Does the point of release have to on/behind the three-point line to make a successful 3-pt field goal?

Or can one release the ball from anywhere in mid-air, provided their last step was outside the circle? (Imagine a lay-up from outisde the circle)

I expect that the rules on this are the same for FIBA and NBA.

1 Answer 1


NBA rules from http://www.nba.com/analysis/rules_5.html say

c. A successful field goal attempt from the area outside the three-point field goal line shall count three points.
(1) The shooter must have at least one foot on the floor outside the three-point field goal line prior to the attempt.
(2) The shooter may not be touching the floor on or inside the three-point field goal line.
(3) The shooter may contact the three-point field goal line, or land in the two-point field goal area, after the ball is released.
(Emphasis mine)

So, as long as your last step was outside the arc, you may release at any location while in the air, at least in the NBA. It's the rule I was taught when doing intramural refereeing at college, so I expect, yes, it's the same everywhere.


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