How Do You Line Up When Shooting a Foul Shot?

by Frank
(Sheffield Lake, Ohio, USA)

Picture Of Basketball Free Throw Shooting

Picture Of Basketball Free Throw Shooting

Obviously, the shooter stands behind the foul line but what is the correct positioning around the key for everyone else?


How many people are allowed to be around the key?

Some people say that 2 players from each team should be behind the shooter. I have heard and seen only ONE player behind the shooter (defensive player).

Are there set rules on this? Please help.

I'm going to be helping coach 6th grade girls basketball. Thank you!!!

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Jan 14, 2008
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It all depends.
by: Joe Waters - webmaster

Great basketball question Frank.

I'd have to say it all depends on what you want to accomplish and what the game situation is.

For example, when your team is shooting free throws, you always want at least one man back to defend the fast break. If your opponent gets the basketball down court quickly and runs the fast break well, then you might want to keep two guys back.

If your the defensive team and like to run the fast break, then I would keep two guys out around the key. This puts pressure on your opponent to get back and defend the fast break. However, if you are a weak rebounding team, then I would be four guys in to rebound the basketball.

As I said, it all depends on game situations, your personnel and what you want to accomplish after the free throw.

Thanks for the great basketball question Frank.


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