Whether you are looking to create a full size basketball court in your backyard or have a small area you can use to practice your skills, an in ground basketball hoop (or also known as a permanent basketball hoop) is something you are probably considering. There are some advantages and disadvantages of in ground basketball goals vs a portable basketball hoop and in this article we talk about them.
In this review we break down the best in ground basketball hoops based on budget, performance, durability and other features. Below you will find our picks along with information each type of in ground basketball system, including how to install them.
What To Know When Purchasing The Best In Ground Basketball Hoop For You
Before you install your in ground basketball hoop, make sure that it’s not violating any rules or codes from your property management company or local city hall. Unfortunately, many HOAs and municipalities have regulations against thingscalled “unsightly nuisances” and often that will include a in ground basketball system.
I would be a shame to go through all the trouble of installing an in ground hoop only have to deal with a potential fine and then ultimately be forced to take it back down after all that hard work because you failed to do your research beforehand. If a permanent in ground hoop is not allowed, you should look into getting a portable hoop instead.
Look For Underground Utility Lines
A free service can be found at www.call811.com that will tell you whether or not you can safely dig up your yard to put in a permanent in ground basketball hoop or any other kind of deep hole excavating project you might want to take on!
Start by measuring the space where you plan on installing your in ground basketball hoop. If your aim is a regulation NBA court, the half-court is 50 feet by 47 feet (50 by 42 feet for high school), though your court doesn’t need to be that size. Let’s assume an overhang of 2 feet (that’s the distance from the backboard to the goal post) and then another 2 feet of clearance behind the hoop for the height adjustment mechanism. The distance of the high school 3 point line is 8 ‘9″ so in order to leave at least 3’ behind the line area you will want a court approximately 27 foot long.
However, if you’re trying to save money or space and the court dimensions you have are limited in some way, it probably makes sense to purchase a hoop that is on the smaller side with less hanging over the edge.
In Ground Basketball Hoops: What To Look For
If you’ve made the decision to get an in ground basketball hoop, there are a multitude of options from which to choose. The main differences are: the amount of metal contained within each rim and backboard; the size and material of the goal post parts; as well as whether or not your product includes reinforced anchor straps for stability purposes. Let’s take a closer look at just some of these things:
Basketball Support Pole
Basketball poles tend to be round, which is pretty typical for the most part. There are exceptions for those that are an octagon-shaped or pentagonal-shaped based on various needs of course. It’s important to always remember that ideally, in order for you to obtain optimal performance from your in ground basketball hoop, it is commonly suggested to have a pole made from a round steel with a thickness of approximately at least 1/4 inch thick.
Square Steel poles are able to provide superior stability and avoid vibration you’ll find in many in ground hoop systems out there. A thicker length of steel 11 gauge in thickness will offer the greatest durability and prevent corrosion. Selecting a heavier pole will be best for larger units carrying greater amounts of weight like backboards.
Installing The Pole
The support pole is what gives the entire structure its shape, allowing everything to function just so. Cheaper in ground basketball hoops utilize a poorman’s version of a sturdy support pole in which the bottom part extends directly into the concrete foundation and is not adjustable. Thus, even if the pole isn’t perfectly vertical during initial installation, you’ll typically have no hope of making adjustments further down the line.
Using this form of construction ensures that you will be able to level your backboard with an adjustment of the nuts on the J-Bolts that are under the anchor plate.
Support Pole Stiffness
When looking for the right in ground basketball hoop that is sturdy and won’t let you down, it is best to find the one that has a large pole. The size of the pole matters since it allows you to have a better sense of stability as well as makes your investment worth it. This means choosing something that has a 6 x 6-inch diameter support post, making sure your investment lasts long.
Adjusting The Height
Most in ground basketball hoops sold today are height adjustable. This means you can lower the rim from a regular 10 feet down to 7.5 feet and even lower it to keep your children safe when trying to shoot at their very own hoop as all of us parents would definitely want. Of course it’s also nice to have if you would like to go out on your court and reenact a Michael Jordan dunk contest performance.
The regulation backboard used in the NBA and NCAA is 72 inches wide and 42 inches high. These huge backboards weigh a ton and are therefore reserved for the most expensive and massive
Professional and college backboards are 42 in high and 72 in wide, which are quite large and heavy so they are more expensive vs many of the typical driveway backboards you’ll find.
More of the best in ground basketball hoops are going to be at least 48 in wide but commonly you’ll find them in the 54-60 in range. This size will allow you enough size to practice properly and get a good feel for layups, bank shots, etc.
Polycarbonate: Entry-level in ground hoop basketball backboards are usually polycarbonate based because the material is almost indestructible and tends not to break while the board is in use. Unfortunately, this makes it very heavy, which actually causes the feel of rebounds of a polycarbonate basketball hoop to feel flimsy.
