We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
The shooter's square guides a basketball player for bank shots.
That painted square centered above the hoop on a basketball backboard is more than decoration. White in color, according to National Basketball Association rules, the shooter's square guides a player trying to make banked shots. While dunking the ball can cause more of a sensation, banking the ball provides more consistent points, according to author Chris Gorski, writing in "Best 'Sweet Spots' on the Backboard."
Tasked with finding an indoor activity to keep college students in good physical shape during the Massachusetts' winters, James A. Naismith invented the game of basketball. Naismith, a clergyman and physical education instructor who went on to become a medical doctor, used his ingenuity to design a game that could be played within a small area using existing equipment. In the original game, there was not only no shooter's square, but there was no backboard either. Two peach baskets fastened to opposing walls served as goals for a soccer ball. A player scored when he successfully landed the ball in a peach basket -- thus the term "made a basket." History is sketchy regarding how soon players tired of retrieving balls from the baskets and the hoop system was initiated instead. Even more obscure is the initiation of the shooter's square to guide a player's shot.
Basketball gained rapid popularity as a game enjoyed by players as well as spectators. As the game evolved, so did the rules and equipment specifications. As the game became a spectator sport, backboards came into use to prevent the ball from flying into the spectator area. Chicken wire provided the first protection from spectator interference with the ball, but wooden backboards were soon introduced to the sport. Still not quite right, glass backboards replaced wood to provide spectators with a better view. Regulations as of 2013 specify that an official backboard must be 6 feet wide by 3 1/2 feet high, transparent and marked with 2-inch-wide white lines that form a square centered above the basketball hoop. The square dimensions are 24 inches wide by 18 inches high.
Basketball players use a variety of shots to score a basket. When shooting directly toward the hoop, players sometimes strive to sink the ball through the hoop without bouncing the ball off the backboard. Players with a high jump sometimes dunk the ball, driving the ball directly off the palm of the hand through the hoop. Other times, players bounce the ball off the backboard and through the hoop, which is called a bank shot. For bank shots, the shooter's square provides players with a visual guide for calculating the trajectory of the ball off the board. Basketball shooters attempting a bank shot aim at a spot near the upper corner of the square on the side of the backboard nearest the shooter.
Computer-assisted research conducted by engineers at North Carolina State University in 2011 indicated that bank shots are more likely to score points than other types of shots, direct or dunks. Computer-generated maps indicate that a V-shaped area on the backboard defines the best location or "sweet spots" for banking the ball off the board. The V begins at the top of the backboard at each corner, tapers down toward the top corners of the shooter's square and continues into the square, ending just inches inside the square at an imaginary midline. Player skill in using the right shooting strength, along with the guidance of the shooter's square, determines the rate of success of banked shots.