Basketball Terms – Based on Court, and Hoop

basketball terms

Article on basketball terms is not anything new! You will find a lot of articles that are describing the different basketball terms for your understanding.

But in this article, our approach is a bit different than others.

Excited?

We will not mention and describe the terms letter by letter, but we will categorize the terms based on the different subject of this beautiful game of basketball. In this article we are going to divide the basketball terms based on

  • Court.
  • Hoop.

Very soon we will publish a separate article on basketball terms based on action, position, and foul.

What’s the big deal?

You will see the benefit of categorizing the terms once you complete reading the whole article. We firmly believe that instead of going through the various terms letter by letter, this approach is better to understand and memorize.

So let’s dig in.

Basketball Terms Based on Court

basketball court terms

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This section will introduce you to the different terms of the basketball court. It is important to know each and every corner of the game if you are a beginner.

Backcourt

The backcourt is the defensive territory of a team. Half of the court is considered as the backcourt, and another half is considered as frontcourt. So backcourt is the defensive half of the court for a team.

The backcourt is also referred to the collection of team’s guards.

Ball Side

Ball side is also referred as the “strong side.” This is the side where the ball is on. That means the opposite of the “weak side/help side.”

Baseline

The baseline is the playing boundary behind the basket.

The baseline is also called as end line. This is relative to the offensive and defensive end of the court. It is called baseline for the offensive end and end line for the defensive end of the court.

The baseline is usually drawn 4 feet behind the basket, and it has a width of 50 feet.

Blocks

“Block” is the area that is painted on the lane line to separate offensive and defensive players during the free throw. That means the painted small square area outside the lane.

Blocks are drawn six feet from the baseline on each end of the court.

Center Circle

Center circle is the circular area that you find at the mid of the court. This is a 12-foot diameter circular area where the game starts and jump balls take place.

Corner

Very simple. There are four corners on a court. The four connecting points of baselines/end lines and sidelines.

End Line

This is also called baseline. End line or baseline? It depends on the offensive or defensive end of the court. It is called end line for the defensive end of the court for a team. On the other hand, it is called baseline for the offensive end of the court for the same team.

The end line is usually drawn 4 feet behind the basket, and it has a width of 50 feet.

Elbow

The elbow is the connecting/meeting points of free throw line and lane line.

Free Throw Lane

The another name of this area is “the paint.” Free throw lane is the area that is located underneath the basket. Although most of the time you will find this area is painted, but this is not something obvious for every court. Some courts don’t have any color painting on them.

Free throw lane is the area that has the boundary of free throw line and baseline connecting with two lines.

Free Throw Line

Free throw line is the line that is parallel to the end line from where the players shoot the free-throws. Informally this line is also called foul line.

The width of the line varies. For NBA it is 16 feet, and for NCAA it is 12 feet wide. But in both cases, it extends 15 feet from the backboard.

Free Throw Line Extended

This is an imaginary line that represents the extended version of free throw line across the width of the court. The use of this imaginary line is done mainly by the coaches to set different defensive rules and train the players.

Free Throw Circle

This is the semi-circle that is drawn beyond the free throw line.

Frontcourt

The frontcourt is the opposite of backcourt. In this case, the offensive side of a team is called frontcourt.

Game Clock

A match can’t be continued until the end of this world. So there is a time limit, and the game clock shows how much time is left in each quarter or half of the match.

Hash Mark

There are several hash marks on the court.

The backcourt has two hash marks on both sidelines, that means parallel to baselines, and frontcourt also has two hash marks on both sidelines that are parallel to baselines.

Similarly, the backcourt has two hash marks parallel to sidelines, and frontcourt also has two hash marks parallel to sidelines.

You will find hash marks extended from lane line as well to separate the defensive and offensive players.

Help Side

“Help side” is the opposite side of the “Ball side.” This is also referred as the “weak side.” That means this the opposite side of the side, where the ball is on.

High Post

This is the area that is located at the top of the “paint/free throw lane/key.” That means away from the basket next to the key

In the Paint

“In the paint” is the area inside the paint, or you can say the free throw lane.

Key

Key is referred to the area that consists of free throw lane and free throw circle together.

Lane

The lane and free throw lane are the same areas. That means the lane is the area that has the boundary of free throw line and baseline connecting with two lines.

Lane Line

The lane lines are the two boundary lines of the free throw lane other than the baseline, and free throw line. That means these are the lines that connect free throw line with baseline.

Low Post

Low post is the area located at the bottom of the key closer to the basket and either side of the basket. Although this area is closer to the basket but outside the free throw lane.

Midcourt Line / Midline

This is the separating line of the basketball court. That means the middle line that separates the backcourt and frontcourt.

Out of Bounds

“Out of bounds” is the area outside of the court. That means any area outside of the both end lines and sidelines are referred to as out of bounds.

Paint

The “paint” is the area that is inside the free throw lane.

Perimeter

The perimeter is referred to the area that is outside the free throw lane but inside the three point line/arc.

Shot Clock

This is the clock that limits the time, a team with the ball needs to attempt a field goal. That means the offensive team must attempt to make a goal before the limit exceeds.

Sidelines

Sidelines are the two boundary lines that tell the length of the court. They connect with the baselines.

Strong Side

Strong side is the alternative term for the “ball side.” That means this also refers to the side where the ball is on at any moment.

Ten Second Line / Time Line

The midcourt line or half court line is sometimes referred as ten second line.

Why?

Because the offensive team gets ten seconds limit to cross the midcourt line.

Three Point Line

This is the arc or semicircle that separates the two point area from the three point area. If any goal is scored beyond this line, then it is counted as three points.

Three second Lane

Three second lane is the same area that is referred by the term “paint.” That means the area inside the free throw lane.

Top of the Key

As the name suggests, this is just the top of the semi-circle that is drawn beyond the free throw line.

Weak Side

The same part of the court that is referred to the help side.

Terms Based On The Hoop

Backboard

The rectangular or sometimes fan-shaped board behind the basket.

Basket

The basket is attached to the backboard and consists of metal rim and net.

Base

This term is used regarding portable basketball hoop only. The base of a portable basketball system can be filled with water or sand to make it stable and sturdy.

Cylinder

This is the imaginary area right above the basket.

Height Adjustment

In the case of portable basketball goals, you can adjust the height according to your need.

In-ground Basketball Hoop

These are not portable. That means you can’t move this type of hoop here and there. In-ground hoops are fixed and cemented directly into the ground.

Portable Basketball Hoop

You can move the goal anywhere you want. Click here to read our article on the best portable basketball hoop reviews and its buying guide for more detail.

Pole

Pole or supporting pole is referred to the stand where the backboard is attached. This term is used especially in the case of a portable system.

Wall Mounted Hoop

In this case, only the backboard along with the rim is mounted on the wall.

These are the basketball terms based on the basketball court and hoop. Soon we will publish the complete list of terms based on basketball action and foul.

 

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