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Fouls - personal and technical - what's the difference?

Asked by: Paula a mom and fan of her lax playing son from South Philadelphia

Question: My son plays college Lax - when watching the game sometimes it's not clear to me the difference between a personal foul and a technical one. Does it matter which is which?

Answer from Nick: Thank you so much for your question and congrats on being his support network at home that allowed him to pursue playing at the college level! The mom's (and dad's) at home never get enough credit for their part of making that kind of dream happen.

As a college player myself I have been on the receiving (and giving end) of fouls. It is hard to differentiate between technical and personal fouls but there is a way to tell the difference. I hope this helps!

So there are two types of fouls-technical and personal.

A technical foul is a foul that usually happens when the player being fouled is in possession of the ball. It often refers to a player committing the foul that goes against the technical rules of the game. An example of this would be a push from behind when the player is in possession of the ball. The technical rule of the game being broken is the no body checking/ hitting a player from behind.  When this happens it is a technical foul because it violates a basic rule.

A personal foul is often a violation due to misconduct in behavior. For example, if a player gets hit and then stands up and punches someone in retaliation, that would be an obvious personal foul because it violates a code of conduct players are held to. Additionally, if there is a foul on another player that is not in possession of the ball that will typically be called as a personal foul.

The time associated with each type of foul is different as a result. A great resource with lists of each type of fouls can be found on by clicking HERE.

I hope you get to see a lot of your sons games this year Paula! Thank you so much for your question!

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