Basketball Court Dimensions and Planning

Basketball Court Dimensions and Planning

Posted by admin on Dec 15th 2021

When planning a new basketball court, the first step is to determine for what it will be used. Basketball court dimensions are standardized by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for competition. There are some variations between NBA and NCAA courts, and also between college and high school courts. If you are planning an outdoor basketball court for a playground or residential backyard basketball, space and player age may dictate whether you opt for a full regulation size court, a half court, or a small court with only a free throw line (which is typically what will fit in a two car driveway). Basketball court prices will vary considerably depending on the size of the court, the materials used for the flooring (often a maple wood surface with a highly polished top layer, but can also be made with game court tiles similar to some tennis courts, or even a pole set into concrete ground), and how the markings are applied. Whatever court size you are planning, First Team has the basketball goals you need. Our Made In the USA backboard and basket sets are available in a wide range of sizes, materials, and configurations. Choose from portable basketball goals, adjustable basketball goals, fixed height basketball goals, and roof mount styles to fit your gymnasium, recreation center, playground, or home court. The one thing that all of our basketball equipment has in common is that it is made to meet the highest standards for durability to last for many years of play. Call us today to learn more about choosing the right First Team basketball goal to fit your court size.

Basic Dimensions

There are different standard court sizes depending on the level of play, although the basic basketball court layout is fairly similar for professional, college, and high school games (with some differences that we will cover later). A basketball court diagram is useful when determining regulation court sizes and placements of markings like the free throw line, the three point line, the width of the key, the circle at the top of the key, where substitutes enter, and where lines should be painted in relation to the center of the basket, the edge of the hoop ring, and the backboard.

What are the outside measurements of different levels of basketball courts?

  • NBA: 94' long x 50' wide from side to side
  • FIBA (International Basketball Federation) / Olympics: 28 meters long x 15 meters wide (approximately 91' 10.4” x 49' 2.6”)
  • NCAA / College: Usually the same as NBA, but some older courts may be 84' long
  • High School: 84' long x 50' wide
  • Junior High School: 74' long x 42' wide

The dimensions are measured inside the court lines formed by the endlines / baselines and sidelines. The terms endline and baseline refer to the same marking; the term baseline is used for the offensive end of the court and endline is used to refer to the defensive end, depending which team has possession of the ball. The baseline runs from sideline to sideline, and meets the sidelines at the corners of the court.

Location of the Three Point Line and Free Throw Line

The free-throw line (or foul line) on a basketball court is located at the top of the key, 15 feet from the front of the backboard (not from the of center of the rim, as is sometimes thought). That basketball court dimension is the same, whether it is for a professional, college, or high school court. Accounting for the regulation 10' height of the basket, the actual distance the ball has to travel is approximately 17' 4” for a free throw / foul shot. When players shoot free throws, their feet must stay behind the line until the ball reaches the rim of the hoop. The free throw lane, also called “the paint” is 16' wide in the NBA and 12' wide for college and high school basketball. The low post area is the section of the court just outside of this lane. The three point line is different for NBA and NCAA play. Looking at a basketball court template, you will see that the shape of the arc is not the same, nor is the three point line distance.

Where is the three point line located for different levels of basketball?

  • NBA: The NBA lines for the three-point line are 2 inches wide, and consist of an arc at the top of the key which meet a straight line at either side. The straight lines on the side of the three-point line are three feet from the sideline in a zone starting at the baseline, and ending when it crosses the 23' 9' arc. The official distance of 22 feet for a three point shot actually only applies where a line parallel to the baseline intersects the long axis of the court and the center of the basket.
  • NCAA: At the College level for the women it is a true arc shape. The distance is a 20’9” radius. For the men it is a straight line on the side of the three point with a distance of 21’ 7 7/8” to the outside edge from the center of the hoop and 40 1/8” from the out of bounds line. This straight line is 9’10 -3/8” long from the out of bounds line. Then it will start the arc at a distance of 22’ 1 ¾”. Click here for the diagram.
  • High School: The three-point line is 19' 9”, and the shape of the three-point arc is a true arc, as in a college game court. Click here for the diagram.

In addition to scoring three points, instead of two, shots made behind the three point line have special foul rules. If a foul is committed in the act of shooting beyond the three-point line, the player gets three free throws if the ball does not go in (and one if it does).

Restricted Area Arc

When you look at basketball court pictures, you will see a semi-circle beneath the basket on NCAA and NBA courts. This is the restricted area arc (called the no-charge semicircle in FIBA terminology). The restricted arc measures 4 feet in the NBA and 3 feet in the NCAA. A two inch width line is used to mark the area. Within the restricted area, defensive players cannot draw charging fouls. High school courts do not have a restricted area arc, nor do most backyard basketball courts.

Finding the Right Goal for Your Court

Basketball court dimensions help to dictate the placement of the basketball goal. The regulation distance from the baseline to the front of the backboard is 4 feet. The pole should not be on the baseline, so to establish an official regulation perimeter boundary, the basketball goal should have at least a 5 foot extension arm. This creates a 5' safe play area, which is the distance from the front of the pole to the front of the backboard. For an outdoor court, smaller playing area, or youth team play, a smaller overhang is often appropriate. Most of First Team's goals are available with optional base padding with custom logo design to further ensure player safety. We offer goals with different extension options to fit any situation, including:

  • FoldaMount 82 Wall Mounted Goals: With wall to backboard distances of anywhere from 8' – 12' long it is easy to adjust the backboard to achieve perfect alignment with existing markings on basketball court surfaces.
  • Tyrant and Brute Fixed Height Goals: 72” overhang for maximum safe play area.
  • Hurricane Portable Goal: Its massive extension arm measures 96” from base to backboard.
  • Storm Adjustable Portable Goal: Its unique telescoping arm provides 5'6” overhang with the basket at 10' tall and no less than 4' overhang when the arm is lowered for younger players.

Since 1996, First Team, Inc. has been manufacturing top quality sporting goods equipment for basketball, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and football. Based in Hutchinson, Kansas, we are dedicated to Made In the USA domestic manufacturing, quality assurance, friendly customer service, and providing the safest, most durable and dependable products available every time. We are proud to be the top choice of athletic directors, coaches, facility directors, equipment managers and homeowners across the nation. Call us today for more help understanding the relationship between the size of the basketball court and backboard placement, and to find the right First Team basketball goal for your field house, gymnasium, or home.