Basketball Free Throw Lane

Basketball Free Throw Lane

The free throw lane in basketball is an area of the court also known as the paint, key, foul lane, or lane. Controlling this area can be key to winning a game, both on offense and defense.

basketball free throw lane

The free throw lane is the space on a basketball court from the baseline to the free throw line. It is 12ft wide and 19ft long. The free throw lines help form the elbows, while the restricted arc and the block are also part of the free throw lane.

Because the basket is located in the free throw lane, controlling it is key. Points in the paint are an important factor in how a team performs, both offensively and defensively.

The free throw lane also contains lines on the side. These are used to align players during free throws in preparation for the rebound. A player who steps into the free throw lane during free throws has committed a lane violation. You can read more about lane violations in Basketball Lane Violation.


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