The first step when deciding which basketball hoop to purchase is to determine what requirements you have. For example, where is it going to be installed? Do you have enough space for an inground model? How often will it be used? Are serious games going to be played, or will the hoop mainly be used for shooting around? Also, who will be using it? If you reside in a housing community, check to see what type of basketball hoop is allowed. A lot of times, only portable ones are allowed.
When you buy a basketball hoop, here are the three types to choose from:
3 Types of Basketball Hoops
An inground hoop is pretty self-explanatory: the pole is buried into the ground using cement, either directly or it’s placed into a mounted anchor. Directing burying the pole makes it completely permanent, while using an anchor does allow for it to be removed. While the installation is work, this type is the most stable and durable. You can always hire a contractor to help or do the job for you. What’s nice about these hoops is that they have an overhang (distance from front of the pole to front of the backboard). This allows for play under the hoop, and no other type allows for this. If serious games are going to be played, then a premium inground hoop is the best choice; especially if there is going to be dunking. The price range for these models is around $800 into the thousands. This is also a good option if you are looking for a long-term solution. For a basketball enthusiast, there is no better option.
This type involves a backboard being mounted on a garage or the side of a house. This is also a more stable option. It’s ideal if the driveway lacks space for a pole. It’s also a good choice if you mainly plan on just shooting around, and only want something basic. They can be taken down and re-installed, which is nice if you don’t want it up forever. The only problem is that unless the hoop is extended out a few feet, it could be inconvenient when playing games.
Portable basketball hoops include a base, pole, backboard, rim, and a adjustable bracket. The height is typically adjustable, and the base has wheels so it can be moved. For this reason, they are quite popular. No real installation is required, as all you really have to do is fill the base with sand or water so it’s stable. The downside is that they are not as rigid as the other options. The best portable units also fold up so they can be moved easier. This is the ideal choice if you want nothing to do with installation and want to move the hoop around. What you lose however is the realism that comes with an inground hoop.
Do you need an adjustable hoop? If people of various sizes and skills are going to be using it, then it should be considered. It’s really only necessary if children around 10 and under are going to use it, or you are an adult who wants to dunk. The adjustment is usually done with a broomstick or by hand, so this won’t be difficult. You will pay more for this feature, so keep that in mind.
You will have to decide the size and material you want the backboard to be. Some of the most common materials include acrylic, tempered glass, graphite, and fiberglass. The best is tempered glass, as it’s used in the NCAA and NBA. Acrylic is fine, but it’s not as heavy and will begin to show signs of wear and tear over time. If you can get tempered glass, it’s a no brainer. The regulation size backboard is 72 inches across, 42 inches high, and 1/2 inch thick. The rule of thumb is to get the biggest and thickest backboard you can afford, as it will provide the most playing surface.