Power Play Rule (Big Bonus) in Basketball

Modified on Fri, 26 Apr 2024 at 06:38 PM

The Power Play  is a special set of rules used in some basketball leagues. The ruling is also known as Big Bonus rule. At the moment Overtime Elite league is applying the rule in its games in USA.

The Power Play is a scenario that can replace standard Bonus Free Throws executions with a special play where the team receiving the foul is entitled to the ball possession and numerical advantage, with a chance to attack the basket and score (including AND1 situations), receive another foul, miss or turn the ball over. 

The Power Play ends with one of the following scenarios: made field goal attempt, defensive rebound, jump ball, turnover, any type of foul. 

The game clock is not running during Power Play, no time-outs and substitutions are possible (unless injury or blood rule is in place). Shot clock is not reset during Power Play. 



  • Each team is permitted to commit four (4) Team Fouls in each period before the Big Bonus is triggered. Each non-shooting foul beginning with the fifth (5th) Team Foul of the first three quarters will result in the player that commits the foul being relegated to the “Penalty Box” creating a 5 on 4 advantage for the offensive team.
  • The Big Bonus is not in effect during the final two (2) minute of the 4th quarter.
  • There is a 14 second shot clock during the Big Bonus. The shot clock does not reset on offensive rebounds.
  • The Game Clock does not run until the defense establishes possession.
  • The Big Bonus begins with the player fouled possessing the ball at the opposite free throw line. Once the whistle is blown, the player may dribble immediately without first making a pass, and the player in the backcourt on the baseline may enter the play.
  • Two (2) offensive players and two (2) defensive players must begin the possession in the front court, positioned at their own teams discretion. Three (3) offensive players and one (1) defensive player must begin the possession in the back court on the baseline.

Black/Orange circles represent the offensive team with the advantage. Orange 1: Player that was fouled begins the Big Bonus at the referee’s whistle. Players two and three must be positioned at the 28-foot marks in the backcourt. Players 4 and 5 may be positioned anywhere in the frontcourt at their own team’s discretion.

Red circles represent the team committing the infraction. Player one must be positioned on the backcourt baseline. Players two, three, and four may be positioned in the frontcourt at their discretion. Player 5 will be relegated to the “Penalty Box".

The ball is live upon the referee’s whistle. Teams will be given one (1) “False Start” warning per Big Bonus occurrence. If 2 consecutive “False Starts” occur by the offensive team, they will lose possession. If 2 consecutive “False Starts” occur by the defensive team, two (2) points will automatically be awarded to the offense

  • The player in the penalty box can rejoin the play when the defensive team gains possession. The shot clock will reset to 24 seconds.
  • Any defensive foul committed during the Big Bonus results in two (2) points being awarded to the player fouled on a two (2) point shot and three (3) points on a three (3) point shot.
  • If a non shooting foul occurs, the player fouled will be awarded two (2) points.
  • If a player is fouled on a successful field goal attempt, an additional one (1) point will be awarded without needing to shoot the “And-1” free throw.

  • In the event of a flagrant foul during the Big Bonus, the offensive team will be awarded two (2) points or the value of the attempted shot. The offensive team will also retain possession with a full 24 second shot clock.

  • An offensive foul results in loss of the possession.
  • A technical foul on the offense results in the loss of the Big Bonus.
  • A jump ball will result in the Big Bonus expiring. The defense will be awarded the ball.


Source: https://streamable.com/e/u9xakg 



The Power Play introduces new piece of statistics - Power Play Points and Power Play Possessions

The Power Play Possession is marked with a beginning - Power Play Start and an end - Power Play End. Each Big Bonus/Power Play start is counted as 1 Big Bonus/Power Play possession for the team in offense. 

The Power Play points (PPP) are all the points scored in the Power Play possession. They are counted against Team Power Play points and player's Power Play points - towards FGA and FGM, and FTA/FTM of the player who either scored a field goad attempt or received a foul during Power Play possession.

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