To truly play a game of basketball, you need a proper court to play it on! Basketball courts have specific lines, sizes, and materials that make them unique from other sports' playing surfaces, and can be located inside or outside.
A basketball court is the site on which basketball games take place. The court is a large rectangle that is made up of two longer sidelines and two shorter baselines and is measured at 94 feet by 50 feet in both the NBA and WNBA, as well as college. High school courts come in at a smaller 84 feet by 50 feet while professional international courts are slightly smaller than those in the US, at 92 feet by 49 feet. A basket, with the rim elevated to ten feet, is located at the center of both baselines.
There are two main kinds of courts: indoor courts and outdoor courts. Indoor courts tend to be used for organized play at all levels, including professional and collegiate games, because the court does not have to contend with the elements. Hardwood floors, usually made of maple, are used inside gyms for a number of reasons, including its durability when it comes to splintering and denting. In addition to this, its ability to absorb the impact of players running and jumping is an important factor. It also provides an even surface that is necessary for high-level games of basketball.
Other popular options include multipurpose floors that are often made out of some kind of plastic. An example of this is PVC, a synthetic vinyl, which is relatively soft but can still be used many times before it starts to wear down. This is popular for courts intended for use by youth players, since the material can cause less damage than wood.
The materials used for outdoor courts must be extremely durable, since they have to deal with erratic weather and erosion.Outdoor courts made of asphalt are not uncommon because of how little it needs to be maintained before it starts breaking down. Because it is so tough, however, it does not give underfoot and may cause injuries. Acrylic, which is a bit softer than asphalt, is another durable material that is often used for outdoor courts. A polypropylene surface, sometimes in tile form, is another good alternative for outdoor courts that will last a while without breaking down.
Often, outdoor courts will be set up next to each other, but will be separated by a chain link fence to prevent the basketballs from spilling onto other courts mid-game. This helps reduce interruption of any of the game going on and allows multiple games to be played in one location at once.