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Basketball on Shabbos

Are you allowed to play basketball on Shabbos if there is an erev?


Strictly speaking there is no prohibition [there is a minority opinion among Sefardi poskim that balls are considered muktzeh, see O:C 308:45 and the commentaries there].

So while this would seem to be permissible for children, it is certainly not in the spirit of Shabbos for adults or even older children to engage in such activity on Shabbos. See Yerushalmi, Taanis 4:5, according to many commentaries the issue there is ball playing on Shabbos, which lead to grave consequences in that story. The Bais Yosef ibid. quotes this Yerushalmi.

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  1. “It is agreed by all the rabbis that it is forbidden to play soccer and basketball on Shabbat, and the main reason for the prohibition is “uvdin d’chol”, weekday activity. And this prohibition should not be light in one’s eyes, for it’s from the Torah as the Ramban explains Vayikra 23:24 that “any effort or toil that violates the rest and cessation of activity of Shabbos is forbidden by the Torah, since the Torah commanded us to rest.” ומוסכם על כלל הרבנים שאסור לשחק בכדורגל וכדורסל בשבת… שעיקר האיסור משום ‘עובדין דחול’ Pnenei Halacha Shabbos 24:9

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