If you're planning to put a basketball system in your front or backyard, you may be bewildered by the array of options available to you. Do you want an in-ground or portable system? What kind of backboard material should you choose? How high up should the goal be? The answers depend largely on why you want the system in the first place. Is it just for fun, or do you have a serious basketball player in the house who needs the system for practice? Who is going to be using the system the most: children, teenagers, or fully grown adults? The answers to these questions can guide you to the proper system. Click here or check out a few tips that will help you in your selection process.
In-Ground or Portable?
The first thing that you have to decide is whether to look at in-ground or portable systems. If you're not planning to move anytime in the near future and you own your home, an in-ground system is almost always your best option. In-ground systems are more stable than portable systems and they offer more options and features than any portable system could.
However, some situations do require a portable system. For example, if you rent your home, you may not be allowed to make permanent changes, like installing a basketball system. In that case, you should look for a four-wheeled system or a two-wheeled system with the wheels in the front. Four-wheeled systems are easier to move than two-wheeled systems, and a two-wheeled system with wheels in the front of the unit is easier to move than a two-wheeled system with the wheels in the back of the unit.
Depending on the brand of basketball system you're considering, you may have several backboard choices including glass, acrylic, and graphite. Professional basketball courts and college-level basketball courts, as well as many high school courts, use glass for their basketball hoop backboards. One reason for this is that professional organizations are required to have transparent backboards so as not to obstruct the view of cameras and fans in the stands. However, it's also worth noting that you'll get the best basketball rebound with a glass backboard.
For a serious high school or college player, it might be better to go with a glass backboard if you can afford it. This will give the player the chance to practice at home with a backboard similar to what they'll be using in a real game. However, for younger players or casual players, an acrylic or graphite board may be more practical.
Basketball System Height
If you're purchasing the basketball system for youth players, it's almost always better to purchase an adjustable basketball system. That way, the system can grow with the child. However, if you're buying the system for a pre-teen, teenager, or adult to use, it may be simpler and more cost-effective to simply buy a fixed-height system. Ten feet high is the regulation rim height for adult basketball players, and most youth players can play with the rim at this height by the sixth grade.
For children in kindergarten through second grade, the rim height should be set at six feet. Move it up to eight feet by the time the child is in third grade, or around 8 years old, and then up to nine feet by the time the child reaches fifth grade. Just be sure to remember to make the needed adjustments as your child ages and grows. If the rim is too low, you risk your child getting their teeth or braces tangled in the net while attempting to dunk the ball, which can result in serious dental injuries. When in doubt, a taller basketball system is safer than one that's too short.
Once you've chosen the right basketball system for your home, make sure that you understand how to assemble and install it correctly and safely. Your system should come with instructions, and the sporting goods store or manufacturer should be able to provide more information about safe installation if you need help.