If you’re a basketball enthusiast or just curious about the sport, you may be wondering how far the three-point line is in high school basketball. Well, wonder no more!

Quick answer: The three-point line in high school basketball is 19 feet, 9 inches away from the center of the hoop.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of the three-point line, its importance in modern basketball, and how its distance varies across different levels of play. We’ll also discuss the rules that govern three-point shots and the strategies that players and coaches use to make the most of them.

The History and Evolution of the Three-Point Line

The Origins of Three-Point Shooting

In basketball, the three-point shot refers to a field goal made from behind the three-point line, a designated arc on the court. The concept of a three-point line was first introduced in the American Basketball League (ABL) in 1961, but it was not until the 1979-1980 season that the NBA adopted the three-point line.

The Introduction of the Three-Point Line in the NBA

The NBA introduced the three-point line in an effort to open up the game and encourage more long-range shooting. The initial distance of the three-point line was 23 feet 9 inches from the center of the basket, which was later extended to 22 feet in 1994 to improve the game’s flow and increase scoring. Today, the NBA three-point line is set at 23 feet 9 inches at the top of the arc and 22 feet in the corners.

The Adoption of the Three-Point Line in College Basketball

College basketball followed the NBA’s lead and adopted the three-point line in the 1986-1987 season. The distance of the three-point line in college basketball is slightly shorter than the NBA’s, measuring 22 feet 1.75 inches at the top of the arc and 21 feet 7.875 inches in the corners. The NCAA also experimented with a deeper three-point line in the 2019 National Invitation Tournament, which was set at 22 feet 1.75 inches all around the arc.

The Implementation of the Three-Point Line in High School Basketball

High school basketball was the last to adopt the three-point line, which was implemented in the 1987-1988 season. The distance of the high school three-point line varies by state, with some states using the same distance as the college three-point line and others using a shorter distance. The average distance of a high school three-point line is about 19 feet 9 inches. It’s important to note that not all high school gyms have a three-point line, particularly in smaller schools or older gyms.

Understanding the Three-Point Shot

The three-point shot is a crucial aspect of modern basketball, allowing teams to score more points in a shorter amount of time. But how far is a high school three-point line, and what are the rules and strategies involved in three-point shooting?

The Basic Rules of Three-Point Shooting

In high school basketball, the three-point line is typically set at a distance of 19 feet and 9 inches from the center of the basket. However, the exact distance can vary depending on the level of play and the specific rules of the league or tournament. To make a three-point shot, the shooter must release the ball from behind the three-point line and have it pass through the hoop without touching any part of the backboard, rim, or net.

Three-point shots are worth three points, compared to two points for shots made inside the three-point line. As a result, teams often rely on three-point shooting to quickly close a gap in the score or take a lead late in the game.

The Different Types of Three-Point Shots

There are several different types of three-point shots that players can use depending on their position, the defensive coverage, and the game situation. One common type is the catch-and-shoot three, where a player receives a pass and quickly shoots the ball without dribbling. Another type is the off-the-dribble three, where a player uses a dribble move to create space and then shoots from behind the arc.

Another type is the step-back three, where a player takes a step back from a defender to create separation and then shoots. The corner three is another popular type, where a player positions themselves in the corner of the court where the three-point line is closer to the basket. This creates a shorter shot distance and can be easier to make.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shooting Threes

While three-point shooting can be a powerful weapon for a team, it also has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that it can quickly change the momentum of a game and turn a deficit into a lead. It can also create more spacing on the court, allowing for easier driving lanes and inside shots.

However, three-point shooting can also be risky. If a team relies too heavily on outside shooting and misses a high percentage of their shots, they can quickly fall behind in the score and lose the game. Additionally, three-point shooting can sometimes lead to a lack of ball movement and teamwork, as players may focus too much on their individual shot opportunities rather than passing and creating opportunities for their teammates.

The Importance of the Three-Point Shot in Modern Basketball

The three-point shot has become an integral part of modern basketball. The ability to shoot accurately from beyond the arc has become a prized skill for players at all levels of the game. In this article, we will explore the rise of analytics in basketball, the impact of the three-point revolution, and the current state of the three-point shot in high school basketball.

The Rise of Analytics in Basketball

In recent years, basketball teams have increasingly turned to analytics to gain an edge over their opponents. Advanced statistics have shown that the three-point shot is one of the most efficient shots in basketball. This has led to a shift in strategy, with teams prioritizing three-point shooting over other aspects of the game.

Analytics have also led to changes in player development. Coaches and trainers now focus on developing players who can shoot from beyond the arc, even if they play other positions. This has resulted in an increase in the number of players who can shoot threes, making the shot even more important in modern basketball.

The Impact of the Three-Point Revolution

The rise of the three-point shot has had a profound impact on the game of basketball. Teams that can shoot threes at a high percentage have a significant advantage over those that cannot. This has led to a change in the way the game is played, with teams spacing the floor to create open shots from beyond the arc.

The three-point revolution has also led to changes in defensive strategy. Teams now prioritize defending the three-point line, often at the expense of other areas of the court. This has led to a decrease in mid-range jump shots, as teams focus on either getting to the rim or shooting threes.

The Three-Point Shot in High School Basketball Today

The three-point shot has become increasingly prevalent in high school basketball in recent years. In most states, the high school three-point line is 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket, the same as the college three-point line. This has led to an increase in the number of players who can shoot threes at a high percentage.

Coaches at the high school level have also adapted their strategies to prioritize three-point shooting. Many teams now run offenses designed to create open shots from beyond the arc, and players are encouraged to shoot threes whenever they have the opportunity.

Strategies for Making the Most of the Three-Point Line

The Importance of Spacing and Ball Movement

To effectively use the three-point line, teams must focus on spacing and ball movement. Spacing refers to the positioning of players on the court, which helps to create open areas for shooters. Ball movement is essential to move the defense and create open shots. Teams that create good spacing and move the ball well can often find high-percentage three-point shots.

One of the best ways to create spacing is by having post players who can shoot from outside. This can force the defense to stretch out and create more room for perimeter players. Another effective strategy is to use off-ball screens to create open looks for shooters. By setting screens away from the ball, teams can create confusion in the defense and get shooters open looks.

The Role of Three-Point Specialists

The three-point specialist has become a vital part of many teams’ game plans. These players are often not the best all-around players on the team, but they have a unique skill set that can be useful in certain situations. Three-point specialists are often brought in to provide a spark off the bench or to provide a scoring punch when the team is struggling.

A good three-point specialist must be able to shoot accurately from beyond the arc, but they also need to be able to create their own shot. This means they must have good ball-handling skills and the ability to maneuver around defenders. Additionally, they must be able to play solid defense, as coaches will not sacrifice defense for offense.

The Impact of Coaching and Game Situations

Coaching and game situations can play a significant role in a team’s ability to effectively use the three-point line. Coaches must develop game plans that take advantage of their team’s strengths and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents. They must also make adjustments during the game to counter the other team’s strategies.

Game situations can also impact a team’s ability to use the three-point line effectively. For example, if a team is down by a significant margin, they may need to rely more heavily on three-point shots to catch up quickly. Conversely, if a team has a lead, they may want to slow down the game and take fewer three-pointers to limit the other team’s possessions.


In conclusion, the three-point shot has become an essential part of modern basketball, and its distance varies across different levels of play. For high school basketball, the three-point line is 19 feet, 9 inches away from the center of the hoop. As players and coaches continue to innovate and adapt to this dynamic aspect of the game, the three-point shot will undoubtedly remain a crucial component of basketball strategy and excitement for years to come.

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