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Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2007

A three-point field goal (also known as three-pointer) is a field goal in a basketball game, made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket. A successful attempt is worth three points, in contrast to the two points awarded for shots made inside the three point line.

A three-point field goal is distinguished from a "three-point play," which occurs when a shooter successfully scores a two-point basket while being fouled, and then makes the ensuing free throw. If such a foul occurs on a successful three-point shot, the resulting free throw gives the player a chance to earn a four point play.

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History

The referee signals that this Manny Harris jump shot is worth three points.

A three-point rule was tested in 1933 at the suggestion of Herman Sayger of Tiffin, Ohio. Sayger demonstrated new rules designed to eliminate the center jump and establish a new scoring system in a game played by high school athletes in Tiffin, Ohio.

The three-point rule was first tested at the American collegiate level in a 1945 National Collegiate Athletic Association game between Columbia and Fordham. However, professional basketball would be the first to adopt the rule on a permanent basis. The short-lived American Basketball League did so in 1961, and the Eastern Professional Basketball League followed in its 1963-64 season. The three-point shot later became popularized by the original American Basketball Association after its introduction in 1968. During the 1970s, the ABA would use the three-point shot, along with the slam dunk, as a marketing tool to compete with the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 1979–80 season, the NBA officially adopted the three-point shot.

The sport's international governing body, FIBA, introduced the three-point line in 1984, at a distance of 6.25m.

The NCAA's Southern Conference became the first collegiate conference to use the three-point rule, adopting a 22-foot line in 1980. Over the following five years, NCAA conferences differed in their use of the rule and the distance they required for a three-point shot. The NCAA adopted the 19-foot, 9-inch line nationally in 1986. In 2007, the NCAA lengthened the men's three point distance to 20 feet 9 inches, with the rule coming into effect at the beginning of the 2008-09 season.

During the 1994–95, 1995–96, and 1996-97 seasons, the NBA attempted to address decreased scoring by shortening the distance of the line to a uniform 22 feet (6.7 m) around the basket. Dennis Scott then set a record for most three-pointers in a season: 267 in 1995–96. From the 1997–98 season, the NBA reverted the line to its original distance of 23 feet, 9 inches (22 feet at the corners). Ray Allen broke Scott's record with 269 three-pointers in 2005-06 season.

In 2008, FIBA announced that the distance would be extended by 50 cm to 6.75m (22 ft 2 in), with the change being phased in, beginning in October 2010.

The Toronto Raptors hold the NBA record for the longest streak of consecutive games with at least one successful three-pointer. As of February 10, 2010, the record stood at 912 games.

Rule specifications

The three-point line is generally an arc at a set radius measured from the point on the floor directly below the center of the basket. In basketball played under FIBA rules, the three-point line is 6.25 meters (20 ft 6 in) from the basket. This distance is used in almost all countries, except the USA, and in international games, as well as by the WNBA. FIBA will increase the three-point distance to 6.75 meters (22 ft 2 in) from the center of the basket, effective on October 1, 2010 for major international competitions and October 1, 2012 for domestic competitions.[1]

In the U.S.A., high school rules for both sexes specify a distance of 19 feet, 9 inches (6.02 m) from the basket. Recreational courts in the U.S., such as those at public parks, also commonly use this distance. This line lies at the same distance from the basket as the top of the key, so the 3 point line coincides with the top of the key at the center point.

On May 3, 2007, the NCAA men's basketball rules committee passed a measure to extend the distance of the men's three-point line a foot back to 20 feet, 9 inches (6.32 m). The usage became effective from the 2008-09 season.[2] The women's committee, however, decided to keep its line at 19 feet, 9 inches. [1]

In the NBA, the three-point line is composed of two lines, parallel to and 3 feet (0.91 m) from the sideline, and a circular arc (centered on the basket) of roughly 120 degrees, which intersects the parallel lines 14 feet from the baseline. [2] The distance of the arc is 23 feet, 9 inches (7.23 m) from the basket. The distance from the line to the basket varies near the sidelines, and is exactly 22 feet (6.71 m) from the basket at its closest point which is 5 feet, 3 inches (1.6 m) from the base line, along an imaginary line parallel to the base line and through the center of the basket. The line is constructed in this fashion because if it were fixed at the arc distance, there would be very little room to stand inbounds near the baseline.

In order to attempt a three-pointer, a player's feet must be outside the three-point line. At the time of the shot or jump, the player may not be on the line or inside the line, or the basket is considered a two-point attempt; however, the player is allowed to jump from outside the line and land inside the line, as long as the ball is released in mid-air.

An official raises his arm with three fingers extended to signal the shot attempt. If the attempt is successful, he or she raises his 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 (for example, the NBA[3] and the NCAA specifically allow replay for this purpose).

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.

See also

References

External links

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