Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players score points by shooting (throwing) a ball through an elevated hoop located on either side of the rectangular court. To advance the ball down the court, players must bounce the ball (dribble) or pass it to a teammate. Points can be earned by shooting a three-pointer (behind the three-point line), a two-point field goal (anywhere not beyond the three-pointer), or a one-point foul shot (after the referee determines a foul). Basketball requires considerable skills related to teamwork, accuracy, ball handling, speed, agility, size and strength. Basketball has become one of the world’s most popular sports.
Basketball backboards are flat elevated vertical boards with mounted baskets, or rims, used to assist or return the basketball after a shot in a game of basketball. Commonly made of Plexiglas or tempered glass, backboards are designed to prevent shattering when a player dunks. Regulation basketball backboards have a width of 72” | 183 cm and a height of 42” | 110 cm with an inner rectangle that is 24” | 61 cm wide and 18” | 45.7 cm tall. For casual non-regulation courts, smaller Fan-Shaped Backboards are often used. Basketball rims are hung 10’ | 3.05 m above the court floor.
Fan Shaped Basketball Backboards are non-regulation backboards that are typically found on casual courts at playgrounds or indoor side courts. Fan Shaped Backboards are smaller than Regulation Rectangular Backboards and have widths of 54” | 137.2 cm and heights of 33” | 83.8 cm.
Height: 48” | 121.9 cm
Width: 72” 182.9 cm
Height (Rim): 10’ | 3.05 m to court
Height (Inner Rectangle): 18” | 45.7 cm
Width (Inner Rectangle): 24” | 61 cm
Border (Outer): 3” | 7.6 cm
Border (Inner): 2” | 5 cm
Basketball Backboard front elevation (regulation), side, plan, front (fan shaped)
Basketball rims, or hoops, are orange painted goals attached to the backboard and used for scoring points in a game of basketball. Basketball rims today are designed as breakaway rims comprised of a hinge and spring that allow the rim to bend when a player dunks without shattering the backboard. The rim itself is made of a 5/8” | 1.6 cm steel diameter steel rod that is formed into a ring with an inner diameter of 18” | 45.72 cm. Basketball nets are hung from the bottom of the rim with lengths between 15”-18” | 38.1-45.7 cm. Basketball rims are mounted 10’ | 3.05 m from the court floor.
Diameter (Rim): 18” | 45.72 cm inner
Diameter (Steel): 5/8” | 1.6 cm
Distance from Backboard: 6” | 15.1 cm
Height (Rim): 10’ | 3.05 m to court
Net Length: 15”-18” | 38.1-45.7 cm below rim
Basketball to Rim Ratio: Compared to the clear area of the basketball rim, a regulation basketball is 27% of the size of the opening.
Basketball Rim & Net side elevation (basketball player - James Harden), side (detail), plan, plan (basketball)
Basketball courts come in different sizes based on the level and type of basketball being played. A professional NBA court is 94’ x 50’ | 28.65 x 15.24 m. Courts are comprised of several foundational components: the baskets, the three-point arcs, free-throw (foul) lines, and the half court line. Indoor courts are usually made with polished wood (often maple), while outdoor courts are typically made from paving, concrete, or asphalt.
Size (Overall): 94’ x 50’ | 28.65 x 15.24 m
Area (Court): 4,700 ft2 | 436.64 m2
Baskets: 4’ | 122 cm from perimeter, 10’ | 305 cm high
Three-point Arc: 23’9” | 7.24 m, 22’ | 6.7 m corners
Free-Throw Line: 15’ | 4.57 m from basket
Center Circle: 12’ | 366 cm diameter
Material (Indoor): Polished wood, usually maple
Material (Outdoor): Paving, concrete, asphalt
Basketball Court plan
In basketball, the basket is comprised of a hoop (net) attached to a flat backboard (vertical glass board). Regulation basketball hoops are suspended 10’ | 3.05 m from the playing surface and have a standard rim diameter of 18” | 46 cm. The vertical backboard surface is made of plexiglass or tempered glass to prevent shattering and is sized at 42” x 72” | 110 x 183 cm. Basketball rims are manufactured from high tensile carbon steel to provide the ball with the correct amount of bounce while also having give for players that can dunk.
Rim Height: 10’ | 3.05 m
Rim Diameter: 18” | 46 cm
Backboard Height: 42” | 110 cm
Backboard Width: 72” | 183 cm
Backboard Area: 21 ft2 | 1.95 m2
Inner Backboard Rectangle: 18”x 24” | 46 x 61 cm
Material (Backboard): Plexiglas, tempered glass
Material (Rim): High tensile carbon steel (5/8” diam.)
Basketball Hoop & Backboard side elevation, side (players)
Basketball sizes come in variations for different ages, genders, and level of play. The official NBA and competitive professional basketball is 29.5” | 74.9 cm in circumference with a diameter between 9.43”-9.51” | 24-24.2 cm. Professional basketballs must be inflated to a pressure between 7.5-8.5 PSI and cannot exceed the maximum weight of 22 ounces. When choosing a basketball, consider whether the play environment will be primarily outdoor or indoor because indoor basketballs perform best as full-grain leather constructions and outdoor basketballs are better as rubber.
Circumference: 29.5” | 74.9 cm
Diameter: 9.43”-9.51” | 24-24.2 cm.
Pressure: 7.5-8.5 PSI
Weight: 22 ounces (maximum)
Material (Indoor): Full-grain leather
Material (Outdoor): Rubber