Basketball Court – Diagram With Sizes and Dimensions

Basketball court diagram

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Everything You Need to Know About a Basketball Court

It is estimated that around 400 million people worldwide watch basketball. This makes it one of the more popular sports in the world. That being said, just how much attention have you paid to the average basketball court? Do you know what the dimensions are or precisely how the court is marked off? Well if you are now wondering about these questions, read on to find out what the answers are.

Dimensions of a Basketball Court

The dimensions of a professional basketball court differ according to the rules set by the governing association. According to the International Basketball Federation, an appropriate court should be 28 meters, lengthwise while the width needs to be 15 meters. The length of the court is known as the sideline while the width is called the end line.

The National Basketball Association, however, requires their courts to have the dimensions 94 feet by 50 feet which roughly equals 29 meters by 15 meters. In the United States, NCAA (college) courts and high school courts vary in size as well.

All of the lines indicating the various boundaries on the court need to be drawn in a white line that is 5cm thick. The center line runs, directly across the length of the court, dividing it into two identical halves. The center circle drawn on this line is 3.6 meters in diameter.

The other important measurements on a basketball court are the boundaries that indicate where particular scoring can take place. This is the two-point area, the three-point area, and the free throw line. As long as the player shoots inside of the three-point line, it is considered to be a two-pointer. Anywhere from outside of this area, it is a three pointer.

In Denmark, as well as the FIBA, the three point line is drawn 6.75 meters away from the basket. The free throw line is parallel to the end line, and 5.8 meters away from the outer boundary.

Then there is the matter of the placement of the hoops themselves. The hoops are positioned directly on the end lines. The entire hoop is 3.95 meters tall while the rim sits at 3 meters above the ground. The diameter of the rim is 0.46 meters. The backboard is rectangular in shape with the length measuring 1.8 meters and the width 1.05 meters.

What Basketball Courts are Made Of

It is surmised that the first floor that basketball was played on was made on maple. Well, that was over a hundred years ago. Still, you will that professional basketball courts are still constructed from hard maple wood.

It isn’t difficult to see why – this type of wood is capable of enduring a considerable amount of pressure. This means that floors made from this material can easily withstand more than a hundred games throughout the year. Players can thunder up and down the court, bouncing the ball as they do so without worrying about the ground splintering.

Another reason that maple is the preferred material is due to the structure of the wood. As it is very tight knit, it is difficult for any debris or other material to embed itself in the wood. As a result, it is more likely to remain smooth for a longer period of time. This also makes the maple wood a lot easier to maintain.

Of course, with professional courts, the maple that is utilized is chosen a lot more carefully. Especially in courts under FIBA and NBA regulations, only maple of the highest quality is used. A fun fact is that of all the NBA teams that do use maple wood, there is one holdout – the Boston Celtics. To this day, it remains the only team to play on a red oak floor.

The Evolution of the Basketball Court

The first game of basketball was played in a YMCA gym, 126 years ago. While the floors may have remained the same, there is a lot about the actual court, not to mention the game of basketball, which has changed since then. Since the sport was a brand new invention, the first boys who played basketball did so in a multi-purpose gymnasium.

Instead of the net baskets, peach baskets – with the bottoms still firmly attached – were used. The peach baskets were replaced by nets woven with wire a short while later. However, the open ended nylon nets that are used to this day were only introduced about two decades after that first game was played.

The trusty backboard has also come a long way since it was first included in the game. It was first made from wire mesh but that was bent out of shape too easily. Wood backboards were then introduced until they, too, were replaced by plate glass.

Basketball players used to also essentially play in cages. The court was lined with wire mesh to prevent the ball from going out of bounds and the fans from impeding the game. Back then, when a ball went out of bounds, the game was still in play. The player who got to ball first, regardless of where it was, got to throw it back in. The cage wasn’t the best solution, however, as players and fans alike experienced injuries due to the harsh material. After a while, rope netting became the preferred alternative. Even then, rope burn continued to be a problem. Somewhere around the 1930s, the cage began to lose favor. It is not uncommon, however, to still hear players being referred to as cagers.

Courts Similar to Basketball

One of the games that use a court similar to that of basketball is handball. While the goals themselves are quite different – basketball uses hoops while handball uses goals, the courts do resemble each other. This is largely due to the similar boundaries that can be found around the goal areas. Handball, too, uses curved lines to indicate the zones in which scoring is and isn’t acceptable. Of course, any basketball player who found themselves running up and down a handball court would get tired quite easily. This is because a handball court is 40 meters long while measuring 20 meters in width.

It is not actually inconceivable to imagine a basketball game taking place on a netball court. For all intents and purposes, these two games share a lot in common. While the netball court is a little larger than the official basketball court, it is not by much. A netball has a width of 15.25 meters and a length of 30.5 meters. The goals are a little higher than that of a FIBA hoop but this too isn’t discernible. The most noticeable difference between the two courts would be the manner in which the netball court is sectioned off. Instead of being divided into two equal halves as in basketball, netball courts have three outlined sections.

These are the dimensions, materials, and even the history that make up the basketball court that you know and love today. It is interesting to see the various components of the court working together to create a near perfect environment for one of the most popular games on Earth. Has the basketball court reached its peak design or will it continue to evolve as time unfolds?

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