Hoop Basics

The Parts Of A Basketball Hoop

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.

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