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basketball court

BASKETBALL COURT

basketball court is a surface containing a rectangular floor where the game of basketball takes place and usually consist of a basket at each end of floor. Professional basketball like the indoors basketball, the court is made out of a wood which in most cases is maple. These wooden floors are highly polished and have a complete 10 foot rim that accompanies it. While indoors basketball court is generally made from wooden materials, the outdoors basketball court surface is another one which is made from paving structures that consist of either asphalt or concrete materials.

BASKETBALL COURT DIMENSIONS

There are a lot of variations and differences with regards to basketball court dimensions based on the actual level of play. On this blog post, we are going to be plain in explaining some of varies variations and sizes of the courts with charts where possible. We strongly believe the information herein will help anybody understand their direction on the basketball court argument of any sort.

Basketball Full-Court Dimensions

Let’s start with basketball full-court dimensions. As written above, a full-court floor is going to depend on the level of play. And i can state according to NBA and FIBA that the followings are the dimensions of full-court play for levels like:

  • Youth full-courts: this has 74 feet long by 42 feet wide court dimensions and floor.
  • High school full-courts: here the school kids enjoy and boost of a 84 feet long by 50 feet wide full-courts dimension.
  • College/professional full-courts: the professional and college full-courts dimensions are 94 feet long and 50 feet wide.
  • International Basketball Federation full-courts: This court is used by IBF which is a body that governs international competitions. They have a whelming minimum court of 32,000 mm, or 104.9 feet long and 19,000 mm or 62.3 feet long

Basketball Half-Court Dimensions

This is another court dimension that cuts into two the length of a full court, called basketball half-court dimensions. What this court does is simply divide the length of a full-court leaving the width intact from its very original court size. There are variations as well for the sizes depending also on the level of play and can be seen below:

  1. Youth half-court: the size of this court is solely 37 feet by 42 feet from the full.
  2. High school half-court: this one have a 42 feet by 50 feet.
  3. College/professional half-court: players who play on these level of play enjoy their games on a 47 feet by 50 feet court.
  4. IBF half-court: international basketball federation’s games are played on a court of 52 feet by 31 feet court.

Now let’s try to understand better these terms as they should be. A half-court basketball court often consists of a hoop, a free-throw line as well as a three-point arc. Let’s talk about this broader a bit.

The free-throw line on a half-court is the line which you can see or measure that weighs 15 feet in the front plane of a backboard.

Just as the free-throw lines sounds, there is the one we call the three-point arc. This one weighs 19.75 feet and for high school and women’s college court, its located from the middle of a basket. In the college basketball court for men, you will notice that the three-point line is roughly 21 feet from the middle of the basket. At almost 24 feet, the professional three-point line is the farthest from the basket.

What is a basketball court size?

A lot of times the question is always what’s the regulation basketball court dimensions? Well as we said above, the dimensions are 94 feet long by 50 feet wide.

For NBA, WNBA courts are not the same with the FIBA, and the Olympics court.  For Fiba and Olympics, the sizes of these courts are slightly smaller with 91.9 feet by 49.2 feet in meters than the NBA and WNBA courts.

NBA Court Dimensions Diagram

NBA basketball court dimension

High school basketball court dimensions

For junior and high school courts, there is a basketball court measurement of 84 feet long by 50 feet wide. The marking of the court shows the dimensions properly.

High School Basketball Court Diagram

high school basketball court dimensions

For younger basketball players and kids, the court length is about 74 feet which is way smaller than the college or professional courts.

College Basketball Court Diagram

college basketball court dimensions

Court dimensions in meters

Dimensions and metric sizes of a pro court measures 28.68 meters long by 15.24 meters wide. Again the high school court measures 25.6 meters long.

Half-court dimensions?

The half court dimensions have been discussed above and for reference purpose, it measures 47 feet long for professionals and 42 feet long for high school kids.

Half court dimensions for a backyard

For any youth half-court basketball, the court measures 42 feet long by 37 feet wide. The high school kids’ half-court are slightly higher and measures about 50 feet long by 42 feet wide.

Backyard court dimensions

I know the backyard court dimensions will sound a bit confusing if you are a beginner. Well the size is not fixed and can be decided by you or your coach. Though I have seen most backyard courts measure 90 feet long by 50 feet wide.

Youth court dimensions – Middle School and High school

We have the middle school court size which measures about 74 feet long by 42 feet wide in meters. The difference is that high school courts are a bit larger and measures about 84 feet long by 50 feet wide.

Basketball backboard dimensions

There is a standard 72” width for regulation basketball backboards.  It also have a height of 42” and 183 cm, an inner rectangle which have 24” and a 110 cm,  18” wide and a 61 cm, as well as a 45.7 cm tall. Smaller and little fan shaped backboards are usually used for casual and non-regulation courts such as the backyard courts. Rims for the basketball are usually hanged at about 10”, 3.05 m above the basketball court floor.

