Basketball Court Locations

Basketball Court Areas

A basketball court has several different sections and areas that can be categorized. Certain spots are better to take high percentage shots. Other spots of the court are the sections that the defense hopes to keep the ball handler to because it's hard to shoot from them. As a player, coach, or fan, you should know the following areas on the court:

The Corners

The corners are at the four edges of the basketball court just outside the three-point lines. The corners are great for shooting three pointers, and are one of the most common spots to shoot a 3-pointer from. In the corners, ball handlers have to be careful not to step out of bounds.

Basketball Corner

LINGO ALERT: Making a three pointer or trey from outside the three point arc is called making a shot from downtown. Check out the downtown piece to learn more.

The Wings

The wings are located near both sidelines on the court. Like the corners, they are an excellent location for getting the ball down the court while finding openings in the defense.

Basketball Wing

Top Of The Key

The top of the key is a small arc on the court located just above the paint. The top of the key is a great location to practice making jump shots and hook shots. The top of the key is in the 2-point area of the court. If a player is shooting from here, they should be pretty confident they'll make the shot. Otherwise, it's a good idea to pass the ball elsewhere for an open 2-pointer or to try a 3-point shot.

Basketball Top of the Key

High Post And Low Post

The high post and low post are located inside the paint. Post players, like the center position, use the posts to make easy buckets. Defenses should try not to allow shots from here since they're so close to the basket.

Basketball Post

PRO TIP: A basketball strategy called posting up utilizes the high post and low post. A post player will move into these positions to make an easy 2 point basket.

The Elbows

On both ends of the free throw line are the elbows. The elbows are on both sides of the free throw line. The elbows are great shooting locations like the top of the key. As a player, you should practice shooting from the elbows since it is the same distance to the hoop as standing on the free throw line. If you're playing defense, don't allow the offense to get any open shots off from here!

Basketball Elbow

Other Important Spots

There are many other notable spots on the floor:

Midcourt

Midcourt is the center of the court. Jump balls occur at mid court at the start of the basketball game. Basketball Front Court Back Court

Front Court and Back Court

Since the court is split in half by the midcourt line, there is both a front court and back court. Which side is which depends on which direction the ball is moving on offense. If the offensive team is moving to the left side of the court, that left side will be the front court and the right side is the back court. This shifts if there is a turnover and the opposite team becomes the offensive team.