Acrylic: Acrylic basketball hoops are more expensive than polycarbonate but they offer a look that is closer to the pros and college and is a high-quality product. Unfortunately, they tend not to hold up as well against certain conditions such as bad weather but can be made to stand up against all kinds of blows as long as they’re treated right.
Tempered Glass Backboard: NBA and college backboards are made up of tempered glass. A tempered glass backboard is very sturdy and can even withstand scratches or bumps for years without discoloring. One thing to note though is that tempered glass has very low impact resistance, so you have to avoid slamming your backboard against anything or somebody!
Another disadvantage of using a tempered glass backboard basketball hoop is that they are often quite heavy and difficult to move around from place to place because of their weight-heavy enough to anchor any kind of play area into the ground firmly and steadily so players never have to worry about it tipping over.
In the NBA, because of all their experience with the game, they made a set of rules about how officiated games and those rules are actually basing on specific dimensions. So for example the four foot baseline makes sure that players aren’t hitting the pole that is in that area of play, which is usually called a backboard.
The same thing with dribbling when you’re under the basket, which then leads us to talk about an overhang on a basketball hoop. An overhead view of this will tell you very clearly how much room you personally have available under your rim in order to take jump shots or even any offensive moves using your lower body like dunks or lay-ups, etc
Heavier and more expensive basketball goals have a higher overhang than their cheaper counterparts. The higher overhang allows for a lot more room for someone to be able to dunk from under the hop – especially those who are able to jump really high.
However, if an overhang of 4 feet is not necessary, there would be less wasted material and maybe a cheaper price point for that kind of hoop experience. It’s good to know that a 3 feet of an overhang is enough space to practice just about anything under the hoop as long as its important to remember that stability also depends on how tall your backboard is too!
Standard Rim: The standard rim is the most common type of rim in today’s permanent basketball hoops or even on portables hoops. The reason for this is because it doesn’t come with an additional decoupling system like other rims do, so it’s easier to bend or even damage when excessive force is applied to the device. A lot of junior varsity basketball players — as well as various recreational leagues — use this kind of rim because it’s sufficient enough for their needs and standards.
Exposed Springs Breakaway Rim: Spring breakaway rims are a popular type of recreational rim. This type of rim is more affordable and good quality, but it can be unreliable in humid and wet environments. If you don’t plan on dunking with your goal in the future, then a simple regular rim will give you better long term longevity.
Enclosed Springs Breakaway Rim: This is what is known as a pro style breakaway rim. Spring breakaway rims are created with a tension device inside them. The manufacturer has to make the disc that effectively presses against the springs while it’s in use, and then once a dunk or shot is completed the energy from the shot causes the disc to pop out and release the tension.
They allow for the net to remain taut and in most cases do not require much maintenance after purchase. The enclosed springs breakaway rim is the superior option compared to the exposed springs but it is a pricier option.
Your Guide To Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop of 2022
Below you’ll find our picks for the best in ground basketball hoops on the market today. We will breakdown why we choose them, the pros, cons and then a final say about our overall thoughts on them.
A Goalrilla basketball hoop is an in-ground basketball hoop designed for serious players. It looks like a professional basketball court has moved and become part of the ground. A key feature of this in-ground basketball hoop is the unique feature that it comes with a tempered glass backboard which is built to withstand tough player’s shots and also resist pressure from outside. You can choose from 3 sizes: 54 inches, 60 inches, and 72 inches.
The breakaway rim component of the FT Series in-ground basketball hoop has been designed with added durability. This installation will hold up to heavy use and years of activity due to its added spring loaded feature. This hoop utilizes a steel plate that protects the springs that helps it in it’s durabitlity.
The anchor system that uses bolts comes with everything you need to get your best in-ground basketball system up and running.
Goalrilla FT Series Basketball Hoop
- Heavy-duty rim
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Easy peasy height adjustment
- Maximum stability
- Powder coated steel pole
- Is not cheap
If you are looking for the absolute best in ground basketball system and you have the finances for it then you won’t find a better hoop than the Goarilla FT Series. With tempered glass, solid rim construction and pole stability, this hoop has it all.
The Silverback is a basketball hoop that’s been originally produced by Goalrilla. This company has created the best in-ground basketball hoops, including their most notable product called the SB60.
This basketball hoop has an impressive 60″ tempered glass backboard set in an aluminum frame and is the perfect size for a classic three-point shooting experience without it getting in your way.
The support pole is 2.5 feet overhang and with the steel drivetrain that you can adjust from 7.5 to 10 feet, it will provide more than ample space for players to stand under it during any game.
