Three-point field goal

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Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot at the 2005 FIBA Europe Cup Women's Finals Three point shoot.JPG
Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot at the 2005 FIBA Europe Cup Women's Finals

A three-point field goal (also 3-pointer, three or informally, trey ) is a field goal in a basketball game made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc surrounding the basket. A successful attempt is worth three points, in contrast to the two points awarded for field goals made within the three-point line and the one point for each made free throw.

Field goal (basketball) basket scored on any shot or tap other than a free throw, worth two or three points depending on the distance of the attempt from the basket

In basketball, a field goal is a basket scored on any shot or tap other than a free throw, worth two or three points depending on the distance of the attempt from the basket. Uncommonly, a field goal can be worth other values such as one point in FIBA 3x3 basketball competitions or four points in the BIG3 basketball league. "Field goal" is the official terminology used by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in their rule book, in their box scores and statistics, and in referees' rulings. The same term is also the official wording used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and high school basketball.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Free throw penalty in basketball

In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points by shooting from behind the free throw line, a line situated at the end of the restricted area. Free throws are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team. Each successful free throw is worth one point.

Contents

The distance from the basket to the three-point line varies by competition level: in the National Basketball Association (NBA) the arc is 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 m) from the center of the basket; in FIBA, the WNBA, and NCAA Division I the arc is 6.75 metres or 22 feet 1 34 inches; and in NCAA Divisions II and III, the arc is 20 feet 9 inches (6.32 m). In the NBA and FIBA/WNBA, the three-point line becomes parallel to each sideline at the points where the arc is 3 feet (0.91 m) from each sideline; as a result the distance from the basket gradually decreases to a minimum of 22 feet (6.71 m). In NCAA Divisions II and III the arc is continuous for 180° around the basket. There are more variations (see main article).

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

FIBA International basketball governing body

The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA, from its French name Fédération internationale de basket-ball, is an association of national organizations which governs the sport of basketball worldwide. Originally known as the Fédération internationale de basket-ball amateur, in 1989 it dropped the word amateur from its name but retained the acronym; the "BA" now represents the first two letters of basketball.

Womens National Basketball Association United Stated top womens professional basketball league

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from May to September with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October.

In 3x3, a FIBA-sanctioned variant of the half-court 3-on-3 game, the same line exists, but shots from behind it are only worth 2 points with all other shots worth 1 point. [1]

History

The three-point line was first tested at the collegiate level in 1945, with a 21-foot line, in a game between Columbia and Fordham, but it was not kept as a rule. There was another one-game experiment in 1958, this time with a 23-foot line, in a game between St. Francis (N.Y.) and Siena. In 1961, Boston University and Dartmouth played one game with an experimental rule that counted all field goals as three points. [2]

The Columbia Lions Basketball team is the basketball team that represents Columbia University in New York City. The school's team currently competes in the Ivy League. The team's last appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was in 1968. The Lions are led by head coach Jim Engles. Their home games are held in the Levien Gymnasium.

Fordham Rams mens basketball

The Fordham Rams men's basketball team represents Fordham University, located in Bronx, New York, in NCAA Division I basketball competition. They compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Rams play their home games at the Rose Hill Gymnasium (3,200), the nation's oldest on-campus collegiate basketball arena still in use. On February 28, 1940, Fordham University played in the nation's first televised college basketball game, when the Rams fell to Pitt at Madison Square Garden.

St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers mens basketball

The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers men's basketball program represents St. Francis College in intercollegiate men's basketball. The team is a member of the Division I Northeast Conference. The Terriers play on the Peter Aquilone Court at the Generoso Pope Athletic Complex located on the St. Francis College Brooklyn Heights campus. The Terriers have also hosted home games at Madison Square Garden and at the Barclays Center.

At the direction of Abe Saperstein, the American Basketball League became the first basketball league to institute the rule in 1961. Its three-point line was a radius of 25 feet (7.62 m) from the baskets, except along the sides. [3] The Eastern Professional Basketball League followed in its 1963–64 season.

Abe Saperstein American basketball player

Abraham Michael Saperstein was the founder, owner and earliest coach of the Harlem Globetrotters. Saperstein was a leading figure in black basketball and baseball in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, primarily before those sports were racially integrated.

Continental Basketball Association Defunct mens basketball minor league

The Continental Basketball Association (CBA) was a men's professional basketball minor league in the United States from 1946 to 2009.

The three-point shot later became popularized by the American Basketball Association (ABA), introduced in its inaugural 1967–68 season. [4] [5] ABA commissioner George Mikan stated the three-pointer "would give the smaller player a chance to score and open up the defense to make the game more enjoyable for the fans." [6] During the 1970s, the ABA used the three-point shot, along with the slam dunk, as a marketing tool to compete with the NBA; its ninth and final season concluded in the spring of 1976. [7] [8] [9]

American Basketball Association defunct professional basketball league in the United States, merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976

The original American Basketball Association (ABA) was a men's professional basketball league, from 1967 to 1976. The ABA ceased to exist with the American Basketball Association–National Basketball Association merger in 1976, leading to several teams joining the National Basketball Association and to the introduction of the 3-point shot in the NBA in 1979.

