How to Throw a Bounce Pass in Basketball?

A bounce pass is a type of pass in basketball that must bounce the ball at least once before it reaches its intended receiver. It begins with a player setting himself up in the position to receive the ball and then throwing the ball off of his or her legs as if shooting a free throw, which bounces on the ground and then is caught by another player. The strategy behind making a bounce pass is to send the opponent at least one step back, giving your team an opening for the offense. When mastered, this pass can be used to move your squad past their opponents’ defense with quick field goals for 3 points or more. See the image given below.

How to Throw a Bounce Pass in Basketball

A player with good court vision and enough confidence can use a bounce pass effectively by giving a teammate several steps to get open in transition.

Complete Guide: How to Throw A Bounce Pass in Basketball

The perfect bounce pass can make the big difference between a layup or a turnover, but throwing the perfect bounce pass is much harder than many think. Here’s the complete guide for throwing the perfect bounce pass.

Insight Weather Bounce Pass Is Possible or Not:

Many basketball players make the mistake of forcing passes throughout a game, even when they are not possible. Remember, everything has its proper place and time, including the bounce pass. A bounce pass should never be thrown without giving it a quick thought to see if it’s the wisest course of action to make or not. You want your pass to reach its intended player as soon as possible, so using bounce passes over a great distance is not recommended.

If a defender is blocking your way from passing the ball, or you don’t have enough space to maneuver ( make a longer pass) then a bounce pass will be a way to go. Moreover, on a fast break when you have to squeeze the ball between transition defense or during a trap where you can’t go above the players guarding you, a bounce pass will be useful to use. It easily allows you to slip the ball under the defenders’ arms/legs or through gaps in the defense.

Note: Bounce passes are slower than direct chest passes, therefore try to use chest passes most of the time. When an opponent is blocking the way and could deflect a direct chest pass, save the bounce passes for those circumstances.

Which One Is Better – One Handed vs. Two-Handed Bounce Pass:

Bounce passes can be thrown either with one hand or two hands. If you throw it with one hand, a good amount of force is required when you put it down but they are best when you are short with space to maneuver. And for a two-handed bounce pass, you first need to bring the ball back to your chest before tossing it down at the court just like you’re throwing a chest pass.

In most cases, instead of a one-handed bounce, it’s better to throw a bounce pass with two hands. It gives you more power and importantly, more control.

Use the Correct Technique:

Before getting all fancy with bounce passes, it’s really important to first learn the correct passing technique before improvising:

  1. Stand behind the passer and at the same time, move your hips and shoulders toward the target.
  2. Grab the ball with both hands, palms facing each other.
  3. Rotate your body and throw the bounce pass with a flick of the wrist or snap of the elbow as you stand directly behind the passer.
  4. Pass to an open teammate who has already established a position on the court and is ready to receive a pass from you or another teammate.
  5. When making a bounce pass, keep your head up and look for an open teammate who can take possession of the ball don’t throw off balance by looking down at your feet! See the image given below to learn how to throw a bounce pass.

Quick Basketball Passing Tips

Here are some quick tips you can follow for the perfect bounce pass in basketball.

  • Place both hands on the sides of the ball with fingers spread and thumbs facing up.
  • Keep your elbows loose and at the sides. A big No to chicken wings pose.
  • As extended arms, rotate the palms naturally outward and the thumbs rotate downward. This causes the ball to spin backward as it flies.
  • By extending your legs, back, and arms, step in the direction of the target.
  • Force your wrists “through” the ball. The strong hand tends to dominate. Therefore, emphasize forcing the weak hand through the ball.
  • The ball goes in that direction where your fingers direct it. Releasing it off the first and second fingers of both hands provides a backspin and gives the ball direction to fly.
  • With palms facing down follow through by pointing fingers at the target.

Drill to Improve Your Bounce Pass

For improving your bounce pass, practicing will make you a master. The throw is not terribly difficult if you are well known for the correct technique, which means getting the right angle and power for the throw.

Here’s a drill to work on your bounce pass mechanics and form good passing habits, in no time.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a partner, or a wall.

Coaching Points:

  • Every time, try to hit the same spot on the wall.
  • Focus on good mechanics and snap your pass.
  • You want to hit the ball about 3/4 of the way to your partner.
  • Ensure, you are alternating the foot that you step with every time.

Bounce Pass Drill Instructions:

  • Stand 8-10 feet away from your partner or from the wall if you don’t have a partner.
  • The player with the ball steps forward and snaps a bounce pass to his partner.
  • From here, the partner will catch the ball and similarly snap a bounce pass back following the same passing form.
  • For the desired amount of repetitions, continue this back-and-forth bounce pass pattern for the desired.


When you are playing basketball, you’ll likely be tasked with making a bounce pass at some point. Whether that is because of your team to a player who has the ball out on the court or in-bounding the ball, eventually you will most likely have your own chance to throw a bounce pass. Knowing how to throw a bounce pass in basketball will give you an edge over others who don’t know how. Hope, after reading this blog you’ve understood the job.

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