Basketball Court Lines

Basketball Court Lines

It's important to learn the lines on a basketball court to understand the game. Every line on the court has a purpose. Here are all the lines that we'll cover in this tutorial:

  1. Baselines (also known as the end lines)
  2. Sidelines
  3. Free throw line (also known as the foul line)
  4. Free throw line extended
  5. Midcourt line (also known as the half-court line and timeline)
  6. Three point arc (also known as the three point line)
  7. NBA restricted area

The Baselines (End Lines)

The baselines or end lines are the lines located on the ends of the court. The baselines are used to denote inbounds and out of bounds on the court. Depending on who you talk to, you may hear someone call these lines either the baselines or end lines. We've decided to call them the baselines throughout the rest of these tutorials.

Basketball Baseline

The Sidelines

On the sides of the court are the sidelines. Like the baselines, the sidelines mark inbounds and out of bounds. If a player steps on these lines or crosses them, he is out of bounds. The sidelines are home to all types of people like the head coach, the players, and the media.

Basketball Sideline

The Boundary Lines

The sidelines and baselines make up the perimeter of a basketball court. Together they form the boundary lines dividing the court between inbounds and out of bounds.

Basketball Boundary Lines

We'll learn about the boundary lines in future tutorials.

The Free Throw Line (Foul Line)

The free throw line or the foul line is used by players during free throws when a player is fouled. The free throw line is further away from the basket in the NBA and college basketball compared to high school basketball.

Basketball Free Throw Line

The Midcourt Line (Half-court Line or Timeline)

The midcourt line is located in the middle of the court and divides it equally in two pieces. It is also known as the half-court line and the timeline. This court line has three names. We've decided to call this line the midcourt line throughout the rest of these tutorials.

Basketball Midcourt Line

The Three Point Line (Three Point Arc)

The three point line or the three point arc surrounds each team's basket. It is used to determine how many points a field goal is worth.

Basketball Three Point Line

If the shot is taken on or inside the three point line and goes into the net, a team will earn two points. If a shot is taken outside the three point line and goes into the net, a team will make three points.

The Restricted Area

The restricted area (also known as the restricted zone or restricted arc) is a semicircle with a 4ft radius under the basket where offensive charging fouls are not called. A defender inside or on the restricted area is not protected by the rules. This means that even if a charge would have been called, a defender inside the restricted area will be called for a blocking foul.

Basketball Restricted Area

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