest Pass
  • Push Pass
  • Overhead Pass
  • Baseball Pass


A competent player can use all of these skills during a game as each has a specific context that they are most effective in being employed within.


The Bounce Pass is the first pass many players will be exposed to at most junior levels. This is because it is often the easiest and safest pass for a player to attempt when learning not only how to pass, but when also learning how to catch or receive the ball. As players advance in age and experience the bounce pass is often used in different ways that are more challenging and difficult to execute such as passing into the Post.


The Chest Pass is the bread and butter of the basketball passing skill set. The most widely used and applied to a whole host of different situations in the full court and half court. As the ability of the defence becomes greater the use of the chest pass in half court situations decreases and other more suitable techniques such as the Push Pass are employed. This is to do with separating the ball from the defender.


The Push Pass is one of the passing skills that is a refinement of the basic technique. Primarily used in the half court, a player using a push pass looks to perform the passing action on side of the body. This means the ball can be shifted from one side of the body to the other before performing the pass and in so doing, limiting the possible exposure by the defender to contact with the ball. This is at odds with a chest pass where the ball is passed in front and across the body bringing the ball closer to the defender.


An Overhead Pass is greatly effective at shifting the angle of the passing lane. Juniors often utilise the overhead pass because it allows them to utilise their whole body in the passing action. This allows for these players a more powerful outcome. As players mature and develop their ability to be able to perform the overhead pass more effectively will see them start to explore the greater benefits to this technique. The overhead pass is a favourite for passing into the post as it keeps the ball high and always visible to the offensive post player.


The Baseball Pass has its origins obviously in the sport of baseball. The standard throwing action of a baseball players is the basis for this technique, all be it with a large ball. The baseball pass is a very effective technique for passing over large distances. When the technique is mastered the power and accuracy of the baseball pass is something unlike any other pass in the hands of a competent player.


Passing TechniqueArticle Title
Bounce PassHow to Teach a Bounce Pass
Chest PassTeaching a Chest Pass
Push PassHow to Teach a Push Pass
Overhead PassHow to Teach an Overhead Pass
Baseball PassTeaching the Baseball Pass in Basketball
GeneralWhy Players have a lack of Power when Passing
5 Common Problems seen during Developmental Passing and Receiving
Common Problems seen when Passing to a Cutter