The earliest basketball hoops were peach baskets fastened to the wall, which served as a natural backboard. To reduce interference from balcony-seated fans and obstructive objects also positioned on the wall, the hoops were brought forward into the court space, and a wooden backboard was attached. It was soon apparent that the wooden backboard obstructed visibility, so a glass one was introduced.
Today, basketball backboards are made out of a variety of materials. Lifetime has refined the design and construction process to produce backboards with excellent visibility, durability, and rebound factor. Home basketball system backboards can be made from:
· High-Density Plastic
· Tempered Glass
The backboard material influences several factors in the system’s performance that can be chosen to best suit a player’s needs. Age, intensity of play, and hoop location should be considered when selecting a backboard for use. Each type of backboard has unique strengths that make them an excellent choice for a home system.
Impact backboards are made out of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and are a popular choice for children and beginning players. They are cost effective and serve as a safe and reliable way to take the first steps into the sport. They are also durable, easy to maintain, and have a forgiving response, so young players and beginners can practice interacting with the right part of the backboard to make shots. A lower rebound factor prevents the ball from bouncing too far away from the court on missed shots, making recovery easier. Impact backboards are often printed with graphics, making them fun to use for younger players.
Impact backboards come in the following widths: Youth 32”, 40”, 42”, 44”
Shatterproof Fusion Backboards
High-density polyethylene and polycarbonate materials, when combined, create a highly resilient, clear surface that we call Shatterproof Fusion. These backboards are exceptionally strong and not easily damaged. They are cost effective and provide increased rebound factor when compared to Impact Backboards, making them perfect for developing players looking to expand the area and level of play.
Shatterproof Fusion backboards are larger than Impact and come in the following widths: 42’, 44”, 46”, 48”, 50”
Steel-Framed Shatterproof and Acrylic Backboards
These backboards provide excellent rebound and are great for playing intensely or aggressively. Steel-framed backboards are made by reinforcing a polycarbonate or acrylic sheet with a streel structural frame. Polycarbonate surfaces are called “shatterproof” because they do not crack or chip when dropped or hit by a projectile, and they are stronger even than acrylic. The cost of steel-framed systems is higher due to the metal needed to reinforce the playing surface. These backboards are excellent for at-home training for gymnasium competition and intense play. The rebound factor when the ball bounces off the backboard during a lay-up, rebound, or bank shot is very good, similar to that of a glass surface.
Steel-framed backboards come in the following sizes: Youth 30”, 44”, 48”, 50”, 52”, 54”
Tempered Glass Backboards
Glass systems provide the performance of collegiate and professional backboards. They are terrific for players that need to practice for competitive leagues or just want the experience of playing on top-of-the-line systems. Tempered glass offers amazing rebound factor and exceptional stability. These backboards require proper maintenance as they can be damaged easily and, due to the high quality of their material, they are more expensive than other backboards.
Tempered Glass backboards come in the following widths: 50”, 54”, 60”, 72”