The key, also referred to as the the shaded lane, the paint, the free throw lane and the restricted area, is an area in a basketball court underneath the basket bounded by the endlines, the foul lanes and the free throw line. Main article Basketball moves In Basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted In Basketball, the basketball court is the playing surface consisting of a rectangular floor with baskets at either end Usually painted (some courts leave it blanked, with the adjoining area, "the perimeter," which is painted), it is a critical area on the court, where much of the action takes place in a game.
Each level of play has different specifications on the size and shape of the key; in United States leagues, the shape is rectangular, while on FIBA-sanctioned events, the shape is trapezoidal. In Geometry, a rectangle is defined as a Quadrilateral where all four of its angles are Right angles A rectangle with vertices ABCD would be denoted as The International Basketball Federation ( French: Fédération Internationale de Basketball) more commonly known by the French acronym FIBA A trapezoid (in North America or a trapezium (in Britain and elsewhere is a Quadrilateral (a closed plane shape with four linear sides that has at least one In additional to the rectangle/trapezoid, the key also includes the free-throw circle, the "head" of the key.
In United States professional basketball, the size of the key is 16 feet (4. 9 m), including the 2 feet wide foul lanes; in college and high school play, it is 12 feet (3. College basketball most often refers to the American Basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA 7 m). In NCAA basketball, the half of the free throw circle's marks nearest to the basket are omitted; on other levels, the half of the free-throw circle is traced by dotted lines. The National Collegiate Athletic Association ( NCAA, often pronounced "N-C-Double-A" is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions conferences organizations 
In FIBA-sanctioned tournaments, where the key is trapezoidal, the narrowest side is on the free-throw line where it is 12 feet (3. 7 m); at the end lines, it is at its widest, at 19 feet and 8 1/4 inches (6 m). 
The free throw circle is with a universally-recognized 6 feet (1. A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit 8 m) radius from the free throw line, with the half of the free throw circle farthest from the backboard traced in solid lines. Remote Authentication Dial In User Service ( RADIUS) is a networking protocol that provides centralized access authorization and accounting management for people or computers The free-throw line is 15 feet (4. 6 m) from the face of the backboard; the face of the backboard is 4 feet (1. 2 m) away from the end-line for NBA and NCAA. The center of the basket is 1. 575 m away from the end line in FIBA tournaments, while 4 feet and 9 inches (1. 45 m) in NBA and NCAA tournaments;
Originally, the key was narrower than it is today and had the shape of a skeleton key, measuring six feet (1. A skeleton key ( Master key) is either a key that has been altered in such a way as to bypass the wards placed inside a Warded lock 8 m) wide, hence "the key", with the free circle as the head, and the shaded lane as the body. A key is a device which is used to open a lock. A typical key consist of two parts the blade, which slides into the Keyway of the lock and distinguishes Due to the narrowness of the key, imposing centers, such as George Mikan, dominated the paint, scoring at will. The center, colloquially the five, is one of the standard positions in a regulation Basketball game George Lawrence Mikan Jr (June 18 1924 &ndash June 1 2005 nicknamed Mr To counter this, the key was widened into 12 feet (3. 7 m) from 6 feet at the onset of the 1951-52 NBA season. The 1951–52 NBA season was the 6th season of the National Basketball Association. 
Men's professional basketball in the United States (notably the National Basketball Association) widened it further to 16 feet (4. 9 m) on the 1964-65 NBA season to lessen the effectiveness of centers, especially Wilt Chamberlain. The 1964–65 NBA Season was the 19th season of the National Basketball Association. Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21 1936&ndashOctober 12 1999 nicknamed Wilt the Stilt, The Big Dipper, and Chairman of the Boards 
On April 25, 2008, the FIBA Central Board approved rule changes that included the changes in the shape of the key -- the key is now rectangular and has virtually the dimensions as the key used in the NBA. Events 1607 - Eighty Years' War: The Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common The International Basketball Federation ( French: Fédération Internationale de Basketball) more commonly known by the French acronym FIBA In addition, the no charge zone is also created. 
The key is a restricted area in which players can stay for only a limited amount of time. The three seconds rule requires that in Basketball, a player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than three consecutive seconds while his team is in control On all levels, a team on the offensive (in possession of the ball) is prohibited to stay inside the key for more than three seconds; after three seconds the player will be called with a three-second violation which will result in a turnover. In Basketball, a turnover occurs when a player from one team gives possession to a member of another team by losing the ball 
In American professional basketball, the defending team is also prohibited to stay in the key for three seconds. If a player surpasses that time, his team will be charged with a defensive three-second violation, which will result in a technical foul where the team with the ball shoots one free throw plus ball possession and a reset of the shot clock. In Basketball, a technical foul (also known as a "T" or a "Tech" is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact Main article Basketball moves In Basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of the game 
Note than in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments, defending teams are allowed to stay on the key for an unlimited amount of time.
In all cases, the count resets if the shot hits the rim or if the player steps out of the lane. 
Also, when a player is shooting free throws, players on the foul lanes must not enter the key until the shot is released; the player shooting the free throw shouldn't cross the free throw line until the ball hits the rim. If any of the offensive players violate the rule, it will result in a turnover, for defending players, the free-throw will be retaken if the shot was missed (when the shot goes through the hoop the referee usually won't call the violation); if players from the opposing teams enter the key at the same time, a jump ball would be done to determine who gets the possession of the ball (for American professional basketball) or the possession arrow rule (for all other levels). A jump ball is a method used to begin or resume play in Basketball. 
In American basketball, the key has an additional area, the restricted area arc, measured as an arc three feet from the basket (originally two feet) (collegiate) or four feet from the basket (professional). The defending player in the restricted area arc can't force a charging foul on the opposing team's player, even if the defending player has established position. In Basketball, a personal foul is a breach of the rules that concerns illegal personal contact with an opponent Other offensive fouls may still be called.
Points made on the key are termed as points in the paint or inside points. Points in Basketball are used to keep track of the score in a game The area around the free throw circle's farthest from basket is called the "top of the key", and several plays revolve around this area, such as screens and pick and rolls. A screen is a blocking move by an offensive player by standing beside or behind a defender to free a teammate to shoot receive a pass or drive in to score The pick and roll (also called screen and roll or shortened to screen-roll, any of which may be hyphenated in Basketball is an offensive play in which In American collegiate basketball, the three-point arc intersects at the top of the key, which could translate plays conducted in this area as three-point field goal conversions. A three-point field goal (also known as three-pointer, three-point shot, trey, or simply three) is a field goal in a Basketball