Best Basketball Hoops Buying Guide
It really comes as no surprise that basketball is one of the most beloved sports around the world. It is fast paced and physical, yet it requires the use of strategy to outwit a defense and score a basket for your team. There is never a dull moment in basketball and all you need to do is watch a group of kids playing in your neighborhood court to know that it’s true.
For the growing kid who loves the sport, having his own basketball hoop is a dream come true. He can practice to his heart’s content and invite his friends over for a friendly game. It can also be great bonding for the sports loving family where everyone can get together for some good natured competition. Not to mention that it is one solution to a recent problem parents are starting to have about raising kids -- “How do I get the kids off the couch?” And even better, “how do I get the kids off the couch while not having them stray so far from home?” Well, a basketball hoop is your answer. Set one up, you’ll have your own children and all the neighborhood kids at your house having a grand time.
What features to consider in buying a basketball hoop?
Truly, sport is a great way to bond with your kids without having to learn a new technology or asking them to add you into their social media account. More than that, it is something that they will voluntary join you at without a lot of coaxing. Convinced? We knew you would be, and this is why we have prepared the following buying guide for you to help make sure that you pick the best basketball system for your family’s needs.
● Portable or In-ground Basketball Hoop
One of the first things that you will have to decide on is whether you want to get a portable basketball hoop or an in-ground hoop. A portable hoop, obviously, could be moved around and away during and after playing. It normally comes with a base that you either fill with water or sand to give it some stability. And in-ground hoop is constructed into the play area, typically into concrete flooring. Whichever you choose depends on your situation.
You would choose a portable basketball hoop if you do not have a permanent place to play. So you would wheel the hoop onto the street or your front yard whenever anyone feels like a game. And since it is probably against your neighborhood rules to leave a basketball hoop in the street, you would typically take it away when you are done playing. If you do have enough space in your front or backyard, however, you might want to construct an in-ground hoop into your play area. This option has the stability to give you and your brood an opportunity for some aggressive play because it is anchored to the ground and because it will be firmly in your property, you won’t have to worry about street regulations. However, if all the friendly chiding within a game escalates into a fight, that’s all up to the kids to work out!
● Backboard Material
The backboard is a very important part of a basketball hoop because it affects a player’s game. As a background to the rim, it guides the player’s eyes and helps him aim. During a layup, a player bounces the ball on the backboard so that it goes down into the rim. So imagine if the material on your backboard affected your ball’s bounce so that you didn’t know exactly where it would land or whether it would go into the rim or not? It sounds like a recipe for frustrated crying rather than unbridled fun!
When it comes to backboards, the most common materials you will find are acrylic and tempered glass.
Acrylic backboards are the less expensive option, however, it does come with its disadvantages. Being made of plastic, it very sensitive to heat and changes in temperature and that could make it prone to warping. Over time, it will discolor and get cloudy which not only makes it unattractive, but will affect game play as well. Acrylic is also a soft material and so it tends to vibrate when the ball hits it so it is also likely that you will not get a true bounce off of it.
A tempered glass backboard, on the other hand is a sight to behold and in spite of weather changes, it will stay beautiful because of the sturdy material. It is also made so well that there will hardly be any vibration on ball contact giving you a reliable bounce off of the board. This is an important feature if your children are part of a basketball team because it gives them a practice hoop that has the same feel as the one they use at the gym. So if your family are earnest ball players and you have the budget for it, go for a tempered glass backboard. It is something that you will enjoy for a very long time to come.
What’s a practice session or friendly game without a few slam dunks, right? When it comes to showing off, everyone likes to be a little aggressive and this is where flimsy game equipment can end up hurting someone. Even the most well anchored hoop with the sturdiest backboard can shatter if it gets abused enough by the future greatest slam dunk superstar. If you want to avoid any untoward disaster, you will want to search for a rim that is spring loaded and has break away technology. This helps take a lot of strain off the backboard and keeps it from shattering during a dunk.
While the most important considerations for buying a basketball hoop are the above three, you might appreciate a hoop that is adjustable if you have growing kids. A lot of the best hoops can be adjusted from a height of 7 feet up to the regulation height of 10 feet. This way, your little ones won’t feel discouraged if they are unable to make a basket at regulation height, but you can gradually move up to 10 feet as they increase their skills.
