A Descriptive Outlook of Basketball Courts of NBA

A Descriptive Outlook of Basketball Courts of NBA
A Descriptive Outlook of Basketball Courts of NBA

Who has not heard about the NBA? The famous football association is every basketball lover’s dream to go there and watch or even play basketball. The worldwide popular sport is widely played mostly because of its court size and measurements.

You can play one-on-one or even with ten players indoor or outdoor and on any surface that is flat or hard enough for the ball to bounce. However, NBA basketball courts have specific design and measurements.

History of NBA Basketball Court

The first-ever basketball court was a mere size of a college gym. The inventor of the game is widely recognized as James Naismith, who was a teacher of physical education at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

For the first basket, the inventor chose peach baskets for the hoop to score. In his original 13 rules for the game, the teacher did not include any specific size of the court. With evolution, players adapted to one universal size and shape eventually.

Court Size at the very beginning

The first definitive court size came along in the year 1924 after almost four decades of the invention of the game. The first-ever court was designed at 90 by 50 feet maximum. The basket rim height was 10 feet above the ground.

This is the only measurement that remained constant from the Naismith’s basketball match. By the year 1950, rules like backcourt, and the 3-point line were introduced and remain the same.

New Inclusion

The NBA, on the other hand, made few changes after 1950. The area from the free-throw line to the basket was widened in 1951 to include more room for taller and stronger players. This proved beneficial for many famous players who took advantage of the change for their extended build height.

The 3-point line in the NBA basketball court was first included in 1979 after a lot of testing and examining. This line was designed 22 feet in between each corner of the court. At the top point to be 23 feet 9 inches.

Modern measurements of basketball court

In recent times, the NBA basketball court has changed in quite a few areas with some inclusion of newer areas. The restricted or also known as the no-charge zone, was introduced in 1997. In this area, no fouls can be committed on the defensive players. This is a semicircular area around the basket which expands to 4 feet in radius.

However, during the world championship and Olympic game, the rules were slightly changed. The 3-point line was expanded to 6.75 meters, and the final court dimension changed to 94 feet in length by 50 feet in wide. The court dimension eventually remains similar until today in any NBA basketball games.

An Overview of the Equipment Used in NBA Basketball Court

The Floor

NBA basketball courts are usually played indoor. The courts are made of hardwood. The most accepted type of wood used is Maple wood since it is hard and light in colour. The hardness and swiftness of the Maple wood make it suitable for the ball to bounce nicely.

Besides, the lightness makes the ball appear better for players and TV officials to follow. Light reflects better on the light colour of wood as well. On the other hand, outdoor games are usually played on the asphalt of concrete built floor courts.

The Shapes and Sizes of Court

The NBA basketball court is rectangle in shape with horizontally measuring 6 feet long and vertically measuring three and a half feet wide. NBA basketball court has a fixed dimension of 94 feet long and 50 feet wide on the outer sector.

The centre of the court is at the halfway of the end lines, and it consists of a circle with a radius of 6 feet. This circle is where the toss and match inception takes place. The circle also exhibits the logo or name of the home team.

The Basket

The basket of the court is also measured explicitly by the NBA authority. There are 2 baskets, and each basket comprises of pressure releasing metal safety ring of 18 inches inside the diameter of the basket.

Furthermore, the basket net is a white cord material net with a length similar to the metal safety ring. The net must have minimum 30 and a maximum of 120 threads and must be designed in a way that the ball can pass through it momentarily.

The basket is attached to the backboard. This backboard is transparent and has a horizontal dimension of 24 inches and a vertical dimension of 18 inches on the outside. The basket rings are attached 10 feet above and parallel to the floor and the upper edge of the backboard.

The Scoreboard

The NBA basketball court arena contains backboards as well with 4 red LED light strips that are attached with the game clock. These lights indicate the conclusion of the time. There is also 1 strip amber LED lights that indicate shot clock conclusion.

The NBA basketball court is divided into two halves where each half is a mirror reflection of the other half. These are called ‘frontcourt’ and ‘backcourt’. The frontcourt is usually recognized as the location of the offence’s basket, and the backcourt is known as the location of the defence’s basket.

There are 5 court lines or layouts in the NBA basketball court with distinctive names for the borders of the court.

NBA basketball court borders

  • Sidelines- alongside the court length
  • Baselines- also known as ‘endlines’ are alongside the ends of the court
  • Midcourt line- the line that separates each half of the basketball court


The famous sport worldwide can be played on any court, and it can be made quickly with only a few pieces of equipment. The NBA basketball court has been following strict rules in measuring and lining the court and is considered to be the benchmark in making basketball courts all over the world.

Even without a proper area, anyone anywhere can create a basketball court without any hinder. All you need is a basket, a ball, a pillar where you can hang the basket to, and an opponent who can challenge you yet make the game exciting.