Basketball Field Goals

Chapter 6.1

A field goal is just another name for a made basket worth points in basketball. Get ready to learn about the two types of field goals players can make during a basketball game.


The team with the most points at the end of a basketball game is the winner. In basketball, teams mostly score points with field goals.

In this chapter, we will learn what a field goal is, how it is made, and how many points it's worth.

Field Goals

A field goal is just a fancy word for a shot that goes in the net during play. A field goal is worth either two (2) or three (3) points depending on where the shot was taken on the court.

Rookie Road Basketball Field Goal Image

REMEMBER: No one really them field goals except for announcers, analysts, and die-hard fans. This is the technical term used in the rulebooks.

The Three-Point Line

Recall from chapter 1, the three-point line is located surrounds each team's basket.

Three-point Line Image

A player's location on the court is the sole factor that determines whether a field goal is worth two (2) or three (3) points.

If the player touches or is inside the three-point line when the ball is shot it is worth two (2) points. If the player shoots while outside the three-point line a made basket is worth three (3) points.

Scoring A Field Goal

For a field goal to count three (3) things must happen:

  1. the player must shoot the ball into his/her team's basket
  2. the player must keep both feet inbounds when taking the shot
  3. the ball must leave the player's hands before the shot clock runs out

PRO TIP: Yes, it is possible to score points for the other team if you get a field goal in your opponent's basket.

Staying Inbounds

A player must remain inbounds when shooting a field goal. Both feet must stay inbounds and if either foot touches the boundary lines, the other team will get the ball.

Rookie Road Basketball Boundary Lines Image

Inbound pass

Whenever a field goal is made, the other team gets possession of the ball. They have to put the ball into play with an inbound pass from behind the baseline. We will learn more about inbound passes in future chapters.

Rookie Road Basketball Inbound Pass Image

Shot Clock

The shot clock keeps track of how long a team can have possession of the ball. In pro (NBA) basketball, the shot clock lasts twenty-four (24) seconds. In college (NCAA) basketball, the shot clock lasts thirty (30) seconds.

The shot clock will reset after any successful field goal is made.

Shooting Fouls

If a player is fouled while attempting a field goal he/she is awarded with free throws. The player will get either two (2) or three (3) free throws depending on where they attempted the shot. We will learn more about shooting fouls in future chapters.

Field Goal Percentage

A statistic you should know as a basketball fan is a player's field goal percentage. This stat will tell you how successful a player has been in the past at shooting from both inside and beyond the three-point line. In both college (NCAA) and pro (NBA) basketball, a good field goal percentage is anything above 50%.

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