Basketball Goal Buyer's Guide
Should I choose a Portable, Wall Mount, or In-ground goal?
Portable Goals: Portable goals are excellent for versatility. If you need to frequently change the location of the goal or tuck it away in the garage for storage, then a portable goal may be an excellent option. While portable goals are very versatile, they aren't as stable as In-ground or Wall Mount goals. Hanging on the rim is strongly discouraged with portable goals and backboard response often suffers due to light weight design.
Wall Mount Goals: Wall mount goals are an excellent choice if your playing surface backs directly up to your garage, home, or other building. This can help save space by utilizing the available structure to mount the goal rather than relying on a pole or portable base that may take up valuable play space.
In-ground Goals: In-ground goals are the most popular option because they can work for in many different types of spaces with a wide range of performance features. Some in-ground goals are built to handle even the most aggressive game play while others offer great mid-range stability at a competitive price.
Backboards come in many different sizes, from a regulation 72” to a space saving 44”. A good rule of thumb is to choose a backboard size based on the size of your playing space. If you've got a home court or a large driveway, go for 72” - 60” backboards. If you're looking for a goal to put in a one-car drive way, shoot for the 54” - 44” range. This will keep your backboard from invading the play area if space is limited or allow you to get the performance you need for larger areas.
In addition to sizes, backboards are also made from several different materials. Here is a quick rundown on the advantages of the most popular options.
Tempered Glass Backboards: Tempered glass is the material that all competitive basketball hoops are made of, from high school to professional playing levels. Tempered Glass offers the best rebound response available.
Acrylic Backboards: Acrylic backboards are generally the backboards of choice for outdoor goals that are accessible to the public such as schools, parks, and churches. They offer great performance with an added resistance to vandalism.
Polycarbonate Backboards: Polycarbonate Backboards are very popular in portable goals because they are light weight and durable.
The pole is a very important part of any basketball system. Most portable and small in-ground systems use a 2 or 3 piece pole that is great for standard game play but is not designed for aggressive game play.
A one piece pole provides the best goal performance. One piece poles typically come in 4”, 5”, and 6” square sizes. As the backboard and extension sizes increase a larger pole is needed to effectively manage the forces applied to the goal. Most goals with a 5” or 6” square pole are designed to offer excellent performance and handle aggressive game play.
The extension or offset of a basketball hoop is the distance from the pole to the backboard. This is important because it keeps the pole away from the backboard, allowing players to pass under the backboard without running into the pole.
A regulation free throw line requires a 4' extension. If you don't have regulation lines on your court the extension is still worth considering because it allows for breathing room at the base line and lowers the risk of collision with the pole.