Basketball is played by two teams of five players each. The aim of each team is to score in the opponent’s basket and to prevent the other team from scoring.
The playing court is a flat, hard surface free from obstructions with dimensions of 28m long by 15m wide, measured from the inside edge of the boundary line.
A team's backcourt is the team's own basket, the inbounds part of the backboard and the part of the playing court limited by the endline behind the team's own basket, sidelines and centre line.
A team's frontcourt consists of the opponents' basket, the inbounds part of the backboard and part of the playing court limited by the endline behind the opponents' basket, sidelines and inner edge of the centre line nearest to the opponents' basket.
The height of the ceiling or the lowest obstruction above the playing floor is at least 7m.
All lines are drawn in the same colour (preferably white), 5cm in width and clearly visible.
The playing area is limited by the boundary line, consisting of endlines and sidelines. These lines are not part of the playing court. The minimum space around the court for run-off is 2m. Any obstruction, including seated team bench personnel, must be at least 2m from the playing court.
All spectators must be seated at a distance of at least 5m from the outside edge of the boundary lines of the playing court.
Centre line, centre circle and free-throw semi-circles
The centre line is marked parallel to the endlines from the mid-points of the sidelines and extend 0.15m beyond each sideline. Centre line is part of the backcourt.
The centre circle is marked in the centre of the playing court and has a radius of 1.8m measured to the outer edge of the circumference. If the inside of the centre circle is painted, it must be the same colour as the restricted areas.
The free-throw semi-circles are marked on the playing court with court with a radius of 1.8m measured to the outer edge of the circumference and with their centres at the mid-points of the free-throw line (see diagram).
Free-throw lines, restricted areas and free-throw rebound places
The free-throw line is drawn parallel to each endline. It furthest edge is 5.80m from the inner edge of the endline and is 3.60m long. It's mid-point lies on the imaginary line joining the mid-points of the two end endlines.
The restricted area ("the Key") has been changed to a rectangle 5.8m by 3.6m. For international competition the restricted area must be painted. Basketball Australia is not adopting that requirement.
The restricted areas are the rectangular areas marked on the playing court limited by the endlines, the extended free-throw lines and the lines which originate at the endlines, their outer edges 2.45m from the mid-points of the endlines and terminating at the outer edge of the free-throw lines. These lines, excluding the endlines, are part of the restricted area. The inside of the restricted areas must be painted.
Free-throw rebound places along the restricted area, reserved for players during free throws and are marked in the diagram to the right.
Three point field goal area and line
The three point line has been extended from 6.25m to 6.75m. Basketball Australia recommends that the courts should be marked with both three point lines (6.25m and 6.75m).
The new 6.75m three point line should be marked in white (or the same colour as the rest of the basketball court line) and the old 6.25m three point line marked in an alternate colour, ie yellow, red, green, blue or black.
The three point field goal area (see diagram on the next page) is the entire floor area of the playing court, except for the area near the opponents’ basket., limited by and including:
- Two parallel lines extending from and perpendicular to the endlines, with the outer edge 0.90m from the inner edge of the sidelines.
- An arc of radium 6.75m measured from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the opponents' basket to the outer edge of arc. This distance of the point on the floor from the inner edge of the mid-point of the endline is 1.575m. The arc is joined to the parallel lines.
The three point line is not part of the three-point field goal area.
A throw-in line 15cm long, outside the playing court, will be marked 8.325m from the end line (at the top of the three point arc) on the sideline opposite the scorer's table. Previously this throw-in was administered at the half way line, opposite the scorer's table.
No-charge semi-circle areas
The no-charge semi-circle lines shall be marked on the playing courts, limited by:
- A semi-cicle with a radius of 1.25m measured from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the basket to the inner edge of the semi-circle. The semi-circle is joined to:
- Two parallel lines perpendicular to the endlines, the inner edge 1.25m from the point on the floor beneath the exact centre of the basket, 0.375m in length and ending 1.20m from the inner edge of the endline.
The no-charge semi-circle areas are completed by imaginary lines joining the ends of the parallel lines directly below the front edges of the backboards. The no-charge semi-circle lines are not part of the no-charge semi-circle areas.
Team Bench Areas
The team bench areas are marked outside the playing court limited by two lines as shown on the diagram. There must be 14 seats available in the team bench area for coaches, assistant coaches and substitutes. Any other persons must be at least two metres behind the team bench.
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.