What’s the point of winning the opening tip off in basketball?

In basketball, if you get the ball during the opening tip off, the other team gets the ball at the start of the 2nd and 3rd quarter and you only get the ball at the start of the 4th quarter.

4 Answers

In FIBA rules, and assuming no other event caused a jump ball situation, then the possession at the beginning of the next periods would be.

team A wins Jump:
Team B starts 2nd period.
Team A Starts 3rd period.
Team B Starts 4th period.
(Not A, B, B, A) as claimed in question.

There are 2 reasons why winning the tip is useful

  • leading versus chasing (can be considered an advantage, first to score)
  • as teams alternate possession and therefore the chance to shoot, the clock in that period counts down. It can be that Team A began the period and also had the last chance to shoot in a period. Uneven number of possessions.
    Jump ball situations normally do happen so the right to start the last period may end up team A again.

So having first possession is a small advantage.

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