If you’re looking to buy a basketball hoop there is no shortage of options to choose from which can make it tough to decide which type of basketball hoop is right for you.

With this in mind, we have created a comprehensive, illustrated basketball hoop buying guide that covers key information and features relating to installation types, backboards, rim types, and height adjustability.

After reading this guide you will be equipped with all the information you need to buy a basketball hoop with confidence.

Basketball Hoop Installation Types

Firstly, we’ll look at the 3 different installation types for basketball hoops. This is one of, if not the most, important factor to consider as each basketball goal installation type is suited to different requirements and locations.

Portable Basketball Hoops

A portable hoop is freestanding and inserted into a stand on wheels for easy transportation. Portable basketball hoops are suitable for either indoor or outdoor use and are perfect for driveways and backyards as they can be moved anywhere.

The major selling points of portable hoops are they are easy to move and relatively budget friendly in comparison to more permanent solutions. They are also usually adjustable so the height of the hoops can be changed with minimal effort.

Once in position, portable stands can often be filled with sand or water to add extra stability. Although the sand/water helps keep freestanding hoops in place, they still can’t be dunked on as the structure may topple and potentially cause injury to the user.

portable basketball hoops

Wall-Mounted Basketball Hoops

As the name suggests, this type of basketball hoop is mounted to a wall either indoors or outside. Wall hoops are most commonly fixed to garage and outdoor house walls, but they are also popular with commercial venues.

Wall-mounted hoops are perfect for use where there is limited space, as they don’t take up as much room as portable or in-ground hoops. They are available a wide variety of models, covering different price ranges to cater for all ages and budgets. It’s also possible to buy wall mounted hoops that are adjustable so they can be used at different heights.

If you’re planning to dunk with a wall mounted hoop, you’ll need to check its suitability for dunking first to ensure it will withstand the impact of a dunk. It is also recommended that a qualified professional fits the goal so the structural integrity of the wall can be assessed prior to installation.

wall mounted basketball hoop

In-Ground Basketball Hoops

In-ground basketball hoops are available in two forms; permanent in-ground (direct burial) and semi portable in-ground. Both have their benefits and are great options for matches and practice.

Permanent in-ground basketball hoops are cemented directly into the ground. They are the most secure type of goal and are perfect for outdoor courts and parks. However, you need to ensure that you are happy with the positioning of the hoop, as once installed, the structure can’t be moved again. Like the wall-mounted hoops, ensure the in-ground hoop is fitted by a professional tradesperson to ensure the goal is fitted in an area where the ground is suitable to keep the basketball post upright and secure.

Semi portable in-ground goals are mounted onto a socketed/anchored system that is fitted into the ground. This still provides the same structural stability as the permanent in-ground hoops but allows you to move the goal if you move home or your team’s matches move locations. If you wish to move the structure, you will only need to have a new anchoring/socketed system installed rather than a whole new basketball hoop system.

in ground basketball hoops

Basketball Backboard Materials

The material of the backboard is another factor to take into consideration when selecting your basketball goal. Typically, you’ll find basketball hoop backboards in either tempered glass, acrylic, polyethylene or plywood. Each board type will have their own specific qualities, such as resilience, weather resistance and rebound abilities.

Tempered Glass Backboards

Tempered glass backboards are most common on high-school, college and NBA hoops. The glass is hardened during the production process, making it much stronger than normal glass. Tempered glass provides great rigidity, and it can withstand the impacts that come with regular use. Tempered glass backboards also typically deliver a more consistent rebound than other backboard materials.

tempered glass basketball backboards

Plywood Backboards

Plywood backboards are suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts due to their weatherproof properties. They are long lasting and are suited to constant ball impact, making plywood backboards a hugely popular option for schools, recreation centers and other facilities/complexes with basketball courts.

plywood backboards

Acrylic Backboards

Acrylic backboards, also known as ‘imitation glass’ are a cheaper substitute to tempered glass. Transparent, scratchproof and mould resistant, acrylic boards are a good option for driveways, as whilst the rebound factor isn’t as high as tempered glass, the bounce is still realistic enough and may prevent the ball from bouncing into a busy road. Acrylic boards are still a great choice for other locations such as recreation centres, parks and schools.

acryllic backboards

Polyethylene Backboards

High-density polyethylene backboards are a popular choice for children and players first starting out playing basketball. They are durable and have a lower rebound factor than tempered glass, preventing the ball from bouncing too far away on the court after a missed shot. Polyethylene backboards are the perfect choice for anyone that is looking for a strong backboard that is budget friendly.

HDPE basketball backboards

Basketball Backboard Materials & Properties

Backboards will create different rebound trajectories dependent on the materials they are made from. Due to the rigidity of the tempered glass backboards, this material will provide the furthest and most consistent rebound making them perfect for competitive matches. A material with a lower rebound factor like polyethylene is more suited for hoops in areas where you won’t want the ball travelling a longer distance off the backboard; for example into a road next to a park or driveway, or backyards with limited space.

HDPE basketball backboards

Basketball Rim Types

All basketball rims should be made with steel to ensure the stability of the hoop. The steel rim should be thick enough to withstand regular impact and not bend or break over time. It is important that rims on outdoor hoops are finished with a weatherproof paint to prevent rusting of the steel.

The spring and suspension system of the rim needs to be considered when buying a basketball hoop. On many basketball hoop systems, including the majority of kids' hoops, the rim suspension type is a static rim. These systems have no springs, and the rims cannot flex. Static rims are fine for normal basketball shots, but they shouldn’t be used to dunk as the extra pressure on the backboard can lead to the hoop becoming damaged, which can result in significant injury to the user.

Hoops used for matches in the NBA, college and high school will use a double spring breakaway system. This means that the hoop and rim is flexible but sturdy, making the goal perfect for dunking. These breakaway systems are either exposed or enclosed, so the springs are not visible. Enclosed breakaway systems are ideal for outdoor hoops as they are protected from the weather and rusting. It’s possible to buy hoops that feature a breakaway system for home use, with both wall-mounted and in-ground options available for those who want to be able to dunk.

Height Adjustability

Height adjustability is an important feature to consider when buying a basketball hoop. This is especially true if the hoop is going to be used by younger players who may need the hoop height increasing as they grow. Having the option to change the goal height removes the need to replace hoops or remove and relocate them if you have a wall-mounted hoop. Having adjustable brackets is also great for recreation centers, clubs and schools who have different age groups using their hoops, as the height can be adjusted accordingly.

adjustable height basketball hoop 1
wall mounted basketball hoop in a gym

Fixed height basketball hoops are still a great option for many, as a lot of the time there is no need for the hoop height to be adjusted. Public parks, high schools and plenty of other facilities will often use fixed height hoops as they have no need to adjust the height and it avoids the risk of damage from its users, who may not know how to adjust the height properly.

Now you've read our guide, you now have all the information you need to go ahead a choose a basketball hoop that is right for you! Be sure to check out our website to view our full range of basketball hoops; including all the installation types, backboard materials, rim types and height adjustability features mentioned in this guide!

At Net World Sports we carry a range of FORZA Basketball equipment including all types of hoops, nets, backboards, basketballs and RapidFire rebounders to suit all ages and requirements.