Fan-Shaped Backboard

One example of non-regulation backboards is the fan shaped basketball backboards which you can see on any casual and non-serious court such as indoor side courts.  They fan shaped backboards are often lesser than a normal regulation backboards which are rectangular in shape and comes with a width of 54” and 137.2 cm plus 33” in height and 83.8 cm

Basketball Court Lines on a Typical Court

Sidelines:

The sideline of a basketball court consists of two parallel lines which run across the length of the court. The width of the court is what makes the decision of where the lines location is found. The width is usually 50 feet wide along the Baseline as well as the End lines; hence the basketball court size of the playing area is established according to wikipedia.

Baseline/Endline:

on the court, we have a baseline/endline which runs from sideline to sideline just behind backboard which is located at the end of the court. These sidelines are seen just 4 feet behind every basket, with a width of 50 feet. These two terms are interchangeable depending on the team that is in possession of the ball. When we talk of the term baseline, we mean an offensive end of the court, while Endline is talking about the back side of the court or defensive end of a court.

Mid Court Line:

This is a line which divides the court into half. When a team is handling the ball offensively, and the ball goes across a mid-court line, we have a boundary line which reduces playing area of the offensive team to half the court. On the other hand, most levels of play will have 8 to 10 seconds to push the ball across the mid-court line offensively.

Three Point Line:

This is field goals which are made from this area and carry a weight of a three points since it’s done from three point arc. We have a varying distance of three point line from the basket based on the level of plays that we play on.

Free Throw Line:

It’s a boundary line that’s called upon when doing shooting free throws. Based on the level of play, it’s normally 15 feet from the basketball backboard dimensions which holds the basket. While attempting a free-throw, the shooter is not expected to put a feet or come close and across this line till the ball makes a goal on the rim or strikes the rim. This line is used to also know the three seconds area of the court.

Free Throw Circle:

Every free throw circle has a 12 feet diameter. These circles are used on play usually when there is a jump shot need or free throw on the balls. When attempting a free throw, the shooter must stay inside a free throw area circle. It’s expected of non-jumpers to stay outside the circle till one of the jumpers taps the ball.

Lane Line:

This line is called the lane lines because it runs from the free throw line unto the baseline. On different levels of play, the lanes line normally has a shape and width that will vary. The lane lines have what we call the lane spaces markings that is used to separate and make alignment to non-shooters. The opposing team occupies the first lane space on both sides of baskets from the free throw shooter. While this is ongoing, non-shooters shouldn’t step their feet into the three seconds area of the court until the ball moves away from the free throw shooters palms.

Center Circle:

This circle is a 12 foot diameter circle which is positioned in the center of the court. It’s normally used to commence the game and other jump ball situations. While the ball is about to start, only the jump balls shooters are expected to be in this circle. This means that non-jumpers are to remain outside the circle till the ball gets a touch from one of the jumpers.

See also: basketball shooting drills

Key:

The key area is a painted area under the basket. It’s as well referred to as the shaded lane or key area. NBA institutions measure this lane at 16 feet. The NCAA says it has a measurement of 12 feet for low post areas. There should be a distance of 15 feet running from the key to the backboard for both institutions (NBA & NCAA). FIBA measures the key area as 12 feet wide from the free throw line. It is also 6 meters at the end line. The reason the key post is there is to prevent players from staying under the basket for a long time.

Low Post Area:

This is the area which is closest to the basket, and the line is just after the free throw lane. Players who are very skillful at low posts games normally score lots of points per game without having to lift or do a jump shot.

Perimeter:

The perimeter is located inside the 3 point line and as well as outside the free throw lane. This is where you will take a medium range shots or the perimeter shots.

The backcourt and frontcourt:

You should think of the court in entirety exactly as two half-courts. This is to be divided into the backcourt and front court. The offensive team’s basket is located at the half court which is the frontcourt while the other half court is seen as the other half. It means that a team’s backcourt is another team’s frontcourt.

Basketball court lines

The Foul Line: The distance of the foul line is approximately 15’ for every court. This is the distance measured from the foul line down to the front side of the backboard. It also has a baseline of 18’ 10”.

The Key: For NBA and FIBA, there is a 16 feet wideness for the free throw lane or “the paint”, also college, High schools and junior high plays have a 12ft wideness area while there is a 15ft area which extends from the backboard down to the free throw line.

Circles: The court has a three 6’ circle on it. There is one on each center end of the foul line and another one at the center of the court.

3 Point Line or Arc: 

  • High School: 19.75 ft (6.01 m)
  • NCAA: 20.75 ft (6.32 m):
  • WNBA and FIBA: 21.65 ft (6.60 m) to 22.15 ft (6.75 m):
  • NBA: 22 ft (6.71 m) to 23.75 ft (7.24 m):

Basketball Court Layout

There was a change to the FIBA Basketball court layouts in the year 2010 which brought the court into line with NBA layout. The particular changed moved away with the trapezoidal shooting key. It was then replaced with a key in rectangle. The projection of the backboard and entire dimensions of the court remains unchanged till date. This means that the old pattern courts can be remarked with the new markings of  the modern day court without interfering with basketball goals.

