Many individuals purchasing their first basketball hoop quickly become confused over terminology. Technically, a basketball hoop refers to the orange rim to which a net is attached. The term basketball hoop is often used interchangeably to mean a complete basketball system.
Whether it’s called a basketball hoop, basketball goal, or basketball system, those investing in the sporting equipment will want to begin with some basic terminology. A basketball hoop is the orange metal ring to which a net is affixed to play the sport of basketball.
Several options are available depending upon the location where it will be used, along with the age and aggressiveness of the players. The hoop may be a competition-level breakaway steel rim, a fixed rim, or a heavy-duty one for recreational use that typically flexes.
For residential or professional play, a nylon net is attached to the basketball hoop to “catch” and funnel the basketball downward. Playground basketball systems for schools typically utilize a metal net instead of nylon.
The portable basketball hoop is attached to a backboard that can be fashioned in the shape of a fan, rectangle or other irregular shape. They can be manufactured from tempered glass, fiberglass, aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. While all are suitable, acrylic does provide a better bounce-back or rebound of the ball than polycarbonate materials.
A stand-alone backboard and basketball hoop combination can be attached to a garage or affixed to a pole cemented into the ground. Portable basketball systems are also available, consisting of a base, backboard, net and extension arm/pole that allows the hoop to be adjusted to the height of the players. These types of basketball hoops are weighted in place by water or sand to keep them stable.
An adjustable arm on portable models enables them to be aligned with court markings. One of the advantages of a portable system is that they can be folded down and condensed to fit into a garage, storage unit or other areas of a gym when needed. It also makes them valuable for traveling tournaments when other accommodations aren’t available.
Whether they’re called basketball ring, basketball systems or basketball goals, basketball is a sport that provides hours of fun and competitive play for youngsters to adults. An investment in the sports equipment that best meets the growing needs of athletes will keep them on top of their game at any age.