Hoop Basics

The Three Types Of Basketball Hoops

The most important decision you will make before you buy a basketball hoop for your home is portable, wall mounted, or in ground? Your choice will affect how the quality of the play, how easy it is to install, and how long your hoops will last.

In Ground

If your first concern is quality, you should always opt for an In-ground goal. These hoops are cemented straight into the ground, thus creating a very rigid and sturdy pole and backboard. They take a little more effort and equipment in order to install, but it’s the closest you can come to pro quality in your driveway. The thicker the pole, the less your backboard will vibrate when you bounce a basketball against it.

On the low end, you might have Spalding and Lifetime Hoops.

And on the high end you could Buy Goalrilla or First Team System.

For information on how to install these basketball hoops, take a look at our guide.


Portable hoops are cheaper and easier to install than in ground hoops, but they aren’t quite as sturdy. They are anchored to the ground with a hollow base which you have to fill with either sand or water. Portable goals typically have wheels that allow you to move them to any location you wish. This is convenient if you happen to live in a neighborhood that forbids leaving basketball goals out at night. When you want to play, you can simply wheel the goal the driveway and roll it back into your garage when you’re done.

If you happen to live in a part of the country that drops below freezing, you should take special care if you filled your portable base with water.

Wall Mounted

Wall mounted basketball hoops are the least common type, but they can be a real space saver if you don’t have a lot of space to place a pole or a portable base. Like the name implies, these hoops are mounted directly to a wall or any other upright structure.

On the low end you can buy hoops from lifetime or spalding. These often require you to buy the mounting bracket separately.

On the high end you might see basketball hoops from Goalrilla or First Team.

Unfortunately, no basketball hoops come fully assembled (though some are easier than others.) If you don’t have the time or inclination in order to assemble a basketball hoop yourself, you could always hire a local handyman to do the work for you.

Once you have that issue decided, your next major decision should be what your backboard will be made of: Glass, plastic, or steel. Check out our guide on the difference between these goals.

There is also a fourth type that are used specifically in the summer months: Pool Basketball Hoops. Click to learn more about how to choose a fun goal for your outdoor pool.

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