How Many Fouls Do NCAA Players Get?

Sports have been a major part of our society whether in form of a friendly relaxation session among friends or with a more competitive stake on offer. It presents a spectacle for viewers, fans, and critics alike, with participating athletes thrust into the limelight with the lure of glory, and stardom. Lets’ begin with How Many Fouls Do NCAA Players Get?

How Many Fouls Do NCAA Players Get?

So basically, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization that governs student-athletes from North American universities. It also organizes college athletic programs and aids student-athletes who compete in collegiate sports annually. This means, they assist student-athletes to get an education and at the same time, develop as athletes. The NCAA oversees a lot of sports and championships annually. 

On an average any NCAA player gets five fouls. Now, this times of fouls are given when a particular player reaches a certain level of fouls done in the total duration of the game. Now, if a player has been showed five fouls then they are meant as “foul out”. 

The sports that are overseen by the NCAA range from contact sports (football, basketball) to non-contact sports (baseball). These sports also range from water sports (diving, water polo) to indoor (bowling, gymnastics) and track.

The NCAA rooster majorly falls in the semi-professional level and aims to assist in transitioning student-athletes from amateur level sports to professional level sports. With that being said, the main focus of this article is going to be centered around the 4 sports with the most viewership because it will be quite biased to talk about only football which has the most viewership. 

Each sport has its rules and hence, different interpretation of what constitutes a foul. Multiple fouls occur during a sports contest, as such getting an accurate number of fouls experienced across all NCAA sports will be quite difficult. On the other hand, it will be a much more feasible task to get an average number of fouls allowed by athletes per sport, which is why the top 4 sports to be talked about are:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball and;
  • Soccer 

How Many Fouls Do NCAA Football Players Get?

Now let’s get into it starting with football. First off, if something is to be done, it must be done right. NCAA games are no joke. These games set the center stage for these players to make their debut in the big leagues so as much as this is college football, these fouls are necessary for training. 

During a football game, depending on the referee’s judgment, a player can be dismissed from the playing field for very violent personal fouls or for committing two or more personal fouls. So, what exactly is a personal foul in college football? Well, this is a foul that occurs as a result of an unduly rough, violent, or nasty play that could potentially result in dire consequences for the opposing player. So, an NCAA football player can get up to 2 fouls per game.

How Many Fouls Do NCAA Basketball Players Get?

Now for basketball. Let us do a little math. NCAA football gives one foul for every 8 minutes during the game. A college basketball game goes on for 40 minutes. So, 40 divided by 8 equals 5. So, there you have it, an NCAA basketball player can get up to 5 fouls in a single game. For players aspiring to compete in the NBA someday, this rule is not so different in the NBA. Yes, more math. 

So, an NBA game lasts for 48 minutes, and players are also given one foul every 8 minutes. So, 48 divided by 8 is 6. Meaning NBA players are given up to 6 fouls per game. You might be wondering, if an NCAA basketball player does so happen to get up to 5 fouls in a game, what does it mean for that player? Usually, team coaches pull their players out of the game before they reach the foul limit but if that does not happen, the players “foul out” and are not allowed to play anymore.

How Many Fouls Do NCAA Baseball Players Get? 

For NCAA baseball, a batter does not get a limit to how many foul balls can be hit. Though a foul ball is considered a strike, it will not add to a hitter’s strike total if the batter already has two strikes. Decided to keep the talk on college baseball simple and sweet. Baseball is a non-contact sport. So, there’s no tendency for a player to commit a foul through violent or rough plays.

How Many Fouls Do NCAA Soccer Players Get?

The rules of fouling in NCAA Soccer are simple.

Let us first talk about the yellow card. It is a tool that officials use to regulate play and to warn or caution players when they play roughly or break the rules of the game. It can also be issued to warn a player that acts or talks unacceptably. If a player receives a yellow card, it means they would be removed from the play for two minutes and if they receive two yellow cards, they would be removed from the game.

There can also be the issuance of a red card. If a player is given a red card, they are immediately removed from the game and not allowed to be substituted by the team. The team is then forced to play with one less player. What exactly are the fouls that can warrant such punishment? They are:

  • Kicking an opponent
  • Tripping a player
  • Jumping into an opponent
  • Pushing
  • Attacking an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent 
  • Approaching and tackling from behind\
  • Holding an opponent
  • Striking an opponent

It should be noted that any one of the fouls listed as being capable of warranting a red card also can be just a yellow card. This is where the discretion of the officiating match personnel (referee) come in with considerations from roughness, the intent of fouling player, and the area on the pitch of the soccer game all coming into play.


In conclusion, if you are an aspiring college athlete or reading this article to gain knowledge. Remember, being an NCAA player does not mean you should neglect your studies. To be able to participate in games and championships, a very important qualifying factor is to meet a certain number of credits in school. Good luck.