How Many Steps In Basketball Layup?

A layup in basketball is considered one of the easier shots in the game that is relatively easier to learn. A layup shot in basketball is when a player dribbles the basketball, then lays the basketball in the hoop off the backboard. Since the ball is very close to the hoop, the chances of you scoring are usually very high.

This is considered the traditional way of doing a layup; however, various layup techniques exist. Hence the question arises, how many steps are there in basketball layup?

The traditional and most well-known method of taking a layup in basketball usually requires you to take two steps. However, if you obey the rules of traveling and don’t do anything to get fouled, you can take as many steps as you want. Moreover, the number of steps you take while performing a layup depends on how far you are from the basket.

The steps you take while performing a layup depend on how far you are from the basket.

How Many Steps Can You Take In Basketball For A Layup?

The standard method of performing a layup in basketball requires you to take two steps. The amount of steps you take before shooting a layup depends on how far you are from the basket.

Suppose you are closer to the basket; taking two steps is recommended. However, if you are near the free throw line, you can take three steps after you stop dribbling the ball.

While taking multiple steps is not considered illegal, it is always recommended to avoid taking multiple steps before taking a shot as it can lead to a foul. Before a layup, the distance you have from the basket is the main thing to consider.

If you cannot see the basket in the distance, then it is better that you do not try to shoot the ball. Taking three steps, however, is not prohibited. Therefore, you can easily take three steps after you stop dribbling if you are on or near the free throw line.

Can You Take 3 Steps In A Layup?

Since taking more than two steps while completely controlling the ball is a trip/travel, taking three steps is also a trip.

You can not take any more steps than required to score. If two steps are required to score, and you take three, then that is not permissible. You are good to go as long as three steps are required to get into the position to shoot.

The NBA states that legal travel involves taking two steps with the ball. Therefore, if you take more than two steps during this, you have made an illegal move. The only limit to how many steps you can take is if you make another illegal move.

In short, you can take three steps to finish a layup or a shot, but the shot is considered illegal if you do not get into position to shoot within those steps. The shot is considered dead if you do not make it to the free throw line to shoot within three steps.

Are You Allowed 2 Steps In Basketball?

In the case of traveling, a player can take up to two steps without dribbling the ball. However, if the player takes more than two steps, there is a traveling violation, and the player is fouled.

Furthermore, if you dribble while pushing off one foot, it is not counted towards the two steps you are allowed to take. This situation is referred to as two and a half steps and does not result in a violation.

When Shooting a Right-Hand Layup, What Foot Should You Jump Off?

Taking a right-handed or a left-handed layup depends on where you approach the basket. To take a right-handed layup, you must approach the basket from either the center or the right-hand side.

Jump using your left foot to shoot a right-handed layup. Then, move your right hand and left foot simultaneously towards the basket to score a point.

When Performing a Layup, You Should Jump Off Of?

Taking a layup depends on how you aim for the basket and how well your footwork is. When successfully performing a layup in basketball, you should always jump off your dominant foot. 

As mentioned above, if you aim with your right hand, you should be using your left foot to jump, but if you are using your left hand to aim, you should jump off your left foot.

Types Of Layups

While new basketball players know about the traditional style of layups, more complicated styles require a lot of practice to perform. Some layups styles include:

  • Overhead Layups
  • Jump Stop Layups
  • Reverse Layups
  • The Inside Hand Finish Layups

How To Shoot A Layup For Beginners?

Layups are considered one of the easiest moves to learn in basketball. Here’s how to perform a layup successfully:

  • The first step is to keep your eyes focused on the target, that is, the hoop. Moreover, read the defense of the team you are playing against to find an opening to perform the layup.
  • Make your first step with your outside foot and cover as much distance as possible. For right-handed players, this is their right foot. It is vital that you have complete control of your body.
  • The second step should be taken with a player inside the foot. It is a right-handed person’s left foot, and for left-handed people, it is their right foot. After this, the players must jump high towards the target.
  • While keeping possession of the ball, the players must bring it above their heads, extend their arms and flick their wrists to guide the ball into the hoop.

How Many Steps Do You Take When Shooting a Layup?

As mentioned above, the number of steps you need to take to perform a layup depends on how far you’re from the hoop. If you’re over the free throw line, you perform a layup in two steps without dribbling, and if you are on the free throw line, you can perform a layup in three steps. However, keeping traveling rules in your mind is essential to avoid fouling.

Where To Aim When Shooting a Layup?

When performing a layup or any offensive move in basketball, the main goal or aim is to score. Therefore, you should always aim for the hoop to score a point while shooting a layup. Layups are always worth two points.

Steps In Layup Shot?

The first step while performing a layup should be taken with your outside foot, which is the right foot for players who play right-handed and the left foot for players who play left-handed. 

The second step should be taken with the inside foot, which is the left foot for players who play right-handed and the right foot for players who play left-handed basketball players.

How Do You Do a Reverse Layup?

The reverse layup is a slightly more advanced version of a layup; however, it can be learned if you practice consistently. The reverse layup is similar to a standard layup. However, there are slight differences, such as holding the ball inside your hands and guiding it into the hoop.


  • A layup is one of the easiest techniques a beginner can learn. They can master it by practicing it often.
  • A player is usually supposed to take two steps without dribbling before shooting the ball, but in certain situations, they can take three steps.
  • There are multiple types of layups; however, they are slightly more advanced. 
  • If you are shooting from your right hand, you are supposed to jump from your left foot, and if you are shooting from your left hand, you must jump from your right foot.
  • There are various rules to keep in mind while performing layups to avoid fouls.

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