Foul Bait

What is foul bait in sports?

Acting to get a foul called

Foul bait is when a player makes a move to get a foul call from a referee instead of a natural play. The player is putting out "bait" (like worm on a hook for a fish) they hope the referee will fall for, subsequently rewarding the player.

Foul bait occurs in various sports, including basketball, hockey, and soccer. For example, a basketball player may jump in the air to shoot a ball and then dive to the floor after minimal contact from a defender to try to get the referee to call a foul. Or, a soccer player may dive to the ground after a legal slide tackle to get the ref to call a foul and get a free kick.

While foul bait may reward the player when a ref falls for it, it typically leads to an adverse reaction from fans since it disrupts the flow of the game and diminishes the competitiveness. Fans generally want to see players using all of their skills to perform well, not "cheat" the system. Therefore, fans and analysts typically use the term negatively.


Doncic and Morant are so talented but I can't stand how they play basketball
Agreed. They foul bait way too much. Just score then go back and play defense
Post on X criticizing Luka for his foul bait play
Post on X criticizing Luka for his foul bait play

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Updated June 27, 2024

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