What Are Suicides in Basketball and How Far Do You Run?

suicides basketball

I first learned about suicides during my first year of junior high basketball. Our basketball coach blew the whistle and demanded that every player on the team run suicides. 

Needless to say, it was a great workout but a painful experience. I remember my leg and hip muscles being sore for several days.

Suicides are a common drill among high school basketball players. Learn what they are and how many suicides make a mile, half-mile, and quarter-mile. 

What are Suicides in Basketball?

Suicide drills are used by basketball coaches to increase the conditioning level of each player on the team. Suicides require vigorous full-speed sprinting as well as cutting and pivoting at each checkpoint. Here are some basic instructions on how to run a suicide on a basketball court:

  • All players line up on the baseline, underneath the basket.
  • The coach blows the whistle from the sideline and all players must sprint as fast as they can to the near free-throw line and back to the original baseline.
  • Then they sprint from the baseline to the half-court line and back.
  • After this, they sprint from the baseline to the opposite free-throw line and back.
  • Finally, all players run a full-court sprint from one baseline to the opposite baseline and back to the original baseline.
  • Unfortunately, all of that running only adds up to 1 suicide.

Though most basketball players dread running suicides, they are a great way to increase heart rate and get into game shape. High-intensity straight-line sprinting increases speed, endurance, and agility. All of this helps players perform better during games.

Suicides also improve the coordination of all athletes. This is because they have to perform a defensive slide at each checkpoint before sprinting back to the starting line.

How Many Suicides Make a Mile?

While this question is similar to how many laps around a basketball court make a mile, this one is a bit more complicated. It all depends on what type of basketball court.

We learned in our previous article that junior high courts are 74 feet long and high school courts are 84 feet long. We also learned that NBA and college basketball courts are the same length of 94 feet. So, using that knowledge, let’s go through some basic calculations.

NBA and College Basketball Courts

Here’s how the math shakes out for running one suicide on an NBA or college basketball court.

  • A quick sprint to the free-throw line and back is 38 feet
  • Running to the half-court line and back to the baseline is 94 feet
  • A sprint to the opposite free-throw line and back is 150 feet
  • We know that a college or NBA basketball court is 94 feet long. That means a full-court sprint from one baseline to the other and back is 188 feet

If we add up all of those dimensions, we see that one suicide equals 470 feet. It takes 5,280 feet to make a mile. After dividing 5,280 by 470, we see that it takes 11.23 suicides to make one mile on an NBA or college court.

High School Basketball Court

The math is a bit different on a high school basketball court because it’s 10 feet shorter than an NBA or college court. Here’s the quick calculation:

  • A quick sprint to the free-throw line and back is 38 feet
  • Running to the half-court line and back to the baseline is 84 feet
  • A sprint to the opposite free-throw line and back is 130 feet
  • We know that a high school basketball court is 84 feet long. That means a full-court sprint from one baseline to the other and back is 168 feet

This means that one suicide on a high school basketball court is 420 feet. After dividing one mile (5,280 feet) by 420 feet, we see that it takes 12.57 suicides to make a mile on a high school basketball court.

Junior High Basketball Court

We know that a junior high basketball court is 10 feet shorter than a high school court. So, again that changes the math a little bit.

  • A quick sprint to the free-throw line and back is 38 feet
  • Running to the half-court line and back to the baseline is 74 feet
  • A sprint to the opposite free-throw line and back is 110 feet
  • We know that a junior high basketball court is 74 feet long. That means a full-court sprint from one baseline to the other and back is 148 feet

When we add this all up, we see that one suicide equals 370 feet. Once we divide 5,280 by 370, we see that it takes 14.27 suicides to make a mile on a junior high basketball court.

How Many Suicides Make a Half Mile?

Since we’ve already taken care of the heavy lifting as far as the math goes, we can easily find this answer. Simply take our original answers for one mile and divide them by 2.

After doing so, we see that it takes 5.62 suicides to make a half-mile on a college or NBA court. It takes 6.29 suicides to make a half-mile on a high school court. Finally, it takes 7.14 suicides to make a half-mile on a junior high court.

How Many Suicides Make a Quarter Mile

To figure this out, take our original answers and divide them by 4. After doing so, we see that it takes 2.81 suicides to make a quarter-mile on a college or NBA court. It takes 3.15 suicides to make a quarter-mile on a high school court. Finally, it takes 3.57 suicides to make a quarter-mile on a junior high court.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

More Articles