A type of shot in basketball which has a higher than normal arc as it moves towards the basket. When a player uses proper form to shoot the ball, it will move in an arc towards the basket. A rainbow shot will have a much higher arc and is usually the result of shots taken from greater than normal distances, or compensation on the part of the offensive player to get the ball over a defender. These shots are harder to make because of the greater distance they travel, making them particularly exciting for fans and players.
This style of shot received its name from its path's resemblance to a rainbow. There have been many players to hit famous rainbow shots in games, such as Dirk Nowitzki, whose arcing shot often goes in. Most players train and practice every day in order to get the right amount of arc on the ball to avoid shooting too many rainbow shots. A player who shoots a high-arcing ball consistently may eventually develop shooting form issues from putting too much power into the shot.