Hoop Basics

Parts of a Basketball Hoop

The Parts Of A Basketball Hoop

Hoop Basics

A basketball hoop is only as good as its parts. Here’s the pieces that everyone who is looking for a goal for their driveway needs to know.


The size of the backboard and the material it is made of determines more than anything the quality of the basketball hoop. While a pro-grade NBA rim is 72 inches wide, hoops for the home can be much smaller, as much as 48 inches.

Basketball backboards are usually made of either glass, acrylic, or molded plastic. While glass is the best material for a backboard, since it provides the most rigidity, it is also the most expensive. Most home basketball backboards are made of acrylic.


The rim is simply the hoop you shoot the basketball through. These are a standard size of 18 inches in diameter. There are two types of rims: breakaway and fixed. Fixed rims are simply bolted directly to the backboard. However, breakaway rims include a spring mechanism that gives a little when pressure is applied. This helps reduce the amount of strain on the backboard when players dunk on the board, reducing the risk of the backboard breaking.


The net attaches to the rim. Most standard rims are made of nylon. However, if you want to try for an upgraded net you could buy the perma-rim basketball net or even a metal basketball net.

Height Adjustment

A standard basketball rim stands at 10 feet. However, that is far too high for many younger players. In order to help smaller basketballers have more fun, most modern basketball hoops have a device that allows you to adjust the height of the rim from the regulation height down to seven and a half feet.

Height adjust system are varied, and can be as simple as a telescoping pole with a pin, or as sophisticated as a gas-assisted adjustment mechanism. While they all have the same weight range, better heigh adjustment systems allow you to adjust the backboard height with less effort.


The pole supports the backboard. Poles are usually made of steel and can either be square or round. The thicker the pole, the sturdier the backboard and the better the ball will rebound.


This is a part that is only found on portable basketball hoops. Since portable hoops aren’t installed on the ground, they need a large and heavy base to keep the entire system stable. Bases are usually filled with either sand or water. While sand is heavier, it’s messier and more difficult to remove from the base, should you ever want to. Water is easier to deal with, but there is a risk if you live in a part of the country that can get below zero. If the water inside the base freezes over, there is a risk that it could crack the base. This is why it’s essential to either drain the base during the winter months or pour a little antifreeze in the base to prevent it from turning into a giant block of ice.

Installation Plate

Lower end in-ground poles are usually cemented straight into the ground. However, if you purchased a higher quality pole, such as a First Team or Goalrilla, you might need a plate to help you install the system. This plate has four bolts, and you cement it into the ground first. After the cement dries, you bolt the basketball pole straight onto the plate.

Basketball Hoop Adjustment

Basketball Hoop Rim Adjustment

Hoop Basics

The regulation height of a basketball rim (in NBA, college, and even high school courts) is 10 feet. However, not everyone is comfortable playing ball with a rim at the regulation height. You may want to lower the rim in order to accommodate younger players or even just to make it easier to live your slam dunk fantasies.

For this reason, almost all residential basketball hoops come with a method of adjusting the basketball rim. Here’s a few of the most common ways you can adjust the height of the rim to a height that is comfortable for you.

Telescoping Basketball Adjustment

The most basic adjustment system is the telescoping adjustment system. This is where the part of the pole that attaches the backboard slides into the bottom part of the pole, and they are secured together by a screw. To adjust the rim up and down you simply remove the screw, slide the rim to your desired height, and screw the two pieces back together. This typically allows you to adjust the rim from seven and a half feet up to ten feet in six inch increments.

While these systems are inexpensive, the downside is that they have no overhang since the backboard attaches directly to the pole.

Broomstick Adjustment

The next most sophisticated system is the “broomstick adjustment” system. On systems with this adjustment, the backboard is attached to the pole with brackets. A ratchet mechanism near the brackets allows you to move your pole to the desired height with a broomstick or any long pole. Simply place the pole in the ratchet mechanism, unlock it, and then move it to any height of your choosing.

One Hand Adjustment System

If you want to get an easier adjustment system, you might try the one hand adjustment system. These systems have a handle with a trigger that attaches to the backboard. When you want to change the height of the rim, press on the trigger, move the handle to change the height and release. These systems are much easier because they allow you to adjust the height of the rim in matter of a couple seconds.

Gas Assisted Adjustment System

These systems are similar to the one hand adjustment systems, but they have an gas compression system that makes rim adjustment even easier. Since the compression system does some of the work for you, moving the basketball hoop to your desired height is so simply, even a child can do it on their own. Rather than forcing you to adjust the hoop in six inch increments, these hoops can be adjusted in “infinite” increments. So you can adjust the basketball hoop to any height that you desire.

This is the best choice if you want to get the easiest basketball hoop adjustment system possible.

Crank Adjustment System

On some larger systems, such as the Goalsetter basketball goals, there is a crank adjustment system. On theses systems you simply turn the crank to raise or lower the basketball hoop to any height that you want.

How Much Does a Basketball Hoop Cost?

How Much Does A Basketball Hoop Cost? (Really?)

