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Basketball Court Terms For Players, Parents & Coaches

The Basketball Court terms listed below will give you a better understanding of the many locations on the court.

Knowing and understanding all the spots on the basketball court will help…

  • Players communicate better with their teammates and coaches.
  • Parents follow their child’s game better. You will be able to enjoy the game more if you understand the various terms.
  • Coaches communicate better with their players. Everyone will be on the same page. This will make your practices and games more effective.
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Basketball Court Terms

Backboard – The flat surface directly behind the basket. The basket is connected to the backboard.

Backcourt – That half of the basketball court that is the farthest from the offensive basket. Also, the position played by the guards.

Ball Side – The side of the court on which the ball is located. Also called the strong side.

Baseline – Also called the end line. This line extends across both ends of the court behind the baskets.

Basket – Consists of the rim and the net.

Blocks – The square markings six feet from the baseline on each side of the lane.

Center Circle – The circular area at midcourt where jump balls take place.

Court – The area on which a basketball game is played; bounded by 2 sidelines and 2 end lines, containing a basket at each end.

Cylinder – The imaginary area directly above the basket where goaltending or basket interference can occur.

Downcourt – Moving from the backcourt toward the frontcourt, or toward the offensive basket.

End Line – Also called the baseline. This line extends across both ends of the court behind the baskets

Floor – The area of the court within the end lines and sidelines.

Free Throw Lane – The area bordered by the end line, the free throw line, and two connecting lines forming a twelve foot lane. This is also called “the paint”.

Free Throw Line – The line 15 feet from the backboard and parallel to the end line from which players shoot free-throws. Also called the “foul line”.

Frontcourt – The offensive area of the basketball court from the midcourt line to the baseline. Also the positions played by the forwards and center.

Game Clock – Shows how much time remains in each quarter or half of play.

Hashmark – One of four lines extending 3 feet in from a sideline, 28 feet from and parallel to a baseline.

Help Side – The side of the court opposite that of the ball. Also called the weakside.

High Post – An area of the court located near the free-throw line.

Hoop – The basket.

In-the-Paint – The inside area of the free throw lane that is painted a different color than the rest of the court.

Key – The area consisting of the foul circle, foul lane and free-throw line.

Lane – The area running from the end line to the free-throw line and extending 12 feet across is called the lane. It’s also known as the “paint”.

Low Post – An area of the court located near the basket.

Midcourt Line – The line in the middle of the basketball court that separates the frontcourt from the backcourt.

Midline – See Midcourt Line.

Out of Bounds – The area outside of and including the end lines and sidelines.

Paint – The area inside the free-throw lane.

Perimeter – The area outside the three-second lane area.

Post – The area on either side of the free-throw lane.

Shot Clock – A clock that limits the time a team with the ball has to shoot it.

Sidelines – The two boundary lines that run the length of the court.

Strong Side – The side of the basketball court on which the ball is being controlled. If the ball is either passed or dribbled across court, then that side becomes the strong side.

Ten-Second Line – The half-court line is the ten-second line. When a team is advancing the ball up the court from their defensive end, they have ten seconds to get the ball across the half-court line.

Three-Point Line – Semi-circle that is 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket at all points. This has varying distances for the different levels of competition.

Three-Second Lane – An area that extends from the baseline under the basket to the free-throw line. Also called the “key”.

Time Line – See Ten-Second Line.

Top of the Key – The semi-circle that extends beyond the free-throw line.

Weak Side – The side of the basketball court without the ball.


I hope you have found this list of basketball terms to be helpful and informative. Remember, to thoroughly understand the game of basketball, it is important to understand the terms of the game.

If you need more great information on these basketball court terms or other basketball topics, I would suggest you purchase some goodbasketball books and videos. These will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about the game of basketball.


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