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What Are the Different Types of Basketball Court Surfaces?

By Susan Brandt

Basketball court surfaces can be made from various types of materials. The surfaces used depend on whether the court is indoors or out, and if the court is outside, the material must be appropriate for the environment.


Basketball was a sport that started in 1891 when a physical education teacher wanted to find a way for his students to stay physically fit during the long, hard winters that were commonplace in New England.

Types of Indoor Basketball Court Materials

Many basketball courts are made out of hardwood. Usually, these floors are maple that is coated with a protective sealant to help increase the life of the hardwood. Also used are Sport Court Rubberized Tiles, which are interlocking and can be laid down in a very short amount of time. The surface is more flexible to help reduce stress on the knees and feet. Other types of synthetic surfaces also can serve as basketball courts.

Types of Outdoor Basketball Court Materials

Outdoor basketball courts are usually fairly simple in their materials and construction. Many courts are simply poured concrete. After the concrete has been poured and smoothed flat, the lines of the court are painted on top, and a sealant is used on the court to protect it from weather and normal wear.
Asphalt tends to be more cost effective and is quicker and easier to lay down as there is not much curing time required before it is ready to be used.
The same rubberized Sport Court tiles that can be laid indoors also can be used outdoors. They are designed to be weather resistant.

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Suspended-Surface Basketball Courts

If you are looking to install your own basketball court, a suspended-surface court might be the best option. A suspended-surface court is a modular kit of rubberized tiles that have a three-point suspension system. This design helps to cushion players as they play helping to reduce stress on joints. The tile material is also designed to wick away moisture, and rain if the court is built outdoors. This court material can be used both indoors and outdoors.


The measurements of a regulation size, NBA court are 94 feet long by 50 feet wide. The center circle measures 12 feet across while the restraining circle diameter is 4 feet. The three-point line should be 23.75 feet from the basket, and the basket should measure 10 feet high. The shaded key is 16 feet wide and is 15 feet from the backboard.

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