Basketball Court Locations
A basketball court has several different sections and areas that can be categorized. Certain spots are better for taking 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.
Below are the areas of a basketball court:
- The Corners
- The Wings
- The Top of the Key
- The High Post and Low Post
- The Elbows
- Front Court and Back Court
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 three-pointer from. In the corners, ball handlers have to be careful not to step out of bounds. Making a three-pointer or trey from outside the three-point arc is called making a shot from downtown.
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. Defensive players should also pay attention to guarding the wings due to their common usage as spots for offensive players to attempt layups.
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 also still in the two-point area of the court. If a player is shooting from there, they should be pretty confident they’ll make the shot. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to pass the ball elsewhere for an open two-pointer or to try to move back for a three-point shot opportunity.
High Post and Low Post
The high post and low post are two spots located inside the paint from which offensive players often “post up” in the hope of getting a pass or a rebound. Post players, such as the center position, use both the high post and low post to get the easiest scoring opportunities. Due to their proximity to the basket, these spots should also be heavily guarded by defensive players.
On both ends of the free throw line are the elbows. The elbows are great shooting locations, the most commonly used one being the top of the key. Offensive players should practice shooting from the elbows since it is the same distance to the hoop as standing on the free-throw line. On the other side of the ball, defensive players should focus on not allowing the offense to get any open shots off from this location.
The center area of the court is commonly referred to as the midcourt. Within this area, there is a boundary line called the midcourt line, which divides the entire court into two halves. Jump balls occur at midcourt at the start of the basketball game and at the start of every overtime period in a circle surrounding the center point of the midcourt line.
Front Court and Back Court
Every basketball court is split in half by the midcourt line, creating a front court and a 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. When a turnover occurs, the opposite team becomes the offensive team, and the front court and back court also switch to reflect that change.
What are the different areas of a basketball court?
The areas of a basketball court include the corners, the wings, the key (three-second area), the post, and the elbows. Furthermore, the court is divided into the front court and back court by the midcourt line.
How is the basketball court divided?
Every basketball court is divided by a midcourt line into two halves known as the front court and back court. The front court refers to the half of the court which the team on offense is currently targeting. When a turnover occurs, the team on offense switches and the other basket becomes the target and the half with that basket becomes the front court. Both sides of each court are painted exactly the same.