Basketball Foul Line

The foul line in basketball is the line directly in front of the hoop where foul shots (free throws) are attempted. It is also known as the free throw line.

Basketball foul line

On a standard basketball court, the foul line is 15ft from the backboard and 18ft 10in from the baseline. The foul line helps form the key (also known as the free throw lane or painted area), a crucial part of the frontcourt.

When attempting free throws, the shooter must not touch or cross the foul line. If this occurs, it is a lane violation: the foul shot does not count, and the other team is given the ball.

The foul line is also relevant for placement of inbounds passes, which usually occur behind the "foul line extended"-i.e., if the foul line extended to the sidelines, the ball must be passed in from behind the imaginary extended line.


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