It’s a little-known fact, but shooting hoops can be a fantastic way to deal with stress. The rhythmic sound of the ball as you dribble against hardwood or asphalt. The whoosh as it soars through the net. Both help you think clearly, relaxing the mind and body. And, of course, basketball is just plain fun. If you have kids, all the better. Nothing like a rollicking game of HORSE after dinner to bring the family together. Or maybe your high school athlete could benefit from some extra playing time. And if that practice could happen at home–in your driveway, backyard, or even in indoor court—well, how cool would that be?
If you are a basketball player or fan or want to instill a love for the game in your children, you can have your own hoop or court at home, and it can be as simple or elaborate as you want. At-home basketball is just a part of a growing trend toward bringing fitness and recreation home. Our experienced team have plenty of experience in constructing pools, tennis courts, golf simulators, and more for their custom home clients. The team also works with clients who are renovating or remodeling existing homes in our region.
If a basketball hoop or court is something you’re interested in, read on to learn about the available space you’ll need, the decisions that need to be made concerning products and quality, and more.
Outdoor Hoops and Courts
The considerations for playing basketball outdoors at home include court surfacing, hoop, rim, and backboard types, and backboard supports.
Space is perhaps the most critical element to consider if you‘re thinking about adding a court to your home. While a regulation NBA court is 50 feet by 94 feet, the average backyard court is 60 feet by 90 feet. A half-court is also an option and would measure 30 feet by 50 feet. Of course, if you’re looking just to shoot around, a driveway hoop is a simple option.
Several playing surfaces are available and chosen based on the location of the court and personal preference.
Asphalt, for example, is the No.1 most common outdoor surface. It is inexpensive and stands up well to potentially harsh weather conditions. It will, however, break down over time. Asphalt is prone to chipping and cracking and may require repair or resurfacing occasionally. It can also be hard to fall on, contributing to cuts, scrapes, and other injuries.
Multi-purpose plastic flooring has also become popular for outdoor basketball (and indoor basketball, too) and delivers excellent traction and safety as well as reliable bounce. It’s a perfect option if you have room in your backyard for your playing area, as such flooring adapts easily for soccer, street hockey, tennis, and volleyball as well. Multi-purpose flooring consists of a smooth concrete slab topped with modular snap-together polypropylene plastic tiles. The tiles come in numerous colors, stand up well against the elements, and are less hard on the body.
High-end advanced multi-purpose flooring is another option. Such options typically consist of a layer of rubber sandwiched between the concrete slab and plastic tiles. This system offers better shock absorption, increased sound dampening, and enhanced durability and moisture resistance.
As for the hoop itself, three main options exist—in-ground, portable, and wall-mounted. If you plan to live in your home for the foreseeable future, an in-ground hoop, one that is set in concrete and properly leveled, might be the right choice for you. It’s more stable and secure and recommended for players who are serious about the game.
Portable hoops are currently the most popular option, and they are easy to transport and install. They typically require that the base of the hoop be filled with sand or water to ensure stability. The primary drawback to portables is that they are more prone to movement and vibrations (both of which can negatively impact performance) than in-ground or wall-mounted hoops.
Portables have also taken a bite out of the market for wall-mounted hoops due to their ease and convenience. But don’t count wall-mounted hoops out. They are more stable (since they are attached to a building) and are an excellent choice for driveway-based courts.
Rims are another critical element of your outdoor basketball court. Most include a breakaway mechanism to relieve tension and minimize the risk of breaking the backboard when the ball is dunked. Rim options include standard, exposed spring breakaway rims, and enclosed spring breakaway rims.
Standard rims have fallen somewhat out of favor with the introduction to the market of breakaway rims. Unfortunately, standard rims tend to bend, break, or warp over time, especially with dunking. If you anticipate a lot of training or playing with only lay-ups and regular shots, a standard rim may be an option to consider.
Most of the rims sold today are of the exposed spring variety. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option for everyone, though. In humid climates, the exposed springs may rust, and this rim style frequently results in play that is too bouncy. Repeated dunking will still wear down the mechanism.
Enclosed spring rims are the top shelf of basketball rims. At the higher-end, you’ll have a set-up similar to those in professional arenas because of the design and quality materials that go into these rims. And the enclosed springs are much less exposed to the elements, thus extending this style of rim’s overall lifespan.
There are also three main options for backboards: acrylic, polycarbonate, and tempered glass.
A quality, durable acrylic backboard is a middle-tier product that delivers more bounce than polycarbonate, which is an appropriate choice for a simple recreational driveway hoop. Polycarbonate backboards are constructed of rigid plastic. While polycarbonates hold up well against the elements, play performance is less impressive, with less bounce and less forceful returns.
Tempered glass is the choice for serious players, used in gyms throughout the country, and contributes to the best possible gameplay. Still, tempered glass is glass, and a glass backboard is more likely to break than one made of polycarbonate or acrylic plastic.
Backboards come in multiple sizes and shapes, too. While most are square, fan-shaped backboards are also available. Square-shaped blackboards are available in sizes between 42 inches and 72 inches (which is regulation).
Regardless of the materials a backboard is made of, choosing one that includes padding is the safest option.
You might also consider a hoop that is easily adjustable for height (handle and crank models are a breeze to adjust). Most hoops adjust from 7.5 to 10 feet (which is regulation).
Indoor Hoops and Courts
If you can swing an indoor court, it’s an option worth considering. An indoor court can grow and adapt to the needs of your family, allow you to control myriad aspects of the basketball-playing environment, and allow for play 365 days a year.
Generally speaking, you have all the same options as an outdoor hoop, with one exception: flooring.
Hardwood is an excellent option, but not for outdoor playing. Most hardwood basketball courts are made of maple and are easily damaged by exposure to sun, rain, and other weather conditions.
It seems that most indoor hoops are wall-mounted. If you opt to go with an indoor court and wall-mounted hoops, you should add edge padding to your backboard. Padding protects against injuries, including sprains and fractures, that could otherwise result from forceful confrontations with the backboard.
With a home basketball hoop or court, you can provide your family with an excellent option for exercise and fitness and teach your children the ins and out of not only the game but sportsmanship in general. If you’re a lover of the game, don’t you deserve the best b-ball experience possible?
If you’d like to learn more or chat with someone who has experience constructing and installing home basketball courts, remember: Our team have years of experience working on projects like this. They’d love the opportunity to share their knowledge with you and ensure that, whether indoor or outdoor, the choices you make for your home basketball court are the very best ones for you and your family.
For more information, call us or click here to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.