The most common types of netting are nylon and chain links. Nylon netting is cheap but less durable while chain links are durable but will eventually rust. Either way, netting will not likely change the game so the choice doesn’t really matter as much.
● Pole Padding
Sometimes sports can get really rough and aggressive playing can cause someone to get thrown around against the basketball pole causing grave injury. You can avoid that by making sure that the hoop that you buy has some compatible pole padding. If you have young children or you know your family to be the rough housing type, you will definitely want this extra layer of protection.
Benefits of Playing Basketball for Kids
It is well known that playing sports is very healthy for growing kids. It promotes fitness and socialization and any parent would do well to encourage their kids to get into it. Basketball is a great sport to get into because it does not really require expensive equipment or a country club membership to participate. And while it is a team sport, your child does not have to wait to be with his team to do his drills. All in all, it is an easy sport to get involved in and having your own hoop at home will enhance your child’s experience. Besides, basketball has its own specific benefits including:
- Developing hand-eye coordination. Developing children need to be able to practice aiming in order to score a goal. Playing basketball helps them develop this specific skill and children who play basketball improve their spatial intelligence and hand-eye coordination very quickly.
- Agility. Agility pertains to the ability of a person to change directions quickly. Basketball is a fast paced game and will require players to shift directions fast in order to outrun a good defensive player. This is also why kids who play basketball have quick reaction times and their bodies respond just as fast.
- Speed. In basketball, you will need to outwit and outrun your opponents while dribbling a ball. Children who become very good at basketball develop this skill early on.
- Discipline. If your child is involved in an organized team, he will have to listen and learn from a coach. He will learn discipline by being in a team as well as develop a good work ethic since this is a quality needed in a basketball team.
- Social Interaction. Your child will need to work with a team and so he will need to learn teamwork. Parents these days lament that their kids interact only through their phones and computers. This is impossible in a team sport like basketball where a game is won by properly gelling with your team mates.
- Confidence. Kids who become good at something, such as a sport, become self-confident. The right amount of confidence will help your child achieve his goals later in life because he will be more likely to attempt tasks that become increasingly challenging.
- Competitive Spirit. It is important for children to develop a competitive spirit as well as good sportsmanship as they are growing up. This helps them to have a good attitude during success, and also more importantly, during failure and gives them the spirit they need to try again.
The above are a few of the many benefits of encouraging your child to play basketball. And if they aren’t enough to convince you that you need a basketball hoop, maybe the fact that basketball is a sport that can be played by adults and kids at the same time would. Foster the spirit of unity in your family by having a special time to enjoy a basketball game together and teach your kids a few tricks. They will love showing off their skills to you and you will love to encourage them in-game. You can also organize special adult-child team competitions in your backyard with your friends and their kids.
Tips for Maintaining Your Basketball Hoop
Nothing lasts forever, but for an investment such as your own basketball hoop, you want to get pretty darn close. This means that you will want to regularly maintain your equipment to prolong its life for a lot of family fun. Follow these regular maintenance tips.
- Each year, check for the tightness of the nuts and bolts. If you play very often or play aggressively, you may want to check it more often.
- Paint over rust as soon as you notice it. Be sure to use an outdoor satin paint.
- Move your equipment indoor during harsh weather conditions such as during storms when the winds are strong or during the winter. Less elemental exposure means longer life for your basketball hoop.
The prospect of hours and hours of family fun is very exciting to us here at ParentsNeed HQ. For this reason, we have diligently reviewed the basketball systems available out in the market in search of the best. This is how we have narrowed the list down to the Top 5 Best Basketball Hoops for families. In it you will find the best high-end hoop to the best mid-range hoop made in a variety of materials – from fiber glass backboards to acrylic. The choice is yours if you want a portable or in-ground hoop, and we have included both in the list. Our favorite though, is the Spalding NBA “The Beast” Portable Basketball System. This big boy will be everything you want in a basketball system and is adjustable so that you can set it to the appropriate height for your growing children. The only downside to having this basketball hoop at home is that you might have to set up an outside dining area because there’s no way the family is going to want to stop their game to go indoors. Ready, set, jump ball!