Basketball is a team sports played between two teams of five players in an indoor rectangular court where each team try to score by throwing the ball into the opponent’s goal, which is an elevated netted hoop called the basket. This team sport is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports across the globe.
Basketball Court Dimensions and Measurements Across Different Leagues
Basketball court sizes, in actual, vary in overall lengths and width depending on the type of league. Usually, high school courts is smaller than its professional and collegiate counterpart. Although sizes are differ on each other, courts marking are generally the same across all leagues.
The following graphics below shows different measurements of basketball courts being set by different leagues and governing bodies. Here are as follows:
International Basketball Federation (FIBA)
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, is the world governing body for basketball. Its acronym is formed from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball that is founded in 1932. This federation organizes and oversees international competitions such as Basketball World Cup, the Olympic Basketball Tournament and the relatively young 3×3 Basketball. Included in their charter are the establishment of the official basketball rules, specification of basketball equipment and facilities required, transfer of athletes across 214 member countries as well as the regulations that govern the relationships between the different members of the basketball community. These 214 members are organized into five regional offices namely Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
FIBA Playing Court (with Dimensions)
- The playing court shall have a flat, hard surface free from obstructions with dimensions of 28 m in length by 15 m in width measured from the inner edge of the boundary line. All lines shall be drawn in white color, 5 cm in width, and clearly visible. Also, team bench areas shall be marked outside the playing court limited by 2 lines as shown in the image above.
- The playing court shall be limited by the boundary line, consisting of the endlines and the sidelines. These lines are not part of the playing court. Any obstruction including seated team bench personnel shall be at least 2 m from the playing court.
- The free-throw line shall be drawn parallel to each endline. It shall have its furthest edge 5.80 m from the inner edge of the endline and shall be 3.60 m long. Its mid-point shall lie on the imaginary line joining the mid-point of the 2 endlines.
- The restricted areas shall be the rectangular areas marked on the playing court limited by the endlines, the extended free-throw lines and the lines which originate at the endlines, their outer edges being 2.45 m from the mid-point of the endlines and terminating at the outer edge of the extended free-throw lines. These lines, excluding the endlines, are part of the restricted area. The inside of the restricted areas must be painted in one colour.
- The 3-point field goal area shall be the entire floor area of the playing court, except for the area near the opponents’ basket, limited by and including the 2 parallel lines extending from and perpendicular to the endline, with the outer edge 0.90 m from the inner edge of the sidelines; and an arc of radius 6.75 m measured from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the opponents’ basket to the outer edge of the arc. The distance of the point on the floor from the inner edge of the mid-point of the endline is 1.575 m. The arc is joined to the parallel lines. The 3-point line do not belong to the 3-point area.
- The 2 lines of 0.15 m in length shall be marked outside the playing court at the sideline opposite the scorer’s table, with the outer edge of the lines 8.325 m from the inner edge of the nearest endline. These are the throw-in lines.
- The no charge semi-circle areas in the playing court are marked by a semi-circle with the radius of 1.25 m measured from the point on the floor beneath the exact center of the basket to the inner edge of the semi-circle. Then, it was joined to by the 2 parallel lines perpendicular to the endline, the inner edge 1.25 m from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the basket, 0.375 m in length and ending 1.20 m from the inner edge of the endline.
- It is a fixture consisting of backboards, baskets comprising rings (with pressure release) and nets, and backboard support structure including padding. Shown below is the diagram for backstop unit.
- Basket ring shall be made of solid steel and shall have an inside diameter of a minimum of 450 mm and a maximum of 459 mm. They shall be painted orange within the Natural Colour System (NCS) FIBA approved spectrum and have its metal a minimum of 16 mm and a maximum of 20 mm in diameter.
- Backboard shall be made of transparent material, non-reflective with a flat front surface and shall be have a protective framework of the backboard support structure around the outer edge. That backboard should be manufactured, such that, if broken, the pieces of glass do not split off. Below are the more detailed dimension of a backboard.
- The outer surface of the ball shall be made of leather or artificial/ composite/synthetic leather.
- It should be spherical, with black seams not exceeding 6.35 mm in width and, either of a single shade of orange or of a FIBA approved colour combination.
- It should be inflated to an air pressure such that, when it is dropped onto the playing floor from a height of approximately 1,800 mm measured from the bottom of the ball, it will rebound to a height of between 1,200 mm and 1,400 mm, measured to the top of the ball, and be marked with its respective size number.
- Game clock and Shot Clock
- It should be a digital countdown clock with an automatic signal sounding for the end of the period as soon as the display shows zero (00:00.0).
