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The painted area 19' x 16' (12' in college) between the end line and the free throw line near each basket, outside which players line up for free throws. The area an offensive player cannot spend more than 3-seconds at a time in. Also known as the key, because in the early years it was key-shaped. It was three times widened till its present shape. Also known as Free-Throw Lane, Key-hole; Paint; Restricted Area; 3-second Area; 3-second Lane.


Wings stay out wide on the fast break.

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Lane Violation.

A nonfoul violation. This rule applies to both offense and defense.
1. When a free throw is being attempted, none of the players lined up along the free throw lane may enter the lane until the ball leaves the shooter's hands. Entering the free throw lane when the free throw is in the air but before it has touched the backboard, net, or rim. If committed by a defensive player, it's ignored if the shot goes in but the shooter is allowed another free throw if his shot misses. If an offensive player enters too early, the free throw attempt is nullified if it is made. In the case of violation by a player on the shooter's team at the last free throw attempt, the ball goes to the other team for a throw in.
2. A three-second violation.


A shot taken after driving to the basket by leaping up from near the basket and using one hand to drop gently the ball directly into de basket.

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Similar to a lay-in except that the ball is banked in off the backboard into the basket.

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