For the second time in 11 years, men’s college basketball adjusted its three-point line. This means that in 2019, you can turn on your television to a basketball game and see four different lines around the arc designating triple territory based on level and gender.
It can get understandably confusing even with two or three demarcations on the court. It’s an unfortunate ridiculous reality for basketball at the moment that will hopefully soon be rectified, but until then, Nothing But Nylon has you covered. We will do the best we can to help you through the confusion in our guide to the three-point line.
Three-Point Line by Level and League
In the NBA, the three-point line does not create a perfect half circle because of how far it is. In order to fit it onto the court will still allowing triples from the corner, different dimensions are used around the perimeter.
A straight line is used from the baseline that lasts 16 feet, 9 inches (5.1054 meters) before curving toward the center of the floor. A direct path from the rim to the edge of that line is 22 feet (6.7056 meters). The rest of the arc is 23 feet, 9 inches (7.239 meters) away from the hoop.
WNBA, FIBA, NCAA Men’s
Starting this season, the NCAA moved the men’s three-point line back to match the measurements already used by the WNBA and FIBA. The change puts the line at 22 feet, 1.75 inches (6.75005 meters), pushing it back by 28.75 inches (0.73025 meters) from where it had stood since 2008. However, the new standard has only been implemented at the Division I level immediately. Division II and III won’t have the new three-point line until the 2020-21 season “due to potential financial impact of placing a new line on courts,” according to a press release.
At all three levels, the minimum length the line can be from the sideline is 2 feet, 11 inches (0.889 meters), meaning that the arc does become a straight line at a certain point and the specified dimensions bend to fit the parameters.
The NCAA used the same distance for men’s and women’s basketball until the recent change. For the women, the three-point line is still 20 feet, 9 inches (6.3246 meters) away from the hoop, and the line is a continuous arc without any straight lines. It is likely that this will change in the next few years to move it back to the same distance the men now play with, but until then, this is where triple territory begins for the women.
American High School
The three-point line for high schoolers in America is still right up against the edge of the key, sitting at 19 feet, 9 inches (6.0198 meters) away from the basket. This is the same for boys and girls and used to be the line used at the college level as well.