Basketball Court Lines

Chapter 1.1

Get ready to learn about the five types of lines on a basketball court. We'll explain the baseline / endline, sideline, free throw line / foul line, midcourt line / half-court line / timeline, and the three-point line / three-point arc.


To understand basketball, we must first learn about the playing surface or the basketball court.

There are five (5) types of lines on a regulation basketball court. As a basketball fan, you may hear these lines be called by multiple names:

  1. Baseline / End line
  2. Sideline
  3. Free Throw Line / Foul Line
  4. Midcourt line / Half-court line / Timeline
  5. Three-point Line / Three-point Arc

The Baselines / End lines

The baselines or end lines are the lines located on the ends of the court. Depending on who you talk to, you may hear someone call these lines either the baselines or end lines. From now on in this tutorial we will refer to them as the baselines.

Rookie Road Basketball Baselines Image

The Sidelines

On the 'sides' of the court are the sidelines. The sidelines are home to all types of people like the head coach, the players, and the media (photographers, film crews).

Rookie Road Basketball Sidelines Image

The Boundary Lines

The sidelines and baselines make up the perimeter of a basketball court. Together they also form the boundary lines dividing the court between inbounds and out-of-bounds. We'll learn about the boundary lines later in this chapter.

Rookie Road Basketball Boundary Lines Image

The Free Throw Line / Foul Line

The free throw line or the foul line is used when a player is fouled. We will learn more about fouls and free throws in future chapters.

Rookie Road Basketball Free Throw Line Image

The Midcourt Line / Half-court Line / Timeline

The midcourt line is located on the middle of the court and divides it equally in two. It is also known as the half-court line and the timeline. We have no idea why there are three (3) names for this line. From now on in this tutorial, we will refer to this line as the midcourt line because we think it is the easiest to understand.

Rookie Road Basketball Midcourt Line Image

The Three-point Line / Three-point Arc

The three-point line or the three-point arc surrounds each team's basket. It is used to determine how many points a basket is worth. We will learn more about its significance in future chapters when we talk about scoring points.

Rookie Road Basketball Three-point Line Only Image

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