Team bench areas

The team bench areas are marked outside the playing court limited by 2 lines. There must be 14 seats available in the team bench area for the team bench personnel which includes coaches, assistant coaches, substitutes, excluded players and team followers. Any other persons must be at least 2m behind the team bench.

No-charge semi-circle areas

The no-charge semi-circle lines shall be marked on the playing courts, limited by:

  • A semi-cicle with a radius of 1.25m measured from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the basket to the inner edge of the semi-circle. 

The semi-circle is joined to

  • Two parallel lines perpendicular to the endlines, the inner edge 1.25m from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the basket, 0.375m in length and ending 1.20m from the inner edge of the endline.

The no-charge semi-circle areas are completed by imaginary lines joining the ends of the parallel lines directly below the front edges of the backboards.  The no-charge semi-circle lines are not part of the no-charge semi-circle areas.

Spectators

All spectators must be seated at a distance of at least 5m from the outer edge of he boundary line of the playing court.

3×3 basketball

The main rules of 3×3 are as follows:

  • One basket on one half-court.
  • 2 teams of 3 players and up to one substitute per team.
  • 12 seconds shot clock.
  • 1st team to reach 21 points or best after 10 minutes wins.

Playing court

A regular 3×3 court playing surface is 15m wide x 11m long.

The court has a regular basketball playing court sized zone, including a free throw line (5.80m), a two point line (6.75m) and a “no-charge semi-circle” area underneath the one basket. 

Half a traditional basketball court may be used.

Mini-basketball

Mini‑­basketball is a game for boys and girls who are eleven years or under in the year the competition begins.

Mini‑­basketball is played by 2 teams of 5 players each. The aim of each team is to score in the opponents’ basket and to prevent the other team from scoring.

The Original Cage Matches

In the early days of professional basketball, the game was played inside an actual cage. The reasons were more about practicality than about safety. The rule for who got to inbound a ball that left the court was “whoever got to it first,” so organizers took to putting up a cage so the ball could never go out of bounds in the first place.

Those first basketball courts were about a third smaller than they are today, and the cages provided a physical boundary and an extra immovable for savvy teams. Could you imagine how much different the game of basketball would be today if those cages had stuck around?

The Alternative Key Designs

Today, basketball courts at all levels share a common design for the key — a rectangle measuring either 19 feet by 16 feet or 19 feet by 12 feet. However, this was not always the case. From the creation of FIBA in 1956 until 2010, the key was a trapezoidal design that was significantly wider at the baseline.

Basketball Key

Another design of this feature is responsible for the name “key.” Have you ever thought about how a rectangular area under a basket got such a random name?

The reason is that the original area was much narrower, while the circle surrounding the free throw line was the same size. These two factors combined to create a shape that resembled an old-fashioned key. In 1951, the key was widened to 12 feet and later to the 16 feet we see now in the NBA and FIBA.

While the term lives on, time has erased any record of its design and original reference. And for the record, the official name for this feature is “free throw lane,” which isn’t a phrase many of us hear often.

And that’s a wrap on the history of basketball’s court dimensions.

The Story Behind the 10-Foot High Hoop

It would appear the 10-foot basketball hoop is the result of a careful calculation that considers the human anatomy and mechanics of the game. After all, even the tallest players today have to jump to dunk a ball, and a ten-foot high rim gives a comfortable target to shoot for at a distance. But as we see so often in history, the truth is much more mundane.

When James Naismith dreamed up the game in Springfield, MA in 1891, the railing he chose to hang the baskets on was ten feet off the ground. So, while everything else about the sport has changed since that first game, the baskets are still right where Dr. Naismith hung them.

The History of the Three-Point Line

The three-point line is arguably the most recognizable aspect of a basketball court’s dimensions and part of the reason why is attributed to the history surrounding this semicircle.

The first instance of the three-point line appeared in the American Basketball League in 1961, a full 70 years after Dr. Naismith invented the game. The line was added to increase excitement, but the league folded in just one and a half seasons, so the idea never had a chance.

In 1967, the next competitor to the NBA arrived. The American Basketball Association, or ABA, instituted the three-point line from the very start, and it was a huge success. The ABA had many exciting innovations that produced a better product for the fans. But ultimately, there was not enough room for two professional basketball organizations, so the NBA and ABA merged in 1976.

The three-point line, however, was not included in the merger! The decision-makers in the NBA at the time were too stubborn to adopt such a radical change. They held out for three years before implementing the three-point line in the 1979-1980 season. The NCAA didn’t integrate it until 1986, and it didn’t arrive on high school basketball courts until 1987.

That isn’t the end of the story, however. The line was moved closer for three seasons in the ‘90s to try to boost scoring, but it was quickly moved back to its original place. Taking the idea to the extreme, the NBA has even admitted to having discussions about a four-point line. Ultimately, we’ll believe it when we see basketball court live.