A method of putting the ball in play in which the official tosses the ball up between two opposing players who then leap and attempt to tap the ball to a teammate.
A jump ball is used to start a game (this is known as the "opening tip") and every overtime period. In the NBA, it is also used after a held ball, which is when two opposing players fight for the ball without either being able to gain full possession. A jump ball is also called in the NBA after an instance in which the referees are unable to determine which team touched the ball last before it went out of bounds, when the ball gets stuck between the backboard and the rim, when the ball rests on top of the basket flange, or when a double foul occurs during a loose ball.
After a held ball, the jump ball is between the two opposing players battling for possession of the ball. In any other case, the tallest player or greatest leaper currently on the floor is chosen by each team for the jump ball.