The restricted area in basketball is an area of the court only in professional NBA basketball. This area of the court, located in the paint, was created in 1997 to stop defensive players from standing underneath the basket to draw a foul.
As long as an offensive player's drive to the basket begins from behind the bottom of the free throw circle and the defender is inside the restricted area, there will be no charging foul called on a drive. Defenders are instructed to stay out of the restricted area when attempting to take charges, because a blocking foul will be called if they don't.
The restricted area is also known as the restricted area arc, restricted arc, and no-charge semicircle.
In the NBA, the restricted area measures four feet out in every direction from the basket. This size is reduced to three feet in NCAA competitions, while the radius used for FIBA and other international competitions is slightly over four feet.