A statistic in basketball used as one of many to evaluate the ball control and ball handling skills of a player. It is found by dividing the total number of steals a player secures in a game by the total number of turnovers the player commits in the same game. A steal occurs when a defensive player legally takes possession of the ball from an opposing player during gameplay. A turnover is counted when a player with possession of the ball loses possession as the result of a violation or an opposing player. Steals are used because a player with lots of steals has a good eye for the ball and understands the value of good ball handling. This number is divided by turnovers because it helps measure the true effectiveness of the steals; if a player steals the ball a lot, but also turns it over a lot, the steals become insignificant because the player and team cannot hold onto possession of the ball.
This measurement is popular because it reduces two important statistics into one. This makes it easy for coaches to make quick decisions during game time and informed decisions about a given player's roster spot. Furthermore, since a steal counts as a turnover for the opposing player, this statistical measure helps describe the dynamic of any given game. Typically, one team/player will have a positive ratio opposite, or at least close to, the negative ratio of their opponent.