The 1967–68 ABA season was the first season for the American Basketball Association. The ABA was challenging the National Basketball Association. The ABA introduced a red, white and blue basketball. They used a 30-second shot clock as opposed to the NBA's 24 second shot clock, and also used the three-point shot. There were 11 teams playing in the first season of the league, with each team playing a 78-game schedule.

George Mikan American basketball player, coach, commissioner

George Lawrence Mikan Jr., nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Invariably playing with thick, round spectacles, the 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m), 245 pounds (111 kg) Mikan is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball, redefining it as a game of so-called big men with his prolific rebounding, shot blocking, and his talent to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot, the result of his namesake Mikan Drill. He also utilized the underhanded free-throw shooting technique long before Rick Barry made it his signature shot.

The official scorer's report showing the first three-point field goal in NBA history on October 12, 1979 Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics 1979-10-12 (Official Scorer's Report-Original) (Chris Ford crop).jpg
The official scorer's report showing the first three-point field goal in NBA history on October 12, 1979

Three years later in June 1979, the NBA adopted the three-point line for a one-year trial for the 1979–80 season, [10] [11] [12] despite the view of many that it was a gimmick. [13] Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics is widely credited with making the first three-point shot in NBA history on October 12, 1979; the season opener at Boston Garden was more noted for the debut of Larry Bird (and two new head coaches). [14] [15] Rick Barry of the Houston Rockets, in his final season, also made one in the same game, and Kevin Grevey of the Washington Bullets made one that Friday night as well. [15] [16]

The sport's international governing body, FIBA, introduced the three-point line in 1984, at 6.25 m (20 ft 6 in), and it made its Olympic debut in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

The NCAA's Southern Conference became the first collegiate conference to use the three-point rule, adopting a 22-foot (6.71 m) line for the 1980–81 season. [17] [18] Ronnie Carr of Western Carolina was the first to score a three-point field goal in college basketball history on November 29, 1980. [18] [19] [20] Over the following five years, NCAA conferences differed in their use of the rule and distance required for a three-pointer. The line was as close as 17 ft 9 in (5.41 m) in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and as far away as 22 ft (6.71 m) in the Big Sky. [21] [22] [23] [24]

Used only in conference play for several years, it was adopted by the NCAA in April 1986 for the 1986–87season at 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m) [25] [26] [27] [28] and was first used in the NCAA Tournament in March 1987. [29] The NCAA adopted the three-pointer in women's basketball on an experimental basis for that season at the same distance, and made its use mandatory beginning in 1987–88. [30] In 2007, the NCAA lengthened the men's distance by a foot to 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m), effective with the 2008–09 season, [31] and the women's line was moved to match the men's in 2011–12. [30] American high schools, along with elementary and middle schools, adopted a 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m) line nationally in 1987, a year after the NCAA. [32] The NCAA experimented with the 6.75 m (22 ft 1 34 in) FIBA three-point line distance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 2018 and 2019, [33] then adopted that distance for all men's play with a phased conversion that begins with Division I in 2019-20 season. [34] [35]

For three seasons beginning in 1994–95, the NBA attempted to address decreased scoring by shortening the distance of the line from 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m) (22 ft (6.71 m) at the corners) to a uniform 22 ft (6.71 m) around the basket. From the 1997–98 season on, the NBA reverted the line to its original distance of 23 ft 9 in (22 ft at the corners, with a 3-inch differential). Ray Allen is currently the NBA all-time leader in career made three-pointers with 2,973. [36]

In 2008, FIBA announced that the distance would be increased by 50 cm (19.7 in) to 6.75 m (22 ft 1 34 in), with the change being phased in beginning in October 2010. In December 2012, the WNBA announced that it would be using the FIBA distance, starting in 2013; by 2017, the line at corners were lengthened to match the NBA. The NBA has discussed adding a four-point line, according to president Rod Thorn. [37]

In the NBA, three-point field goals became increasingly more frequent along the years, especially by mid 2015 onward. The increase in latter years has been attributed to NBA player Stephen Curry, who is credited with revolutionizing the game by inspiring teams to regularly employ the three-point shot as part of their winning strategy. [38] [39] [40] The 1979–80 season had an average 0.8 three-point goals per game and 2.8 attempts (29% effectiveness). The 1989–90 season had an average 2.2 three-point goals per game and 6.6 attempts (33% effectiveness). The 1999–2000 season had an average 4.8 three-point goals per game and 13.7 attempts (35% effectiveness). The 2009-10 season had an average 6.4 three-point goals per game and 18.1 attempts (36% effectiveness). The 2016–17 season had an average 9.7 three-point goals per game and 27.0 attempts (36% effectiveness). [41]