A pro style breakaway rim is one of our favorite features of the Silverback SB60. Although it’s not quite the same rim used in the NBA, it’s pretty similar because it’s completely durable. The mounting system is also one of our favorite aspects of this hoop. A lot of professional basketball rims use this precise mounting system, including Hercules and other big name brands!
- Very high-quality components
- Reliable and well-built backboard and rim
- Tempered glass backboard can withstand the strongest of shots
- Easy to adjust for the perfect height
- Powder coated steel pole
- Difficult to assemble
If you need a strong basketball system for an outdoor court, this is the perfect choice! I know it’s pricey but you get what you pay for and this basketball hoop is strong and well built. If you’re looking to replace your old basketball hoop or building your dream outdoor basketball court, this is a great choice.
If you’re looking for another option in hoop systems, here’s a basketball hoop that stands out above its competitors: the Ironclad Game Changer. Though the price tag is marginally higher than other in ground hoops, it comes with benefits that may be worth paying a few extra dollars for.
The support system included with this product makes installation as simple as possible and helps make sure that you get one of the most dependable options for basketball hoop installation on the market today.
The steel pole is powder coated and is one-piece thick size of 5” x 5”. The sure shot design helps with the durability and quality so it will stay strong. The tempered glass backboard with a great breakaway rim and provides performance that highly satisfies. While playing ball with Ironclad Game Changer, you’ll be sure to dunk or sink every jump shot, layup or running hook under the leg that comes your way!
- Easy to assemble
- High quality
- Powder coated steel pole
- Padded pole offers great protection for players
- Doesn’t rust
- Adjustment system is top tier
- High price tag
Ironclad has built this Elite in ground hoop and if you have the budget then this is a great option for any outdoor court.
If you’re looking for a fence system that will accommodate your small or medium sized yard, the Silverback SB54 is probably your best bet. What makes it ideal for small yards is its lack of space-consuming tools and large trims, as well as its use of break-away design to maximize safety.
The Silverback 54 has an adjustable goal height from 7.5ft to 10ft with an all-steel actuator. It comes with a five-year limited warranty. Expect to buy it together with backboard as well as Pole Pad. The hoop is loaded with features that make it a great tool for slam dunking or playing a bit of basketball with a small group of friends or loved ones.
It has a unique 2-piece pole for simulating the traits of 1-piece upright. It has adequate protection against rust and corrosion. It weighs 150 pounds while measuring 71.5in X 54in X 6.5in. Most you seem to prefer this in-ground basketball hoop because it’s ideal for driveway and the fact that it reports little sway if any, while being easily adjustable.
- Similar style to gymnasium hoop
- Superior strength due to anchor mounting
- You can adjust the height easily
- Breakaway rim
- Backboard is a bit shaky compared to some other models
You’ll probably notice that Silverback is a brand that ends up appearing in many review articles because of their high quality in-ground basketball hoops. The reason for that is because they have great products at an affordable price and this model is no different.
If you want to save a few bucks while still getting a high quality in-ground basketball hoop, then we recommend going with the Lifetime 71281. When it comes to price, this is certainly one of the more affordable in ground hoops that we’ve come across.
Now let’s take a look at the specs: The backboard is only 52”, which for some may be too small for athletics competitions or entertaining larger audiences. There are though other certain benefits that outweigh this downside like being easy to assemble and transportable from one place to another if moving house.
For more durability, this goal has steel tubing that runs around the backboard. The material of the backboard is polycarbonate. While it does have a lot of strength, it’s not as strong as tempered glass – a feature we appreciate for its price value and overall quality.
The breakaway rim standout is a great feature of this basketball hoop. It’s both cost and maintenance friendly, but refrain from hanging on the rim or dunking too much as it can cause the rim to warp over time. The 3-piece support pole is fine for recreational play, but it is not the most stable pole out there in outdoor hoops.
- Good price for what you get
- Goal height is easily adjustable
- Durable steel frame
- Comes with a 5 year warranty
- The pole has a powder coat to prevent rusting
- Backboard isn’t as sturdy as many other models on our list
Among the best grounded basketball frameworks on the market, Lifetime is a definitive leader. Lifetime 71281 is an excellent instance of this. It’s pretty esteem at a cost that can’t be rivaled with different brands.
The 90020 is at the bottom end of their price spectrum, giving kids and parents a decent amount of options when it comes to height adjustments. It’s renowned for being a good option for young people because it doesn’t come with a lot of money outlay and those first setup renovations are not very expensive because this hoop is well-made. However, one negative thing about that goal post is that it can be susceptible to damage from the ball if you’re using it indoors.
