Basketball Sideline

Basketball Sideline

Basketball Sideline

The sidelines in basketball are the boundary lines that run along the sides of the court. A player is out-of-bounds if they touch or cross these lines.


A basketball court is 50 feet wide and 94 feet long. The sidelines and the baselines serve as boundaries. On the outside of these boundary lines are fans, player benches, coach’s seats, and even the media and scoring table.


There are two ways for the sideline to create a turnover. The first is if the ball goes out of bounds. Whoever touches the ball last will forfeit possession, and the other team will get the ball. The second way a turnover happens is if a player with the ball steps out of bounds. This includes any part of the ball handler’s shoes or any other part of the body. You must know where you are on the court at all times, and, if you are close to the sideline or baseline, you must be careful not to accidentally step on the boundary line.


Throw-ins are the way that the game resumes play after a stoppage. This could be after a timeout, foul, commercial break, and at the beginning of halves and quarters. To complete a throw-in, a player must keep both feet planted outside the boundary line and pass to one of their teammates.

If the player doesn’t pass the ball within five seconds of the referee blowing the whistle, the ball is turned over to the other team. This is to prevent someone from waiting too long to pass the ball into play and slowing down overall gameplay. One way that teams practice throwing the ball into play is set plays.

Set Plays

Set plays are plays that are set up before a game during practice or warmup. They usually happen on throw ins, so that there is a perfect moment for the set play to start. Most set plays include a verbal cue that signals that the set play has begun. All players have a role, which could be running to a certain area on the court or setting a screen. Set plays can be pivotal as being able to get the ball inbounds on a throw-in can sometimes prove difficult. Set plays can also be run to get a perfect last shot in the game if there is little time left on the clock.