Basketball Court Components

Basketball Court

Court Components

There are a few major components of a basketball court that every fan, coach, and player must know. During a basketball game or practice, you may hear these components called by multiple names:

The Basket, Backboard, & Net

Basketball Hoop

The most important component of a basketball court is the basket. Every basket has a net and a rim attached to a backboard. With two located on opposite ends of the court, the basket is where all scoring happens in basketball.

Baseline

Basketball Baseline

The baselines, also known as the end lines, are boundary lines that run underneath the basket on each side of the court. The baseline measures 50 feet in length from sideline to sideline on most courts. If a player steps on or over the baseline while holding the ball, they will be ruled out of bounds and turn the ball over to the opponent. The baseline is also used for inbounding the ball after play has stopped near the rim.

Sidelines

Basketball Sideline

The sidelines are boundary lines that make up the long edges of the court. Sidelines measure 94 feet on a regulation basketball court. If a player steps on or over the sidelines with possession of the ball, they are out of bounds, and play is whistled dead. The sidelines are also where players stand when inbounding the ball.

Front Court And Back Court

basketball Front Court Back Court

The midcourt line is located exactly in the middle of the court and divides it into two equal-sized pieces called the frontcourt and backcourt. The frontcourt and backcourt are relative to which team has possession of the ball. The team that has possession of the ball has the basket it is defending located in the backcourt. The frontcourt is wherever the offensive team is trying to make a basket. 

The Center Circle

basketball Center Circle

Also known as the jump circle, the center circle is located in the middle of the court and is split in half by the midcourt line. It is used to put the ball into play with jump balls, which happen to begin each game

Three-Point Line

basketball Three Point Line

The three-point line is an arc on both the frontcourt and the backcourt of a basketball court and is a very important component. When a player shoots from behind the arc of the three-point line, they are awarded three points. They are only awarded two points if they shoot from inside the three-point line. 

The Paint

basketball paint

Also known as the lane, the key, or the free throw lane, the paint is an area of the court surrounding the hoop. 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 painted area.

Low Blocks

Basketball Low Block

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

Hash Marks

Basketball Hash Marks

Hash marks are a series of small lines connected to the edges of the paint. These are mainly used for non-shooting players to line up in between during free throws. They can also be used in play designs by coaches.

Restricted Area

basketball Restricted Area

In the NBA and NCAA, there is an area in the paint called the restricted area. It's marked by a small ark and is used to stop defensive players from standing underneath the basket to draw an easy foul. Players in the restricted area will not be able to draw a charging foul on an offensive player’s drive to the basket.

FAQ

What are the dimensions of a basketball court?

A basketball court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. The sidelines and the baselines make up the boundary of a basketball court and are called “boundary lines.” The baselines measure 50 feet long on either side, and the sidelines are 94 feet.

What is the area of a basketball court?

Since a basketball court is a rectangle, the area of a basketball court is determined by multiplying the length of the baseline by the length of the sideline. Therefore, 94 feet (sideline) multiplied by 50 feet (baseline) equals 4,700 square feet.

What are the parts of a basketball court?

There are nine basic parts to any basketball court. These include the basket, the baseline, the sidelines, the center circle, the three-point line, the paint, low blocks, hash marks, and the restricted area. These nine parts each have their own set of rules and are divided into a front court and a back court depending on who has possession of the ball.