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Basketball Equipment and Basketball Court Structure

The only essential equipment in basketball is the court, which consists of two baskets with backboards, and a basketball.

The Basketball
The men's ball's circumference ranges between 29.48 and 30 inches (749 and 762 mm); its diameter 9.3 to 9.5 inches (238 to 242 mm). It weighs 1.246 to 1.374 pounds (567 to 624 g). The women's ball's circumference is between 28.50 and 29.01 in (724 and 737 mm), its diameter 9.07 to 9.23 inches, and its mass from 1.123 to 1.246 pounds (510 to 567 g).

The Basketball Court
A regulation basketball court in international games is 28 by 15 meters (approx. 92 by 49 feet) and in the NBA is 94 by 50 feet (approx. 29 by 15 meters). Most courts are made of wood, and have various
markings, 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide to mark off the various sections.

Basketball Court Dimensions

The Basket and Backboard
A basket and backboard hang over each end of the court. The basket consists of a cast-iron rim and a net, and is connected by supports to the backboard.

The backboard sits 10 feet (NBA), which is the same as 3.05 meters (FIBA), above the court and four feet inside the endline. They may have either a fan shape or rectangular shape. The fan shaped backboard is 54 inches (140 centimeters) wide, and has the "target area" at the bottom center. The rectangular backboard is 72 inches (180 centimeters) wide and has its "target area" in the lower center. Both "target areas" are 24 inches long and 18 inches wide.

Basketball Game Attire
For both mens' and womens' teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a sleeveless tank top. Players also wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. Years ago, female players' unforms consisted of short-sleeved shirts and skirts. This type of uniform has long since been phased out. At all levels of competitive basketball, the basketball uniforms have the team's name printed across the upper chest area, plus a number. The numbers help identify a player to fans and - more importantly - other players, coaches and game officials. The uniforms of the home team are often white (or some other light color), while the visiting team wears a darker-colored uniform.

International games mandate the numbers from 4 to 15. At the high school and college levels, numbers generally range from 1-5, 10-15, 20-25, 30-35, 40-45, and 50-55, plus 0 and 00. Colleges usually have no restrictions on which numbers are used, although in some states, high school teams must wear even-numbered jerseys if they're the home team and odd-numbered jerseys if they're considered the visitor. Also, teams may have either 0 or 00, but not both. Uniform numbers in the NBA are generally the same, although many players have worn numbers above 55 (e.g., Dennis Rodman, who wore No. 91 while playing with the Chicago Bulls).

Of course, fans don't have to spend money to buy suitable clothing to play basketball. Sometimes, all that's needed is a pair of sneakers, a pair of loose-fitting shorts and perhaps a T-shirt or tank top (although male players sometimes play bare-chested).

Other Basketball Equipment
In all levels of competition, clocks are necessary to regulate game time. Professional and international games often call for more equipment to assist in administration and officiating. This can include shot clocks, scorer's tables, and whistle-operated stop-clock systems.

 
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