Anthony's International Basketball Officiating Site

Copyright © 1996–2009 Anthony Reimer

Ask Ace (About Rules) Archives

I discontinued my popular "Ask Ace" service, which allowed you to ask me questions about Basketball rules, back in 2003. The number of questions I received over the 8 years I ran Ask Ace numbered in the thousands, from which I selected the most common and/or interesting ones to post online. No significant attempt has been made to update the answers to match rule changes which have occured since then. Because there are some conceptual things that might still be valuable to some, I have left these pages up with that caveat. If any part of the site is likely to be removed, this will be the first to go.

The questions have been sorted into four categories:

And no, I will not answer any more questions. If you do send me a question, it will be deleted without a response.

And now, the most frequently asked question:

Q: I want to make a court on my driveway, etc.. How high should the hoop be? How far away is the free throw line? Three point line? etc.

A: By the numbers (and yes, this is up-to-date as of 2012):

 

FIBA NBA WNBA NCAA

Three point line
(measured from the centre of the ring)

6.75 m (22'1.75"), minimum 90 cm (2'11.5') from sideline (thus, shortest distance is 6.6 m) 23'9" arc at the top, intersecting with lines parallel to each sideline that are 22' away at their closest point 20'6.25"
(6.25 m)
20'9"

Width of lane (a.k.a. key, restricted area)

4.88 m 16' 16' 12'

Free throw line
(measured from the backboard)

4.6 m 15' 15' 15'

Height of ring

3.05 m 10' 10' 10'

Size of backboard (newer style*)

1.80 m wide by
1.05 m tall
6' wide by
3.5' tall
6' wide by
3.5' tall
6' wide by
3.5' tall

* In some places, you may still find backboards that are 1.8 m by 1.2 m (6' by 4') or fan-shaped, but these have been removed from the aforementioned rule books.