Tuesday , Nov , 30 , 1999 C.Y. Ellis

Basketball rules – Court & Equipment

THIS IS BASKETBALL. An American-invented game hinged to science, skill and speed, basketball is played by two teams with five or (in rare circumstances) fewer players on each side. The ball is round and can be batted, bounced, rolled or thrown within the jurisdiction of the playing rules. The object of the game is tossing the ball through one of the two 10-foot-high baskets at opposite ends of the floor. If Team A shoots successfully into its own basket, it’ s two or three points for Team A. It is also two points for Team 6 if Team A mistakenly shoots successfully into Team B’ s basket.

COURT DIMENSIONS AND MARKINGS. The ideal playing area is 50 feet wide by 94 feet long with at least 3 feet (preferably 10 feet) of open area outside the boundaries.

In addition to sidelines and end lines, markings include a center circle; a division line through the center circle from sideline to sideline, dividing the court into two equal parts; a free-throw lane (12 feet wide) and free-throw line (15 feet from the backboard) at each end of the court and a broken restraining line outside the court 6 feet from, and parallel to, the end lines.

The center circle has a 6-foot radius. The area inside the circle may not be occupied by the eight nonjumpers until one of the two jumpers has tapped the ball.

The three-point arc, measured 19 feet 9 inches from the center of the basket, serves as the boundary line to let the referee know that three points shall be awarded for a successful field-goal attempt from beyond the line.

There are reasons for the other court markings, too. For instance, the division line through the center circle separates each team’ s "front court," which is that half of the court that includes its own basket, from its "back court." For men, a team may not retain continuous control of the ball in the backcourt for 10 or more seconds. Each team’ s free-throw lane (between the free-throw line and the end line) is an area in which none of its players may remain for three or more seconds.

BASKETS AND BACKBOARDS. The modern goal at each end of the court represents tremendous architectural progress since Dr. James Naismith hung up a wooden peach basket.

The basket now is a metal ring, 18 inches in inside diameter, with a white cord (twine or plastic) 12-mesh net, 15 to 18 inches in length, suspended from beneath the ring to check the ball momentarily as it passes through.

The basket ring is securely attached to-but six inches from-the backboard. Its upper edge is 10 feet above the floor and parallel to the floor. Movable and nonmovable rings are legal.

For the college game, the only acceptable backboards are those that are rectangular. The two sizes that are legal are 6 feet wide by 4 feet high and 6 feet wide by 3% feet high. The boards at both ends of the court must be the same size and shape. The backboards must be padded across the bottom and 15 inches up each side.

THE BALL. The size of the ball that must pass through the hoop is 29 to 30 inches (approximately 9% inches in diameter) for men and 28% to 29 inches for women. The men’s ball weighs almost a half-pound more than a football-20 to 22 ounces (a football weighs 14 to 15 ounces) and the women’s ball weighs 18 to 20 ounces. The basketball has a leather (or, occasionally, composition) orange cover. The game ball is provided by the home team.

PLAYER BENCHES. The player benches are on the same side of the court as the scorers’ and timers’ table. Nevertheless, until this became an official recommendation, it was not uncommon for the two teams to be seated on opposite sides, requiring one team’s entering substitutes to jog clear around the court to report to the scorers.

COACHING BOX. Coaching boxes were established because some coaches were abusing the bench-decorum rule and some unfortunate incidents occurred as a result of coaches straying from their bench area.

Basketball rules  –