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Basketball Court Components

What are the baskets and the backboard? What is the center circle? What is paint? Get ready to learn about the major components that make up a basketball court.

Court Components

There are few major components of a basketball court that every fan must know. As a basketball fan, you may hear these components be called by multiple names:

The Basket, Backboard, Net

The most important component on a basketball court is the basket.

Basketball Basket

Every basket has a net and is attached to a backboard. Located on opposite ends of the court, the basket is where all scoring happens in basketball.

basketball ball in basket

REMEMBER: Each team gets a basket to defend. In basketball, a team is always defending the opposing team's basket. We know it may sound strange, but a team is always trying to score points in their own basket.

Front Court And Back Court

We've already learned about the midcourt line. It is located at the middle of the court and divides it into two equal sized pieces called the front court and back court.

basketball front court

IMPORTANT: Notice the arrow of possession in the above? That refers to the direction that the team with the ball is heading. The front court and back court are relative to which team has the possession of the ball. The team that has possession of the basketball has their basket located in the back court.

The Center Circle

Also known as the jump circle, the center circle is located in the middle of the court. It is divided by the midcourt line. It is used to put the ball into play with jump balls, which we'll learn about in future chapters.

Basketball Center Circle

Three-Point Line

We've already learned about the three-point line. It is an important component on a basketball court. For now, just know that it is used to determine whether a successful field goal is worth either two points or three points. We'll learn more about scoring points in basketball in future chapters.

Basketball Three-point Line

The Paint

Also known as the lane, the key, or the free throw lane, the paint is an area of the court you should know as a fan. There are specific rules in basketball tied to the paint like the 3-second rule, which penalizes any player that spends longer than three seconds in the paint. We'll learn more about violations in the paint in future chapters.

Basketball Paint

Low Blocks

There are two areas located on the edges of the paint called the low blocks. They are commonly used in play design by coaches showing where certain players should position themselves during a basketball game.

Basketball Low Block

Restricted Area

In professional (NBA) basketball only, there is an area in the paint called the restricted area. It's used to stop defensive players from standing underneath the basket to draw a foul.

Basketball Restricted Area

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