Basketball Court: Measurements, materials and definition

We have already talked about rules and fundamentals of basketball on this website, today it is the turn to talk about another important feature such as the basketball court.

You will know all the regulatory measures of a basketball court and what should be in each one of them.

You will also learn some of the differences between FIBA measures and the measures implemented by the National Basketball Association (NBA).

I hope you are as passionate about this topic as I am, so without further ado let’s get started!

What is the basketball court?

It is the court where basketball games take place, made of strong material and without obstructions for the flow of the game. A basketball court has symmetry; one half of the court is a mirror image of the other.

The materials typically used for court floors are polished wood, usually maple for indoor courts, and pavement, concrete and asphalt for outdoor courts.

What should a basketball court have?

There are several components and features that make up a basketball court, so I will show you what a basketball court has inside in list format to make it more friendly, the components are as follows:

  • Backboards
  • Basketball hoops or basket.
  • Boundary lines: These are the three-point arches, free throw lines, half-court line, etc.
  • Net or net.
  • Boards or scoreboards (this already at the professional level).

These are fundamental pieces to make up a basketball court and some of them have to be made with exact measurements to comply with official standards.

Did you know?

Carrier Dome is the world’s largest basketball arena that can accommodate up to 35,010 people.

What are the dimensions of the basketball court?

In general, the dimensions of the play court vary according to each league or governing body, even though there are measures that remain the same in all of them, such as the size and height of the basket (hoop), the distance from the free throw line, backboard dimensions, etc.

The dimensions of the basketball court that are standard for all would be as follows:

  • Basketball hoop or basket: the height of the basketball hoop is 10′ feet (305 cm) high and they are 450 cm in diameter.
  • Basketball backboard: the measurements of the basketball backboard are 180 cm wide and 105 cm long, they are usually transparent and should have a centered bottom square with 60 cm wide and 45 cm long.
  • Free throw line: they must have a distance of 15′ feet (457 cm) in relation to the backboard and 580 cm in relation to the baseline.
  • Paint or key: The area between the free throw line and the baseline is called the “lane” or “key”, this area of the court measures 16 feet (487 cm).
  • Circles: There are three circles 6′ feet (366 cm) in diameter on a court, one in the center of the court and one at each end centered on the foul line.
  • Boundary lines: These must be no more than 2 inches (5 cm) thick and must be painted white.

Now we know what the universal basketball court measurements are that are used equally across all leagues and competitions, but there are measurements that differ between the NBA and FIBA.

NBA Basketball Court Measurements

NBA basketball court measurements

Well so far we have seen the general measures that are used equally in all competitions now we will see the measures that the NBA implements in its rules or guidelines.

Court dimensions: The NBA professional basketball court is 94 feet (29 m) long by 50 feet (15 m) wide.

3-point line or arc: this line is longer than the one implemented by FIBA, in the NBA this line is 23’9″ (7.25 m) at the top and 22′ feet (670 cm) on the sides or also called corners.

Madison Square Garden is the most expensive arena in the entire NBA at $430 per ticket.

Basketball court measurements under FIBA rules

FIBA basketball court measurements

FIBA also has some different measurements in relation to the NBA, which presides over the vast majority of basketball competitions, so these are the most common measurements to see on a basketball court.

Official dimensions of a FIBA basketball court: The FIBA dimensions are 280 cm in length and 150 cm in width.

Triple or 3-point line: This line is smaller in FIBA compared to the one implemented by the NBA, it has a front distance of 22’1″ (6.75 m) updated since October 2010, previously it was 20’5″ (6.25 m).


Now that you know the information of each basketball court with its regulatory measures according to the league and/or entity that presides them, tell us what you found most interesting, did you already know the difference in the 3-point lines between FIBA and NBA?

Esteban Gomes

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