Installation

Basketball Hoop Safety

How To Make Your Home Basketball Court Safe

Installation

A home basketball court is a great place to exercise, have fun, and build memories with your family. But you still have to remember that as with any vigorous physical activity there is a risk of injury. Fortunately, you can reduce this danger just by identifying the most common risks and taking action against them.

Risk: Colliding The Pole

This is always risk, especially if you have a relatively small playing area, if you have a hoop with a small offset. If you are an aggressive player who love hard-driving layup shots, then hitting the pole becomes more likely. While most bumps with the pole aren’t serious, running into the site at full speed might cause bruising.

The Solution

Get the hoop with the biggest offset you can afford. You should also invest in a pole pad that wraps around your pole. This is simply a pad made of soft foam wrapped in vinyl. If someone collides with the pole, their blow will be cushioned by the pad and minimize the risk of injury.

When purchasing your pole pad, make note of the size and shape of your pole. A pole pad meant for a four inch square pole won’t fit on a three and half inch pole, and vice versa.

Risk: Ball Rolling Into The Street

As anyone who has played basketball on their street can attest, the ball doesn’t always go where you want it to go. In fact, if you don’t control your ball, you might spend more time running after the ball than actually playing. If your ball rolls in the street where cars might be driving by, this can pose a risk for both your ball and anyone who goes running after it.

The Solution

Purchase a Rolback net to catch the ball should it start to roll anywhere you don’t want it to go. Simply install this netting anywhere that a rolling ball presents a risk, and you’ll be protected. There are also models that you can install behind the net to prevent airballs from going astray.

Risk: Uneven Playing Surface

If your property is older, your might see bumps or cracks in your driveway. While that usually isn’t a problem, it can create a hazard when people are running around and playing basketball. Bumps in the road from age or uprising tree roots can cause a serious tripping hazard.

The Solution

You might want to consider hiring a contractor to fix your driveway before you install your basketball hoop. Let them know that you want a flat, even playing surface for your hoop. Most are able to make repairs that give you a nice, even and perfectly safe place to play some hoops.

Water VS Sand

Water Vs Sand For Portable Basketball Hoops

Installation

Unlike in ground goals, portable basketball hoops need to be weighed down by a large base. And the bigger and heavier the pole and backboard, the bigger and heavier the base needs to be. You have two options to fill up your basketball base: sand or water.

So what makes one better than the other?

Water

Pros

Water is very cheap and easy to get. Weighing down your basketball hoop is as simple as sticking your garden hose in the fill hole and letting it run until its full. No dirt, no fuss. Plus, if you ever want to empty out your basketball base, it’s relatively easy to drain it. This makes it perfect for the casual basketball player who wants a hassle free way to start playing ball.

Cons

Water doesn’t weigh as much as a sand. So consequently, the entire hoop won’t be as stable as one that is held steady with sand.

If you happen to live in a part of the country that regularly gets below zero, a water filled base might give you some problems. When the water freezes, it will expand, possibly causing your base to break. When the air thaws, the water will drain out the crack and you will be left with a broken base. However, this problem can be avoided if you simply

Sand

Pros

Sand weighs a lot more than water, so you can be sure that you are going to get a good, strong base. That will mean less vibration on the backboard and more solid rebounds. While dunking isn’t generally recommended on portable systems, a system that is weighed down by sand will be less likely to tip over if you get carried away and can’t help but slam the ball.

Also, since it won’t expand in cold weather, you don’t risk your basketball base breaking once the temperature drops below freezing.

Cons

Sand is, after all, dirt. So it it’s messy and time consuming to fill it in. On top of that, it is a little more difficult to acquire “clean” sand (sand without any sticks or other fillers in it) than water. If you go this route you may have to check at your local hardware store, which may sell “play sand” by the bag.
Sand is also much more difficult to get out of the base once it is in. So unless you want to grab a spade and dig the sand out the base by hand, filling it with sand is a permanent solution.

So Which One Should You Choose?

It honestly depends upon your needs. If you mostly care about convenience and handle the freezing issue appropriately, then water will be your best bet. However, if want to get your portable basketball hoop as stable as it can possibly be, then sand will be your best choice.

How To Install a Basketball Hoop

How To Install An In Ground Basketball Hoop

Installation

If you want to have an in ground basketball hoop your driveway, your work isn’t over when you have the system delivered to your house. You also need to have the system assembled and installed. Many local handymen can be happy to do this service for a fee, but you can also do it yourself.

If you have some time to kill, want a good DIY project, and want to save some cash, here the steps you’ll need to take to install your home basketball hoop.

1) Choose A Good Spot For Your Basketball Hoop

Choose a spot on your property that overhangs a hard concrete playing surface. Ideally, this spot should be soft ground that is easy to dig. Installing on a concrete or blacktop area is possible, but you may need to rent a jackhammer in order to break apart the spot where you will install the pole.

2) Gather Your Equipment

In order to install your basketball hoop, you are going to need

  • A Shovel
  • 2 Bags Of Concrete
  • A Wheelbarrow or other large container (to mix the concrete)
  • A bubble level

3) Dig A Hole

Now that you have your area, dig a hole on that spot. Be sure to contact your utility company before you dig to ensure there aren’t any gas lines or other dangerous materials on your digging spot. Dig a hole at least two feet in diameter and two feet deep.

4) Mix and Pour Concrete

Take your bags of concrete and mix them in your wheelbarrow with water as specified by your bag. Mix it up thoroughly so that there aren’t any dry spots. Once the concrete is good and mixed, pour it into your hole.

5) Insert Pole, Ground Sleeve, Or Ground Plate

While the concrete is still wet, insert the ground plate, ground sleeve, or bottom section of the pole. It is vital that you use your bubble level to check that these bases are level with the ground. If your base isn’t level, the whole basketball hoop will lean to one side. If you are installing the pole directly into the ground, mark a spot 18 inches from the bottom of the pole and only install the pole section up to that spot.

6) Let Dry

Once your base is installed and the concrete is smoothed out, let it dry for 24-48 hours. Or however long is specified on the bag of concrete.

7) Assemble Your Basketball Hoop

Now that you have the base of your in ground goal installed, assemble your hoop according to the instructions. Be ways, this bit may require two or more people. So recruit a friend or family member to help you get it done.

8) Start Playing!

After the last bolt is tightened, pat yourself on the back. Congrats, you do-it-yourselfer. You have installed a basketball hoop all by your lonesome. Celebrate with your very first round of hoops. (If you can’t because you forgot to buy your basketball, check out our basketball guide to learn which one is right for you.