Are you new to the hoops game? Or a coach looking to improve the conditioning of your players? If so, you may be wondering how many laps around the basketball court make a mile.
When it comes time to run laps, keep in mind that all basketball courts don’t have the same dimensions. Find out how many laps around different sized courts you need to run to make a mile in this post. We’ll be using the dimensions of an indoor basketball court at each level.
Dimensions of Different Basketball Courts
Did you know that not all basketball courts are the same size? The perimeter of each court varies depending on the age and skill level of the basketball players. Here is a closer look at the dimensions for each different court.
Junior high basketball courts are 74 feet long and 42 feet wide. A kid playing youth basketball is normally in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, so the smaller sized court makes more sense for them. You wouldn’t want to put young players on a standard high school court.
A high school court is 84 feet in length. The width of the basketball court in high school is 50 feet. Since high school basketball players are older and larger than junior high players, playing on a junior high court would be too easy for them.
Basketball courts in the NBA and college basketball are 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. Note that there is no change in width from the high school level to the college and professional level. The only change is in the length of the court.
How Many Laps Around Each Court Makes a Mile
This question comes down to simple math. We know that the number of feet per mile is 5,280. Now, we simply have to take the length of the court and multiply it by 2. We will do the same calculation for the width of the court.
Junior High School
After finding this number, we are ready to do our calculations. So, for a junior high basketball court, we take the length of 74 feet and multiply it by 2 for a total of 148 feet. We also take the length of 42 feet and multiply it by two for a total of 84 feet.
Now, we’ll add those two numbers together for a total of 232 feet. Next, we take the one-mile total of 5,280 feet and divide it by 232 feet. This means that it will take 22.75 laps on a junior high school basketball court to make a mile.
For a high school basketball court, we take the 84 feet in length and multiply it by 2 for a total of 168. We take the width of 50 feet and multiply it by 2 to get 100. That leaves us with a total of 268 feet for one lap.
Again, we divide 5,280 feet by 268 feet. That tells us that it takes 19.7 laps to make a mile on a high school basketball court.
College and NBA
Now we get to the big boys. Both college basketball courts and NBA courts have the same dimensions of 94 feet long by 50 feet wide. Let’s follow the same mathematical procedure.
We take 94 and multiply by 2 to get 188 feet. We take 50 feet and multiply it by 2 to get to 100 feet. This gives us a total of 288 feet.
After dividing 5,280 feet by 288 feet, we see that it takes 18.33 laps to make a mile on both college and National Basketball Association courts.
How Many Laps Around Each Court Makes a Half-Mile
Now that we have the formula down, finding out how many laps it takes to make a half-mile is pretty simple. Just take our other answers and divide them by 2.
- So, using that formula we see that it takes 11.375 laps on a junior high school basketball court to make a half-mile.
- A high school basketball player will have to run 9.85 laps to make a half-mile.
- It takes 9.165 laps on an NCAA basketball court to make it a half-mile. It’s the same on an NBA court
How Many Laps Around Each Court Makes a Quarter Mile
Again, since we know the formula, we can find these answers fairly quickly. All we have to do is take our original answers for one mile and divide them by 4.
We already know that it takes 22.75 laps to make a full mile on a junior high basketball court. So, that means that it will take a player 5.69 laps to make it a quarter-mile on a junior high basketball court. (22.75 / 4 = 5.6875)
Using that same formula, we also see that a player will only need to run 4.93 laps to make a quarter-mile on a high school basketball court. How’d we get to that number? Take the 19.7 laps that it takes to make a full mile on a high school court and divide by 4. (19.7 / 4 = 4.925)
To figure out what makes a quarter-mile on an NCAA basketball court or an NBA court, take the 18.33 laps that it takes to make one mile and divide by 4. That standard set of measurements tells us that it takes 4.58 laps to run a quarter-mile on a college or NBA basketball court. (18.33 / 4 = 4.5825)
What Are the Dimensions of Olympic Basketball Courts?
Many folks assume that Olympic basketball courts have the same dimensions as NBA courts. Surprisingly, that is not the case.
An International Basketball Federation (FIBA) court is a tiny bit smaller than an NBA court. An NBA court is 50 feet wide, while an Olympic court is only 49 feet wide. A FIBA court is also two feet shorter in length than an NBA court (92 ft vs 94 ft).
Another stark difference between the two courts is the dimensions of the three-point line. The three-point line in the NBA is 22 feet away from the basket in the corners. The FIBA three-point line is only 21.65 feet away from the basket in the corners.
Directly above the break, the NBA three-point line is 23.75 feet away while the FIBA three-point line is 22.15 feet away. Those minute differences may not sound like a lot, but professional basketball players are remarkably more accurate the closer they are to the basket.
Why Do Basketball Coaches Make Players Run Laps?
At all levels of basketball, coaches have players run laps around the gym. They do this for a couple of reasons, which we will discuss below.
This reason is probably the most common. Coaches are notorious for making their players run laps as punishment for poor performance on defense during a game. They also may make players run laps when they do certain basketball drills incorrectly during practice.
For example, my junior high basketball coach used to make each player run one lap for every free throw that he missed during the game. Other coaches may make their players run one full-court sprint for each time that they turned the ball over during the game.
Basketball is a tough game and it requires that each player be in good cardiovascular condition to play full-court ball. For that reason, coaches will order players to run laps before or after practice. If you hate running, you should have reservations about playing organized basketball.
Running laps helps build up a player’s stamina so that he won’t get tired in the latter stages of a game. No basketball coach wants to see any of his players gasping for air during crunch time.
A popular form of conditioning is called running “suicides”. To run a suicide, a player starts at the end line underneath the backboard. He then runs from the end line to the free-throw line and back to the end line.
Next, the player sprints from the end line to the half-court line and back. He then runs from the end line to the other free throw line and back. Finally, he runs from one end line to the other end line and back. The crazy thing is that all of that sprinting only counts as one suicide.