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Basketball Court Boundary Lines

What are the boundary lines on a basketball court? Where is inbounds and out of bounds? Get ready to learn about the boundaries on a basketball court.

Basketball Out Of Bounds

We've learned about the baselines and the sidelines. Together, these lines make up the boundary lines on a basketball court. A player is out of bounds on the court, when they step on or cross the boundary lines (baselines and end lines).

Basketball Boundary Lines

IMPORTANT: You can think of anything inside of the rectangle in the picture above as inbounds. Everything on or outside of this rectangle is out of bounds.

Basketball Inbounds

A player is inbounds on the court when they are inside the baselines and end lines.

Basketball Inbounds

Boundary Line Rules

When a player is on the court, they are either inbounds or out of bounds. The rules of boundary lines are as follows:

  • A player must be inbounds to touch the game ball
  • A score will not count if a player shoots a basket while standing out of bounds
  • The ball is out of bounds if it touches a player, the floor, any object, or part of the hoop that is out of bounds
  • Only on a throw in, a player can pass to another player who is out of bounds

Stepping On The Boundary Lines

If a player steps on any part of the boundary lines or crosses the sidelines and baselines in any way, he is out of bounds. A throw in will be used to put the ball back into play. A player must be careful not to touch the ball while out of bounds, or it will result in a turnover to the other team.

Basketball Stepping Out-of-Bounds

PRO TIP: It is possible for a player to be in the air and pass the ball while out of bounds as long as he does not touch the ground with his feet.

If two players from different teams are fighting over possession and are both out of bounds, a jump ball will be used to put the ball in play.

Basketball Turnovers

If the ball goes out-of-bounds in basketball, it is a turnover, meaning the other team gets possession of the ball. The other team has to bring the ball back into play with a throw-in. We'll learn more about turnovers and throw-ins in future tutorials.

Last To Touch The Ball

What happens when the ball rolls out-of-bounds while not being held by a player? In this case, the last team to touch the ball will lose possession. This rule also applies if the ball bounces or ricochets off of a player on the court.

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