I have yet to discover a definitive definition of a half court shot which is not subjective. When we ask our players to give their subjective definition, they all tell us to use the basketball equivalent of the 50/50 balls situation which they call “1/2 court shots” (a quarter court shot is equal to ½ of a half court shot). These are the shots you see that the ball does not travel straight down the court as you might expect if you are going to call each shot a half court shot. As the player is moving up the court and is making a half court shot, the ball is only going one way. As the player is moving down the court and is making a half court shot, the ball is traveling parallel with the floor in a straight line. Most likely, the player is looking at the rim or backboard as the ball is being passed to the player.
The NBA has a rule in its official rules and regulations for half court shots (Rule 8-3-1 (b)):
A player is not permitted to make a half court shot if:
(1) The ball travels over the hand and below the ankle; or
(2) The ball leaves the court and strikes a goal line or boards with a height of 15 feet or more between the time the ball leaves the ground (including the time the ball leaves the ground before the shot) and the time the ball leaves the ground at which a player can no longer defend the possession.
As we can see from the above table, with the first rule, there is no way for the offensive player to know where the ball is going or if the shot is blocked. The second rule changes things for the offensive player as the ball is not allowed to travel over the rim either. The third rule allows the ball to travel down the baseline and above the rim with no change in the height of the court. This fourth rule does open up a potential opportunity for a player to shoot a half court shot.
One of the great things about a shot type is that a player can choose any type of shot from the half court shot to the dunk (which is a shot from either the mid-range area or beyond two feet in the paint). In our basketball experience, no team has played like the Memphis Grizzlies (who currently lead the Western Conference in winning percentage at 45.3 as of Thursday night). They score from the half court shot, have an outstanding offense without the ball, and keep defenses off balance
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