Purchasing Guide: Basketball Systems

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Whether you're hosting college or professional basketball in an arena setting, interscholastic games at the high school gym or a friendly game of HORSE at the local rec center, you're going to want durable basketball hoops that are appropriate for your facility. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right basketball systems for your gymnasium.

Types of systems
There are three main types of indoor basketball systems available, including wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted and portable. Wall-mounted goals extend out over the court's boundaries, while ceiling-mounted hoops are supported by a suspension system and can be raised and lowered over the playing surface, and portable hoops are affixed to a base with wheels and can be rolled on and off the floor. Needs may vary depending on the type of facility and the level of competition. A middle school gym and a college-level practice facility will have vastly different requirements.

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Wall- and ceiling-mounted systems can be fixed or adjustable. While a fixed mount might be less expensive, most manufacturers offer adjustable systems that allow for the height of the basket to be changed. Additionally, wall- and ceiling-mounted adjustable systems can be retracted to accommodate other gymnasium sports. Prices may vary depending on whether these systems are manually or electrically operated.

Control systems
If you do choose an electrically operated wall- or ceiling-mounted system, you'll need to consider what type of control system to install. Ask your provider for guidance, as there is a spectrum of options and price points for these systems.

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Portable units are versatile, as they can be placed anywhere in the gym. You'll want to ensure there's enough room for the unit to fit behind the baseline during games, and if the space is being used for purposes other than basketball, be sure you have an area where the units can be safely stored. Portable units can also vary in size and weight, which affects how easily they can be moved. Check with your provider to ensure that your gym floor is capable of adequately supporting the unit as it's moved into position.

Backboards and rims
With most systems, the backboard and rim come as part of the package. However, there are a variety of rim types, and backboards come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. Wall-mounted units don't necessarily have to feature glass backboards, for example, and breakaway rims may be overkill for facilities catering to kids. If you host competitive basketball, you'll want to make sure that the backboards and rims you select comply with the specifications set forth by your athletics association.

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All of these systems are large and heavy. If not properly installed by trained technicians, they can malfunction and cause injury or even death. It's important to talk with your provider about who will be installing your system to ensure that the technicians are familiar with the equipment you've chosen and can install it correctly.

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Purchasing Guide" Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


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