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the basketball court

Knock on Wood

The most popular choice for indoor basketball courts, hard maple flooring can be found in most NBA stadiums and premier NCAA arenas. Hard maple is a dense wood with fine fibers, making it particularly resistant to splintering. The wood’s tightly packed grains also yield a smooth surface with no room for dirt and grime to hide. As a result, hard maple courts offer exceptional durability and require little maintenance.

What is Wood?

Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees, and other some plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers which are strong in tension embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression. In a living tree lignin performs a support function, allowing trees to stand up.

Wood has been used for thousands of years for fuel, as a construction material, for making tools and weapons, furniture and paper.


What is Organic Material?

Organic material refers to the large pool of carbon-based compounds found within natural and engineered environments. It is matter composed of organic compounds that has come from the remains of living things such as plants and animals and their waste products in the environment. Organic molecules can also be made by chemical reactions that don't involve life. Organic matter is very important in the movement of nutrients in the environment and plays a role in water retention on the surface of the planet.

What is Cellulose?

Cellulose is an organic (carbon based) compound with the formula, C6H10O5 (six Carbon atoms join with ten Hydrogen atoms and five Oxygen atoms).

The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90% that of wood is 40–50%. Cellulose for industrial use is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton. It is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper. Smaller quantities are converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane.



In humans, cellulose acts as a bulking agent for feces and is often referred to as "dietary fiber". 


What is Lignin?

Lignin is a type of organic compound that forms important structural materials in the support tissues of plants. Lignins are particularly important in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark, because they lend rigidity and do not rot easily.  Lignin does not dissolve in water.



Problem Set Examples

  1. Basketball court wood can be made out of strips of wood or in parquet sections which are square pieces made up of strips. If each parquet section is 9” by 18”. How many parquet sections are needed to cover the entire floor?

Note: Any partial piece can be used as part of the out-of-bounds area so round to the nearest whole number

94*12/18 = 62.67 ~63

50*12/9 = 66.67 ~ 67

63*67 = 4,221


  1. The flooring on a basketball court is ¾ of an inch thick. Using the whole numbers provided by the number of parquet pieces found in problem one, what is the total area of wood required in square feet?

Note: Round to the nearest square foot

63*67*.75*162/1728 ~ 297 cubic feet


  1. In a major arena the basketball floor has to be removed periodically for other events such as concerts or hockey games.


a. Assuming that space is at a premium what type of shape would take up the minimum amount of volume when the floor is in storage?

A cube

b. What are the dimensions of that volume to the nearest whole cubic foot? - The assumption on this solution that the skills to calculate cube roots using higher mathematics will not be part of the knowledge base of the project participants. In this case they will be asked to calculate cubes until they get the closest possible whole number.

5x5X5 = 125        6X6X6 = 216        7X7X7 = 343

7 feet per side

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