Buffer Zone: Policies, Procedures, and Reality

  • Ceyda Mumcu New Haven University
  • Gil Fried New Haven University
  • Dan Liu New Haven University


The term “buffer zone’ has been used roughly for the past 20 years to highlight the space needed between an activity area and its surrounding to present the safest activity area possible. While everyone would agree there should be some space, the issue is how much? Is the designated space just an estimate or based on scientific research? If there had not been any prior injuries for many years, is the facility reasonably safe for the activity level? These are the questions that exist around “appropriate” buffer zones. This paper examines the basketball buffer zones and whether they are accurate and appropriate. After providing background information about the role of buffer zones, risk management basics, and basic physics of movement, this paper attempts to provide the most appropriate basketball buffer zone distance via surveys, player measurements, and a dose of physics.

Original Research