Why a bank shot is better than a direct shot to win a basketball game
Washington, Mar 11: Researchers at North Carolina State University have shown that your chances of winning a basket ball match are better with a bank shot than a direct shot.
The engineers showed that the bank shot can be 20 percent more effective when shooting at many angles up to a distance of about 12 feet from the basket.
They are also more effective from the "wing" areas between the three-point line and the free-throw lane.
However, straight-on shots - those corresponding to the area around the free-throw line - from further than 12 feet are not as well suited for bank shots.
The study also revealed that the optimal aim points make a "V" shape near the top center of the backboard's "square," which is actually a 24-inch by 18-inch rectangle which surrounds the rim. Away from the free-throw lane, these aim points were higher on the backboard and thus further from the rim. From closer to the free-throw lane, the aim points were lower on the backboard and closer to the rim.
They discovered that if you imagine a vertical line 3.327 inches behind the backboard and found where it crossed the aim point on the "V" shape on the backboard, you'd find the optimal spot to bank the basketball to score a basket.
"Basketball players can't take a slide rule out on the court, but our study suggests that a few intuitive assumptions about bank shots are true," says Dr. Larry Silverberg.
"They can be more effective than direct shots, especially from certain areas of the court - and we show which areas on the court and where the ball needs to hit the backboard."
The researchers made a few assumptions while conducting the study. They used a men's basketball, which is slightly bigger and heavier than a women's basketball; launched the simulated shots from 6, 7, and 8 feet above the ground; and imparted 3 hertz of backspin - which means three revolutions per second - on the shots. The latter variable was shown in previous research to be optimal for successfully converting a free throw.
The research was published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. (ANI)