Definition – What is Free Throw Percentage?
Free throw percentage (FT%) puts a player’s successful free throws in perspective to their total attempts.
In basketball, a free throw (or foul shot) is awarded to a player who has been fouled by the other team. The number of free throws depends on where on the court the player was while being fouled.
Other foul situations can result in the award of a free throw.
When a free throw is awarded, the shooter takes the shot from behind the free throw line.
Each successful free throw is worth 1 point.
Formula – How to calculate free throw percentage
FT% = Free Throws Made ÷ Free Throw Attempts
A player has made 188 free throw attempts, and in that time has made a total of 129 free throws.
FT % = 129 ÷ 188
FT % = 0.686
Therefore, this player has an FT% of .686, or 68.6%.
Sources and more resources
- Wikipedia – Free throw percentage season leaders and Free Throw (Basketball) – Wikipedia entries on the concept of free throws.
- Free Throw statistics from ESPN (NCAA) and Basketball Reference.
- New York Times – For Free Throws, 50 Years of Practice Is No Help
- Quora – Why do basketball players have such low free throw percentages?
- Journal of Sports & Exercise Psychology – Wilson, Vine, and Wood – The Influence of Anxiety on Visual Attention Control in Basketball Free Throw Shooting
- Popular Mechanics – Basketball Physics: The Anatomy of the Free Throw
- Harvard Sports Analysis Collective – Re-Examining the Four Factors: The Case for Free Throws Made Per 100 Possessions