Basketball 3 Pointers – Is it equal worldwide?

Shooting for 3 points in official basketball games was only possible since the 1979 NBA’s (USA National Basketball Association) season. This regulatory body of basketball decided to grant 3 points for all field goals made beyond the three point line (without stepping it, even though the body of the player may surpass the line if he/she is in the air while throwing the ball). Until 1994 this line – 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 – was defined by the NBA as having a 7.24 m distance (6.7 metres at the corners). Between 1994 and 1997 the distance was changed to an equidistance of 6.7 metres in all parts of the field to enhance 3 pointers, but reverted to its original distance afterwards.

In other countries, official 3 pointers only saw the light of day in 1984 when FIBA (The sport’s international governing body) introduced it in its rules. However the 3 point line was initially marked at a distance of 6.25 metres all over the field.

Only from the end of 2010 this line was increased to 6.75 metres, distance that still stands nowadays. So, with the exception of corner throws, an almost 0.5 metres overmark exists in NBA games relatively to other championships in what respects 3 pointer shots, making scoring harder in the USA. 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 3-pointer while being fouled, the player is awarded one free-throw for a possible 4-point play.

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