What Are The Parts Of A Basketball Court? [Beginner’s Guide] (2024)

A basketball court is divided into many parts. Players, officials, and spectators should be familiar with them to make sense of a basketball game.

In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about the parts of a basketball court so you play and enjoy the game right.

Basketball Court Lines And Markings

No matter what basketball court you see, you’ll notice that the area is divided. This indicates specific areas in the game where players stand, move, or shoot.

These are the different lines and markings in an organized basketball court.


These two boundary lines run the court length, establishing the playing area. It’s determined by the width of the court.

They’re also used for out-of-bounds purposes, along with the base and endlines.

Baseline or Endline

The baseline and endline extend from sideline to sideline, 4 feet behind the standard basketball backboard.

These are typically 50 feet wide and establish the playing area along the sidelines.

Its name is based on which team has the ball position. It’s called a baseline for the offensive end of the court but an endline for the defensive end.

Midcourt Line

The midcourt line (also called a halfcourt line or division line) divides the whole court in half. It separates the court into two equal-sized pieces called the front court and the back court.

As soon as the ball crosses this basketball court mark, the play of the offensive team reduces to half of the court line.

For most levels, the team only has 8 to 10 seconds to advance the ball across this division line.

Three-Point Line

Any shots made from the three-point line or arc count as three points.

Three-point lines can vary depending on the game level, and each court has a different distance.

Free Throw Line

The boundary line where a player shooting a free throw stands is called the free throw line.

It’s 15 feet away from the center of the basket, and the shooter can’t step across the line until the ball strikes the rim of the basketball hoop.

Aside from free throws, this line also defines the 3-second area, where players can’t stay for more than three seconds.

Free Throw Circle

Free throw circles are found in the free throw lane, and they’re usually 12 feet in diameter and come into play during a free throw or jump ball.

During jump balls, non-jumpers stay outside of the circle until it’s tapped by one of the players within the area.

Lane Line

A lane line extends from the free throw line to the baseline or end lines. Its width and shape vary depending on the game’s level.

It has free-throw lane space markings to align and separate non-shooters during a free throw. It defines the free throw lane in basketball courts.

The offensive players occupy the first space during a free throw. Non-shooters of the defensive players can only step into the 3-second area once the ball is shot.

Center Jump Circle

The center jump circles located in the middle of the court line are used for the opening tip, and they’re where jump balls are called for.

Two jumpers start the game action or overtime period by tipping the ball at the center jump circle.

Center circles are 12 feet in diameter and are uniform for different courts. For an NBA court, you’ll notice two jump circles at the free-throw line instead of one center circle.

Basketball Court Areas

Besides the different lines and markings, there are also specific areas in the court.

  • Three-second area – also known as the Paint, it’s the area below the free-throw line and between the lane lines. It’s a violation if an offensive player remains there for more than three seconds and the opposing team gets the ball. It has a series of small lines called hash marks. Non-shooting players use these hash marks to line up during a free throw. A professional league also limits the number of defensive players in the area.
  • Block – these are the two areas on the edges of the Paint called low blocks. It separates defensive and offensive players during a free throw.
  • Elbow – this is where the free throw line meets lane one. They’re important for dribble penetration.
  • Free throw line extended – a free throw line extended is an imaginary line representing the extension of the free throw to establish defensive rules.
  • Top of circle – this is located outside the free throw circle and is used as a reference for aligning players.
  • Wing – it’s at the side of the court and has a designated “ballside” or “weakside,” depending on the handler’s position.
  • Corner – this is an open area where zone defense is played. It’s also where they can trap an offensive player shooting the ball.
  • Short corner – this is a strategic offensive area along the baseline. It’s usually used against zone defenses.
  • 4′ restricted area – a small arc marks the restricted area to stop players from standing under the basket. You can easily get fouls in the restricted area.
  • Front court and back court – the frontcourt denotes the offensive end of the court. The backcourt is the area behind the mid-court line. It can’t go back court once the ball advances to the front court.

Court Dimensions and Timing Comparisons

Different basketball associations have different standards. An NBA basketball court differs from a FIBA basketball court and a college basketball court.

It can differ between professional leagues and smaller games, depending on the rules observed.