- It has the ability to indicate time remaining in minutes and seconds; as well as tenths (1/10) of a second only during the last minute of the period and be placed so that it is clearly visible to everyone involved in the game, including the spectators.
- The shot clock is a display unit with a digital countdown, indicating the time in seconds only. It shall have the ability to be started from twenty-four (24) seconds; started from fourteen (14) seconds; stopped with the display indicating the seconds remaining; restarted from the time at which it was stopped; showing no display, if necessary.
For more updated details, you can visit FIBA Rules and Regulation page of the FIBA official website.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a one of the prominent men’s professional basketball league in North America, and its popularity spans almost the entire world. As of this date, NBA has 30 basketball teams, in which one is from Canada and the rest are from the United States, and are divided into two conferences, namely the Western and Eastern Conferences, competing at each other through 82 regular season games (50 games during lock-out shortened period). D-League is also governed by the NBA.
The Playing Court
- The playing court shall be measured and marked as shown in the court diagram.
- A free throw lane shall be marked at each end of the court with dimensions and markings as shown on the court diagram. All boundary lines are part of the lane; lane space marks and neutral zone marks are not. The color of the lane space marks and neutral zones shall contrast with the color of the boundary lines. The areas identified by the lane space markings are 2 inches by 8 in and the neutral zone marks are 12 inches by 8 inches.
- A free throw line shall be drawn (2 inches wide) across each of the circles indicated in the court diagram. It shall be parallel to the end line and shall be 15 ft from the plane of the face of the backboard.
- The three-point field goal area has parallel lines 3 feet from the sidelines, extending from the baseline and an arc of 23 feet, 9 inches from the middle of the basket which intersects the parallel lines.
- Four hash marks shall be drawn (2 inches wide) perpendicular to the sideline on each side of the court and 28 feet from the baseline. These hash marks shall extend 3 feet onto the court.
- Four hash marks shall be drawn (2 inches wide) perpendicular to the baseline on each side of the free throw lane line. These hash marks shall be 3 feet from the free throw lane line and extend 6 inches onto the court.
- Four hash marks shall be drawn (2 inches wide) parallel to the baseline on each side of the free throw circle. These hash marks shall be 13 feet from the baseline and 3 feet from the free throw lane lines and shall be 6 feet in length.
- Two hash marks shall be drawn (2 inches wide) perpendicular to the sideline, in front of the scorer’s table, and 4 feet on each side of the midcourt line. This will designate the Substitution Box area.
- A half-circle shall be created 4′ from the center of the basket
- It is a raised vertical board with a basket attached that is made of a flat rigid piece of material that were often transparent so that it will not obstruct audience’s view.
- It shall be a rectangle measuring 6 ft (72 in) horizontally by 3 1/2 ft (42 in) vertically.
- That backboard shall be marked with a 2 in white rectangle behind the ring and this same rectangle shall have outside dimensions of 24 in by 18 in vertically.
- Home management is required to have a spare board with supporting unit on hand during emergencies, and a steel tape or extension ruler and a level for use, if necessary.
- The court has two pieces of it, placed on opposite sides.
- It is a circular rod/ring with an open mesh/net knitted around it. This is where the ball is shot.
- Each basket shall consist of a pressure-release NBA approved metal safety ring 18 inches in inside diameter with a white cord net 15 inches to 18 inches in length.
- The cord of the net shall not be less than 30 thread nor more than 120 thread and shall be constructed to check the ball momentarily as it passes through the basket.
- Each basket ring shall be securely attached to the backboard with its upper edge 10 ft above and parallel to the floor and equidistant from the vertical edges of the board.
- The nearest point of the inside edge of the ring shall be 6 in from the plane of the face of the board and shall be painted orange.
- It is usually a spherical inflatable object that is thrown to the basket or passed to a teammate.
- Aside from the court and basket, the ball is the only piece of equipment necessary to play the basketball game.
- This shall be an officially approved NBA ball between 7 1 /2 and 8 1 /2 pounds pressure.
- Standard size of ball in the NBA is 29.5 to 29.875 inches (74.93 to 75.88 cm) in circumference.
- This balls shall be made from either from leather (traditional), rubber, or a synthetic composite, having an inflatable inner rubber bladder.
- Balls manufactured by Spalding are generally used ball in official NBA games.
- Six balls must be made available to each team for pre-game warm-up.
