Biomedical Engineering Principles in Sports

Volume 1 of the series Bioengineering, Mechanics, and Materials: Principles and Applications in Sports pp 367-390

Aerodynamics and Biomechanics of the Free Throw

  • George K. HungAffiliated withDept. of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University
  • , Brian JohnsonAffiliated withKinematic Consultants, Functional Capacity Evaluation Dept.
  • , Adrienne CoppaAffiliated with

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Free throw shooting should be one of the simplest actions in sports; there is no physical contact, jumping, or twisting involved. It is a consistent action in that the free throw is always taken 15 feet from the face of the backboard, which is 10 feet above the floor, and there is never anything between the player and the basket. The basketball is standardized and has a weight of 21 ounces, a circumference of 30 inches, and a diameter of 9.7 inches. The rim is standardized and has an inner diameter of 18 inches.