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  3. Court Boundary Line

Basketball Court Boundary Lines

Table of Contents


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 Out of Bounds


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

If a player is standing inbounds but holds the ball out of bounds in the air, the ball is still considered to be inbounds.


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. An inbounds pass for the other team at the spot of the infraction is the result of this turnover.


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. This is the call that is hardest for referees to make in real-time, so they will often go to the monitor to review who actually touched the ball last.


Backcourt Violation

Once the ball has been brought over half court by the offensive team, the half court line then becomes the out of bounds barrier. If a player is to step on the line or dribble past it, then it is considered a backcourt violation and is a turnover to the other team.


Jump Ball Circle

The only other boundary line on a basketball court is the circle surrounding a jump ball. No player who is not involved in the jump ball may cross the line until the ball has been hit.



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