Hoop Basics

The first question you will probably ask before starting to build your home or driveway basketball court is “How Much Does A Basketball Hoop Cost?” In truth the cost of basketball hoop depends upon what sort of basketball experience you want to have. A cheap kiddy hoop that children ten and under will have fun playing around on can cost less than $100. While a high quality basketball hoop that an NBA player would be proud to dunk on might set you back $2500.

There are a few questions to ask before you really narrow down how much you are going to pay for your basketball hoop?

What Is My Budget?

Firstly you should decide on what you willing to spend to get a basketball hoop in your drive. Since they vary so widely in price, a maximum price point will help you easily narrow down your options. Quality hoops can be had for a couple hundred dollars. But if you willing to pay a thousand dollars or more, you can enjoy a pro style basketball hoop that will last a lifetime.

Do I Want An In Ground Or Portable Basketball Hoop?

The next question you should ask yourself is whether you want a basketball hoop that installs directly in the ground or do you want a portable hoop that you can wheel into position. The primary advantage of in ground hoops is that they are much more stable and just plain feel a lot more like playing on a pro system. However, they are more difficult to install and require you purchase and use concrete in order to secure the pole.

Portable system on the other hand don’t have quite as good of a rebound, but they are easier to install and are less permanent. Rather than being cemented straight into the ground, they are weighed down by a base you fill with water or sand.

How Big Do I Want My Backboard To Be?

The pro size backboard is seventy two inches across. However, you can can smaller sizes. To get a full rundown of all of the backboard sizes, checkout our explanation of backboard materials. INCLUDE LINK

How Frequently Will I Need To Adjust The Basketball Hoop?

Are you going to keep your basketball hoop at the regulation height of ten feet, or are you going to adjust the hoop to lower heights in order to dunk or accommodate younger players?

Take a look at our adjustment system guide INCLUDE LINK to learn about the different adjustment systems that come with basketball hoops, and how they work.

Do I Need Any Accessories?

You should also consider that the basketball goal itself is not the only expense associated with building a home basketball system. You will also needs a basketball. If you choose an inground basketball hoop, you will have to also purchase cement. If you want to keep your ball from rolling somewhere you don’t want it go, will you also have to purchase a guard net. To get a review of all the accessories you can use to check out our accessories guide. (INCLUDE LINK)


In Ground Basketball Hoop

In Ground Basketball Hoops

Hoop Basics

In Ground basketball hoops should be the first choice for anyone who wants the absolute best basketball experience at home. Since they are cemented in the ground, the poles are much more rigid, giving better rebound. Installed poles can also carry sturdier brackets and backboards, so the rest of the parts of the basketball hoop are usually better quality than portable hoops. While these units take more effort to install, and require you to buy concrete from a local hardware store, they last long and are a blast to play on.

Low End In Ground Basketball Hoops

Shopping for basketball hoops on a budget? There are a few options under $300 that can help you start playing basketball at your home without breaking the bank.

One of the most affordable options is the Spalding 88351 NBA 44″ Polycarbonate Backboard In-Ground Basketball System. This bare bones system has a 44 inch backboard, a 3.5 inch pole, and a 16 inch offset (the distance from the pole to the backboard.) It includes an adjustment system that can bring the basketball hoop all the way from the regulation height of 10 feet down to 7.5 feet, so it’s great for kids.

Spalding Basketball Hoop

If you want to get something a little more advanced, but still very affordable, consider the Lifetime In-Ground Basketball System with Shatterproof Fusion Backboard, 50-Inch. This system features a bigger, 50 inch backboard and an easier to use adjustment system.

Lifetime Fusion Basketball Hoop

To make installation easier for this system, and all Lifetime systems, also purchase the ground sleeve. Rather than cementing the basketball hoop directly into the ground, you just have to cement this sleeve, and slide the pole into the sleeve. In addition, the sleeve gives the power to remove the basketball hoop easily should you want to.

Medium Range Basketball Hoops

If you have a little more money to spend on an in ground basketball goal, then you can afford to get systems with bigger backboards, sturdier poles, and longer offsets.

Do you want a pro-style glass backboard but don’t have thousands to spend? Then you should get the Silverback SB-54iG In-Ground Basketball System with 54-Inch Tempered Glass Backboard. Despite being under $600, the Silverback system includes a 54-Inch Temperated glass backboard for super high quality rebounds, making it one of the best bangs for your buck in the industry.

Silverback basketball Hoop

If you are willing to spend a little more on a bigger backboard, they also have a model with a backboard that is sixty inches wide: the Silverback SB-60 In-Ground Basketball System with 60-Inch Aluminum Framed Tempered Glass Backboard. Both silverback systems include a 7 year warranty that protects the goals.

Silverback basketball goal

High End Basketball Hoops

Do you want to get the best of the best? There a few basketball systems that can make playing in your driveway feel like you’re playing in Madison Square Garden.

One of the best systems on the market right now is the Spalding Arena View In-Ground Basketball System with Glass Backboard, 72-Inch. It has a glass backboard, and is in every sense is a 100% pro style system, down to the regulation 72 inch board and four foot offset.

Spalding Arena View Basketball backboard