The Lifetime 90200 backboard is small but it will get the job done. It’s 48 inches wide which makes bank shots a bit tricky because of the smaller target area. With a digging depth of 24 inches and light material (Polycarbonate), you can get exactly what you need without needless extravagance.
Although the price is affordable, and this hoop comes at a pretty weighty (no pun intended) 18 pounds, don’t expect it to be completely free of sway or rattle after making a few shots. After shooting three-point shots in particular, you might notice that the hoop shifts slightly. Despite this minor setback, we don’t think this hoop is too bad for the price!
- Solid construction for a budget basketball hoop
- Good price for what you get
- Simple design and easy to assemble
- Pretty easily height adjustment
- Backboard is shaky on bank shots
- Goal will shift a bit on deeper shots
Lifetime is probably the biggest brand in the budget in ground basketball hoop market and this goal is a solid choice in their lineup. While it doesn’t have the heavy duty construction and backboard of some others on our list it is a great choice if you’re limited on a budget but still want a goal that will last for years to come.
Spalding is a known brand and as an authority in basketball products. They have high quality products, so their premium features make them well worth the price.
The 54 in tempered-glass backboard helps you get a solid all around basketball playing experience. It also does well with bank shots and other similar shots that require angle use of the backboard. The rim that can be used on competitive games and mimics the actions of high level models in its slightly flexible structure.
- Backboard is made of quality material
- Installation is simple & straightforward
- Solid goal
- Goal is easily adjustable
- No pad on the pole can be less than ideal
SB54 is a great basketball hoop in its price range. It’s very sturdy and good-looking too! At its price point it’s got about everything you could ask for.
Things You’ll Need To Install your In Ground Basketball Hoop
- 12-14 bags of Cement
- Hole Digger, Shovel or Spade
- Cement Trowel
- Measuring Tape
- Heavy Duty Stir Stick
- Power Drill
Steps To Install Your In Ground Basketball Hoop
Choose Where To Install Goal
When installing in ground hoops in a backyard, it is critical that you select a suitable location. Make sure first to check with your municipality to see if there are any utility pipes, other lines or restrictions that may affect where you install your hoop on the property. Additionally, make sure that you consult with your neighbors and read relevant community rules before putting in any in ground basketball systems.
Dig Your Hole
This is usually the part most overlooked. Read the manual for diameter specifications given by your basketball hoop manufacturer, however a yard stick and measuring tape will measure just fine. You can use a shovel, an auger (or drill), or other digging tools to dig out your hole after finding the location of where you want your hoop mounted at. Once you start digging it’s always smart to check within a margin of error that the diameter of your hole dimensions match those provided by your manufacturer.
Before you begin working with concrete, take a few moments to make sure that the hole you’ve dug is clean and has a flat bottom. After spreading in a 1 to 2 inch layer of gravel fill it with water and let it run through the gravel for at least an hour. If necessary, let it settle overnight.
Place a pole in your hole vertically, make it stand straight at a 90 degree angle, and place some bricks and stones around the pole. Ask someone to hold the pole up at the correct height without moving it until you’ve finished placing bricks around it.
Now pour concrete over the pole but keep your hands steady so as not to cause any movement during this process. Wait for about 24 hours for drying to take place, although you may need longer depending on how thickly you poured your concrete.
Once your concrete has dried, you can attach the unit to your pole. Then connect the rim and secure with the bolts and make sure its firmly in place. If you have a finger-touch adjustable hoop, it should have come with a size sticker for easy adjusting.
Once you determine the court’s eventual height, then check it for stability as well as assess whether or not you will need to reinforce your poles with cement or sand bags to ensure that they stay upright against strong winds.
Depending on how much space you want your basketball hoop to cover, this may also be an option that requires some planning ahead of time so make sure to take measurements before purchasing! Accessories such as paint lines and backboards are always optional if these don’t fit with your personal preferences but can be added at a later date.
Deciding on which in ground basketball goal to get can seem overwhelming at times. Indoor and outdoor courts have different requirements for their hoops — the best option can be completely different from court to court. However, we’ve made it easier for you by thoroughly researching each product and testing them out for themselves in an extensive review.
If you need an affordable hoop to satisfy your basketball passions, try the Lifetime 71281 Adjustable Basketball Hoop. It’s often found as Amazon’s Top Choice as it’s a high quality basketball hoop and is also tagged with a great price point.
This is a great mid range pick and the backboard is so thoroughly thought out that it has become what some people call “Amazon’s Choice” and it is also considered the best in ground basketball hoop under $1,000
Gorilla FT Series
The Gorilla FT Series in ground basketball systems come with a lifetime warranty which means that you don’t need to purchase another basketball hoop ever since it is guaranteed to last for many years.