Measuring ArcSome diagrams will help to clarify the important concepts. We define arc as the anglethat the ball enters the hoop, because what matters in scoring is what happens at the hoop.If a ball enters the hoop directly from above, this is a 90 degree arc. Unless you aredunking the ball, a 90 degree arc is impossible. Free throws and jump shots always comeinto the hoop at an angle. A ball entering the hoop directly from the side is a 0 degreearc, which is impossible to score. Figure 1 shows shots with a variety of arcs. The red line represents a 30 degree arc, which is very low. The blue line represents a 65 degreearc, which is very high. Finally, the green line represents a 48 degree arc, a moreappropriate height.
Figure 1Range of ArcsRed = 30 degree arcGreen = 48 degree arcBlue = 65 degree arcApparent Hoop MarginIf a ball enters the hoop directly from above, this is a 90 degree arc. If the 90 degree ballhad eyes, the hoop would look perfectly round with an 18 inch opening as shown inFigure 2. Since a men’s ball is 9.7 inches in diameter, the amount of open space left inthe hoop is 18 – 9.7 = 8.3 inches. This is called the hoop margin.3