Basketball: The Court
Basketball courts vary in size depending on the gym and the level of play. However, some features remain the same. The size and height of the basket, the distance from the free throw line, etc.
Here is a picture of the dimensions and areas of the court used for high school basketball:
Click picture for larger view
Size of the Basketball Court
Three Point Arc
- NCAA college and NBA - 94 feet long by 50 feet wide
- High School - 84 feet long by 50 feet wide
- Junior High - 74 feet long by 42 feet wide
The three point arc is a certain distance from the basket. Any shot made outside of the arc is worth three points instead of the normal two. The distance from the basket to the three point arc changes for different levels of basketball play:
Free Throw Line
- NBA - 23 feet 9 inches at the top, 22 feet at the sides
- Men's NCAA college - 20 feet 9 inches
- WNBA - 20 feet 6 inches
- High School and Women's NCAA college - 19 feet 9 inches
The free throw line is located 15 feet from the backboard. After certain types of fouls or violations, players will be awarded a shot, or shots, from the free throw line.
The Free Throw Lane or Key
The area between the free throw line and the base line is called the "lane" or the "key". How wide the key is depends on the level of play. It is 12 feet wide for college and high school basketball, but 16 feet wide in the NBA.
Offensive players are only allowed to be in the lane for 3 seconds before a shot hits the rim or they will get called for a three-second violation. Also, players line up on the side of the free throw lane during free throws. They are not allowed to enter the lane for a rebound until the shooter releases the shot.
The FIBA international free throw lane used to be trapezoidal shaped. This was changed recently and now they use the NBA shaped lane.
Free Throw and Center Circle
The circle at the top of the key is used for jump balls on that end of the court. The center circle is for the jump ball at the start of the game or jump balls at the center of the court.
The basket is located 4 feet out from the baseline. The rim should be 10 feet high.
Out of Bounds
The bounds of the basketball court are described by the sidelines, running the length of the court, and the base lines (or end lines) at the end of the court.
FIBA basketball court
Author: Robert Merkel
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