What Is A Field Goal In Basketball? | FG Definition, Explanation, FAQ’s

Playing and watching basketball matches is like a drug to me; I can’t live without. However, it is an undeniable fact that without knowing the dos and don’ts of a game, one cannot fully enjoy the game; be it a football, cricket, or a basketball match. If you are a basketball enthusiast and claim to be a top fan of this fantastic game, having complete know-how with the rules and regulation of the game is imperative. Without which, you can’t wholly enjoy its perks. For instance, you may get confused about a fundamental yet essential question, what is a field goal in basketball?

If you want to fully understand the game so that you can make it more enjoyable, there are a few terms and conditions you need to acquaint yourself with.

Hence, without any further ado, let’s start learning one of the central aspects of this fantastic game.

The question of what is a field goal in basketball? has been asked by countless novice fans to this incredibly unique sport of basketball. To answer this fundamental question, we have devoted the remaining part of the article for the same.

What Is A Field Goal In Basketball?

Before we dive deep to completely understand what a field goal is, let us start with the official definition of the field goal. As per the official definition, a field goal is any goal other than a free throw. So any shot attempted by the player, excluding the free throws, is called a field goal.

You might be wondering why we call it a field goal. For your information, there is nothing exceptional in the term field goal. The playing area where players play basketball or any game is called a court, and in the language of sports, it is described as a field of play. It’s a just fancy name referring to the type of goal we discussed above. So if you are asked to choose one name out of ‘court goal’ and ‘field goal,’ what would you choose?

There is no doubt that you would simply go for the latter one because it sounds way better. To avoid getting overwhelmed by the specific terminologies of sports, we would go in-depth to answer another tricky question that just has popped up into your mind.

How many points is a field goal worth?

That is an excellent question. It is stated that the points of a field goal depend upon the position of the player while he shoots the ball. If the goal is made from inside or on the 3 points line, then the goal is worth a total of 2 points.

However, if the player shoots the ball from outside the 3 points line, they will be awarded the 3 points.

Stop here. I just got another question. Where does this 3 points line situated in the court?

The 3 points line is 22 feet away from the center of the basketball in NBA and professional games. However, in college and high school games, the distance varies from that of the professional game. At this point, we have already answered another crucial question about the 3-points-field goal?

Have you ever wondered what a 3-points-field goal is?

If you do not know, now you know that any goal made from beyond the 3 points line is declared as a 3 points field goal. However, to achieve a 3 points field goal, there are specific official NBA rules that you must follow to get total 3 points. When you are making a 3-point attempt, you are supposed to make sure that your feet are behind the 3 points lines at the time of the shot. Besides, you can jump from outside the line and land inside when attempting at a 3-point shot provided that you release the ball in mid-air.

What if your feet touch the line when making 3 points shot?

Well, in that case, sorry you won’t be able to achieve 3 points; instead, as per the rule, you will be awarded 2 points.

What if you miss the 3 point shot?

Which means that you will get fouled.

In the case, you will be given 3 free-throw attempts. However, if you make the 3 point attempt despite knowing that you are being fouled, your 3 free throws will get reduced to 1, which, if goes successfully, will earn you a 4-point play.

Do you know what a field goal percentage is?

If you are a basketball fan and have been watching this powerful game for quite a while, you may have an idea of the field goal percentage. The rule of thumb for measuring the field goal percentage says that the number of attempts made by a player during a play divided by the actual number of goals that scored points, and obviously to get the percentage, multiply by 100 is called a field goal percentage.

The basketball player is all well aware that the percentage figure is crucial for them. All the assessment of the players is made on their statistic shown in the field goal percentage.

Are there any criteria that tell about the Good Field Goal Percentage?

es, as per the NCCA and NBA basketball game rules, 50% is the recommended percentage for a field goal. So a player with 60% or 70% field goal percentage is blessed with incredible abilities.

Why is effective Goal field percentage substantial?

As mentioned above, a team’s success is measured by its effective field goal percentage. This means that a higher goal percentage is assumed as a more scoring team from the field. Hence, we can say that the significant goal field success is the key indicator of a team’s success. However, there are a couple of other things that compound to a team’s success such as, free throw attempts and free throw percentage and field goal attempts.

At the end of the article, let us discuss three key things to observe while scoring a field goal.

  1. You are supposed to throw balls into your team’s basket. Shooting the ball to your opponent’s basket will result in points awarded to your contestant.
  2. Make sure both of your feet stay inbounds. If any of your feet touch the borderline, the ball is given to your opponents.
  3. It’s imperative to have an eye at the shot timer. You have to throw the ball before the shot timer runs out. The time period varies depending upon the nature of the game. For NBA matches, the period lasts for 24 seconds only while for NCCA college matches, it extends to 30 seconds.


Being a newcomer to the world of basketball, it’s vital to get to know with the basic yet confusing terminology of a field goal. And when a player makes a field goal from beyond the 3 points line, how many points he attain, etc.

Just a quick recap, a field goal is just a regular goal like other types of goals in a basketball game, excluding the free throws. With this shot, a player can earn up to 3 points depending upon the distance from which he shots. If the ball is shot from inside the 3 points line, then the player will be awarded 2 points, whereas if the ball is bucketed from outside the 3 points line, then the player team will achieve 3 points. Field goal percentages are also essential pieces of data that tell teams how productive a specific player can be.

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