These are the different dimensions depending on the different associations:

International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Court Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 91.9 feet long and 49.2 feet wide
  • Center circle radius: 11.81 feet
  • Corner three: 21.65 feet
  • Three-point line: 22.15 feet

Women’s Professional Basketball (WNBA) Court Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 94 feet long and 50 feet wide
  • Three-point line: 22 feet and 1.75 inches

National Basketball Association Court Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 94 feet long by 50 feet wide
  • Free throw circle and the outside of a center circle: 6 feet radius
  • Inside circle: 2 feet radius
  • Free throw line: 15 feet from the basket and 19 feet from the baseline
  • Three-point line: 23 feet long, 22 feet at the sidelines, and 9 inches from the hoop

NCAA Court Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 94 feet long by 50 feet wide
  • Three-point arc: 22 feet and 1.75 inches

High School Basketball Court Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 84 feet long and 50 feet wide
  • Junior high school courts: 74 x 42 feet
  • Free throw lane: 15 feet from the center of the backboard, 12 feet wide, and 19 feet long
  • Three-point arc: 19 feet and 9 inches

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s discuss the most questions about the parts of a basketball court.

How Many Sections Is the Basketball Court Divided To?

A standard basketball court is divided into two main sections separated by the half-court line. Both sides are mirrored and exactly the same, containing a 3-point line, baseline, and free-throw line areas.

Where Is the Block on a Basketball Court?

This buffer area on the lane lines separates the offensive and defensive players during a free throw attempt.


Now that you’re more familiar with the court’s areas and parts, you can better understand basketball games.

Whether watching an official game on an NBA court, college basketball, or playing with a few friends, you can better grasp what each line and circle means.

What Are The Parts Of A Basketball Court? [Beginner’s Guide] (2024)


What are the measurements and the different parts of the court in basketball? ›

Court dimensions

The court is a flat, hard surface free from obstructions, 28m long and 15m wide, measured from the inner edge of the boundary line. The backcourt is the team's own basket, inbounds part of the backboard and the part of the playing court limited by their own endline, side lines and centre line.

Which lines or areas are found on a basketball court? ›

Basketball courts are comprised of sidelines, baselines, mid court line, three point lines, free throw lines, free throw circles, free throw lane lines, and center circle.

How many parts are in basketball? ›

Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA) or 12 minutes (NBA). College men's games use two 20-minute halves, college women's games use 10-minute quarters, and most United States high school varsity games use 8-minute quarters; however, this varies from state to state.

How many pieces are in a basketball court? ›

A: Large sections of maple hardwood floor. There are 4-by-7-foot or 4-by-8-foot sections. All three floors are different sizes: Siena's is 60 by 120 (feet), MAAC was 60 by 112 and NCAA is 60 by 116. It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle of about 200 pieces.

What is the cheapest way to make a basketball court? ›

One of the cheapest options on our list, asphalt is a popular choice for many outdoor courts. The main advantage of using asphalt is the low initial cost.

How do you turn grass into a basketball court? ›

For slightly more flexible basketball court tiles over grass, the perforated Patio Outdoor Tile is a popular choice. The PVC plastic will give players a slight cushion in the playing surface, which helps with keeping the lower body joints feeling fresher and with giving players' shoes a sure grip on the floor.

What is the area at each end of a basketball court? ›

The Baseline/Endline runs from sideline to sideline behind the backboard at the ends of the court. They are located four feet behind the basket, and normally have a width of 50 feet. Baseline and Endline are interchangeable terms depending upon which team has ball position.

What are 3 dimensions of a basketball court? ›

Basketball court dimensions in feet
Court aspectDimensions
Playing area4520.43ft²
1 more row
Jun 24, 2020

What are the most common basketball court dimensions? ›

The typical court dimensions for a standard sized full court used in NBA professional basketball and college play is 94 feet long by 50 feet wide.

What is the line around the court called in basketball? ›

The lines that run the length of the basketball court and mark the boundary are called the “sidelines", whilst the lines that are marked out behind each backboard are called the “endlines”, or sometimes the “baselines”.

What do all the lines on a basketball court mean? ›

The sidelines are the two boundaries lines running the length of the court. Their location is determined by the width of the court, which is normally 50 feet wide. Along with Baseline and End line they establish the size of the playing area. Baseline/Endline.

Where is the key on a basketball court? ›

The key goes by many names in the game of basketball, but they all refer to the painted area under the basket.

What is the side of a basketball court called? ›

The sidelines are the two boundaries lines running the length of the court. Their location is determined by the width of the court, which is normally 50 feet wide. Along with Baseline and End line they establish the size of the playing area.

What is the square on the basketball court called? ›

According to the NBA, the lines of this rectangle must be two inches wide and 24 inches by 18 inches in Size. There is no official name for this rectangle. Some people call it the 'sweet spot' because it is used to help players make bank shots that bounce off the backboard before going into the goal.

What is the middle portion of a basketball court called? ›

The mid-court line runs through the basketball court in between the two sidelines, from baseline to baseline. It divides the basketball court into two equal sides and also serves as an inbounds line during inbound plays.

What are the seats at basketball games called? ›

The best seats at an NBA game are generally considered courtside or club-level seats.

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