Rule specifications

A three-point line consists of an arc at a set radius measured from the point on the floor directly below the center of the basket, and two parallel lines equidistant from each sideline extending from the nearest end line to the point at which they intersect the arc. In the NBA and FIBA standard, the arc spans the width of the court until it is a specified minimum distance from each sideline. The three-point line then becomes parallel to the sidelines from those points to the baseline. The unusual formation of the three-point line at these levels allows players some space from which to attempt a three-point shot at the corners of the court; the arc would be less than 2 feet (0.61 m) from each sideline at the corners if it was a continuous arc. In the NCAA and American high school standards, the arc spans 180° around the basket, then becomes parallel to the sidelines from the plane of the basket center to the baseline (4 feet 3 inches or 1.30 metres in college, 5 feet 3 inches or 1.60 metres in high schools). The distance of the three-point line to the center of the hoop varies by level:

Arc radiusMinimum distance
from sidelines
NBA 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m)3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) [42]
FIBA 6.75 m (22 ft 2 in)0.9 m (2 ft 11 in) [43]
NCAA Division I 22 ft 1.75 in (6.75 m)2 ft 11 in (0.89 m)
NCAA Divisions II and III 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)4 ft 3 in (1.30 m) [44]
U.S. high schools 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) [45]

A player's feet must be completely behind the three-point line at the time of the shot or jump in order to make a three-point attempt; if the player's feet are on or in front of the line, it is a two-point attempt. A player is allowed to jump from outside the line and land inside the line to make a three-point attempt, as long as the ball is released in mid-air.

An official raises his/her arm with three fingers extended to signal the shot attempt. If the attempt is successful, he/she raises his/her other arm with all fingers fully extended in manner similar to a football official signifying successful field goal to indicate the three-point goal. The official must recognize it for it to count as three points. Instant replay has sometimes been used, depending on league rules. The NBA, [46] WNBA, FIBA and the NCAA specifically allow replay for this purpose. In NBA, FIBA, and WNBA games, video replay does not have to occur immediately following a shot; play can continue and the officials can adjust the scoring later in the game, after reviewing the video. However, in late game situations, play may be paused pending a review.

If a shooter is fouled while attempting a three-pointer and subsequently misses the shot, the shooter is awarded three free-throw attempts. If a player completes a three-pointer while being fouled, the player is awarded one free-throw for a possible 4-point play. Conceivably, if a player completed a three-pointer while being fouled, and that foul was ruled as either a Flagrant 1 or a Flagrant 2 foul, the player would be awarded two free throws for a possible 5-point play.

Major League Lacrosse features a two-point line which forms a 15-yard (14 m) arc around the front of the goal. Shots taken from behind this line count for two points, as opposed to the standard one point.

In gridiron football, a standard field goal is worth three points; various professional and semi-pro leagues have experimented with four-point field goals. NFL Europe and the Stars Football League adopted a rule similar to basketball's three-point line in which an additional point was awarded for longer field goals; in both leagues any field goal of 50 yards (46 m) or more was worth four points. The Arena Football League awards four points for any successful drop kicked field goal (like the three-point shot, the drop kick is more challenging than a standard place kick, as the bounce of the ball makes a kick less predictable, and arena football also uses narrower goal posts for all kicks than the outdoor game does).

During the existence of the World Hockey Association in the 1970s, there were proposals for two-point hockey goals for shots taken beyond an established distance (one proposal was a 44-foot (13.4m) arc, which would have intersected the faceoff circles), but this proposal gained little support and faded after the WHA merged with the NHL. It was widely believed that long-distance shots in hockey had little direct relation to skill (usually resulting more from goalies' vision being screened or obscured), plus with the lower scoring intrinsic to the sport a two-point goal was seen as disruptive of the structure of the game.

The Super Goal is a similar concept in Australian rules football, in which a 50-meter (55 yd) arc determines the value of a goal; within the arc, it is the usual 6 points, but 9 points are scored for a "super goal" scored from outside the arc. To date the super goal is only used in pre-season games and not in the season proper. [47]

The National Professional Soccer League II, which awarded two points for all goals except those on the power play, also used a three-point line, drawn 45 feet (14 m) from the goal. It has since been adopted by some other indoor soccer leagues.

See also

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Glossary of basketball terms


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In basketball, a three-point play is usually achieved by scoring a two-point field goal, being fouled in the act of shooting, and scoring one point on the subsequent free throw. Before the three-point field goal was created in the 1960s for professional basketball and 1980s for collegiate basketball, it was the only way to score three points on a single possession. It is sometimes called an old-fashioned three-point play to distinguish from the later three-point shot. And one is also sometimes used to refer to the extra free throw after a two-point basket.

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A four-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game made from a part of the court designated for a four-point shot, the designated area is typically farther from the basket than the three-point arc. A successful attempt is worth four points, in contrast to the three points awarded for a shot beyond the three point line, two points awarded for field goals made within the three-point line and the one point for each made free throw.

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