What is a Field Goal in Basketball? Ultimate Guide 2023

Basketball is all about scoring more points than your competitor team, and it is only possible when your team is able to score field goals with consistency. Even without field goals, you may win the game, but the chances of winning are shiner when field goals from your side are more frequent. No doubt, by scoring field goals, you can easily outclass your opponent team. So, What is a Field goal in basketball?

A field goal is a very old term in the game of basketball, and up to a huge extent, this term had been denounced from the dictionary of this game. But it reemerged when the court was given the name ‘Field to Play and the term ‘Goals’ was coined for baskets.

What is a Field Goal in Basketball?

A field goal in basketball is referred to as a two-point or three-point shot performed by the player during the match. Free throws are not perceived as field goals in the game. By now, the percentage of field goals by a player has become a famous assessment tool to know about a player’s efficiency and command over the game.

Nevertheless, there is a number of ways used by players to make a field goal during the game; however, all moves aren’t mastered by each player, so every player possesses the skill of making a field goal using two to three ways.

What is a Field Goal in Basketball?


Different Types of Field Goals

Mainly, there are two ways to goals in basketball; field goals, and free throws. The team with the highest points at the end of the game is considered the winner, and most of their goals come from field goals. So, let me enlighten you about what the field goal is, how is it executed, and the many points it brings to the team.


Basketball Field Goals

A field goal is worth two or three points which are counted when a player throws the ball into the basket of his team. Field goals can be made from any point while being on the court.


1. 2-Points Field Goal in Basketball

Any shot other than the free throw which is taken on or inside the three-point line is considered a 2-point shot. If the player has his foot on the 3-point line as he beings to shoot, it is counted as a 2-point field goal. While being inside the 3-point line, there are a number of ways that lead a player to score a 2-point field goal – the followings are these basketball shots:


Floater: When an offensive player rushes to the basket, and then suddenly stops at mid-drive to float the ball as high as required to pass over the heads of defensive players.

Hook: When an offensive player goes for a 2-point field goal with one hand extended away from the defender and makes the ball pass over their heads.

Layup: When an offensive player throws the ball into the basket from inside the paint area without any contact with the rim.

Dunk: When an offensive player goes for a 2-point field goal by hanging on the rim.

Jump Shot: A shot played by an offensive player in an attempt to make a 2-point field goal from any part of the court.


All these aforementioned shots with multiple variations are considered field goals that bring 2-points to the team.


2. 3-Points Field Goals in Basketball

Three-point goals are referred to as a goal performed by the player while being beyond the 3-point line. The arc of 3 points was first introduced in NCCA in 1945, and later on, it was added to NBA in 1979. Depending upon the basketball league, the distance of the 3-point arc is different from the basket; for example, in NBA the distance of 3 point arc is 23 feet and 9 inches.

While in FIBA, WNBA, and NCAA, this distance is 22 feet and 1.75 inches from the basket. In school leagues, the distance of the 3-point arc is 19 feet and 9 inches from the basket.

So, every shot in an attempt to make 3 point goal is counted as a field goal.


Good Field Goal Percentage

Any percentage more than the 50% field goal is perceived as a good field goal percentage. Some of the positions on the court appear to be more promising for field goals in comparison to other positions. For example, the best field goal percentage shooters in the history of the NBA are centers with an excellent completion rate of around 70%.


How to Calculate Basketball Field Goals?

Field goals are calculated using the field goal percentage formula. The formula is defined as the number of baskets made divided by the number of attempts made for the field goal, and then multiply it by a hundred to get the percentage. This formula accurately accesses how much efficient the player is.

Field Goal Percentage = (Field Goals Made) / (Field Goals Attempted) x 100

For example, a player takes 80 shots during the regular session – out of those 80 shots, he makes 45 of them. It means that the field goal percentage for that specific player is 56.25%.


Who Has the Most Field Goals in History of NBA?

In the history of NBA, Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the player with the most field goals. He tops this position with 15,837 goals. At the second number, Karl Malone comes with the field goals of 13,528.


Final Words

Summarizing the whole debate, I would say that every shot whether it is 2-point shot or 3-point shot executed from the court is considered as field goal. Having discussed everything in detail about field goals, I hope that you would have acquired answers to all your questions.

Still, if you have any question about the topic, you can ask in comment section, I will certainly take up all your questions and answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Michael Heywood

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