- Timing and lighting and sounding equipment
- These are other equipment that are installed in the gym for an official NBA game
- The timer electronics system is placed on top of the each backboards. It displays the 24-second shot clock and the 12-minute countdown clock for each quarter.
- A horn sounding system is also needed to which is sounded to signify the end of each quarter period.
- At least one electric light is to be placed behind the backboard, obvious to officials and synchronized to light up when the horn sounds at the expiration of time for each period. The electric light is to be “red.”
National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) – Men’s Basketball Division
The NCAA is the governing body for the college basketball in the United States. They facilitates basketball competition between colleges and universities across the United States. Usually, players that were drafted in the NBA are coming from these league.
The Playing Court
- The playing court shall be a rectangular surface free from obstructions with sidelines of 94 feet in length and end lines of 50 feet in length, measured from the inside edges, illustrated by the diagram.
- The court shall be marked with boundary lines (sidelines and end lines) and other lines and markings as shown on the court diagram. All lines must be clearly discernable and distinguishable.
- The division line shall divide the playing court into two equal parts and shall be formed by extending the center-circle diameter in both directions until it intersects the sidelines.
- All lines designating the free-throw lane, except lane-space marks and blocks, are part of the lane.
- The three-point field goal line shall be a distance of 20 feet, 9 inches, from the center of the basket to the outside edge of the three-point field-goal line.
- The restricted area arc is a solid single-colored 2-inch line formed by a semicircle measured from the center of the basket to the outside edge with a radius of 3-feet and extending in a straight line to the front face of the backboard. This arc must be clearly discernable and distinguishable.
- Each backboard shall be marked as depicted on the backboard diagram.
- The size of the backboards may be either of two dimensions: (a) 6 feet horizontal and 3½ feet vertical; or (b) 6 feet horizontal and 4 feet vertical.
- A transparent, unaltered, rigid, rectangular backboard with a flat surface shall be used.
- Each backboard shall be positioned midway between each sideline, with the plane of its front face perpendicular to the floor, parallel to and 4 feet from each end line.
- The upper edge of each backboard shall be 13 feet above the floor.
Baskets and Rings
- Each basket shall consist of a single metal ring, 18 inches inside diameter, its flange and braces, and a white-cord, 12-mesh net, 15 to 18 inches in length, suspended from beneath the ring.
- Each ring shall measure not more than 5/8 inch in diameter, with the possible addition of small-gauge loops on the under-edge or a smaller ring located directly under the required ring for attaching a 12-mesh net. Each ring and its attaching flange and braces shall be bright orange in color.
- The upper edge of each basket ring shall be 10 feet above and parallel to the floor and shall be equidistant from the vertical edges of that backboard. The nearest point of the inside edge of each ring shall lie 6 inches from the plane of the face of that backboard.
- The ball shall be spherical. Spherical shall be defined as a round body whose surface at all points is equidistant from the center except at the approved black rubber ribs (channels and/or seams).
- The circumference of the ball shall be within a maximum of 30 inches and a minimum of 29½ inches.
- The ball shall have the traditionally shaped eight panels, bonded tightly to the rubber carcass. The eight panels are defined by two channels and/or seams dissecting the ball’s circumference in opposite directions and two panels that when laid flat shall have the shape of a figure eight
- The weight of the ball shall not be less than 20 ounces nor more than 22 ounces.
For more details, you may visit NCAA Men’s Basketball complete guide.
High School Basketball
Generally, basketball court appearance for the high school is the same as the court used in the collegiate and professional levels. Though for high school, the court is slightly smaller. All high school leagues around the world follows the same dimensions.
The Playing Court
- The basketball court’s entire area is 84 feet by 50 feet.
- The free throw line is 15 inches from the backboard.
- The free throw lane or key is 12 inches wide.
- The basketball rim is 10 feet high, same height as of the NBA.
- The backboard is 72 inches wide by 42 inches tall.
- The basketball rim is 18 inches in diameter and 6 inches from the backboard.
- The 3 point line is 19 feet, 9 inches while center circle is 6 feet in radius.
- For the backboards, the layout, construction and materials used are either FIBA or NBA compliant
- For the rings/rims, it uses the same standard that were used in collegiate levels as they should have a break-away rim. This means that when players hang on the rim they will give via spring mechanism within the rim. It also makes the rim softer when shooting long shots and allows the ball to go in more often.
- For the balls, the circumference of the ball is often at 29 to 30 inches, with a weight of 20 to 22 ounces. For the girls divisions, it uses a ball with 28.5 to 29 inches in circumference, with a lighter weight than the men’s division which is usually weighing between 18 to 20 ounces.