Basketball gameplay has a heavy impact on the basketball hoop. Not only are the rim and backboard regularly struck with force by the ball, but there is often contact between the players and the hoop components as well, especially players hanging from the rim during dunks. To support the constant impact and weight, a basketball hoop needs a strong, secure base that not only keeps it upright, but completely stationary so that players can practice on the system without holding back.

Most outdoor basketball hoops are attached to a pole which connects them to the base. These hoops use three main types of anchoring systems: portable, in-ground, and bolt-down bases. By contrast, backboard and rim combo systems are mounted directly to a wall, roof, or existing pole and don’t require a base.

Portable Bases

A portable base is a wide-set, hollow vessel attached securely at the bottom of the pole. This base is filled with sand or water to grant it substantial weight. When the base is empty, is can be moved easily, and when it is full, it is extremely heavy and stable. There is also no requirement for cement work, making setup and relocation quick and easy. Heavy-duty wheels permit the bases to be moved at any time and at the owner’s convenience. These qualities make portable bases the most popular option for families that want a basketball hoop at home. These bases also allow for quick setup and play so new owners can enjoy using their hoop immediately after acquiring it. Portable bases are common with small, medium, and large systems. Lifetime ensures that each portable base is the optimal size for safety and balance for the backboard that the base supports. We strive to exceed the ASTM standards set as the baseline for basketball hoop performance. While many cheaply-made basketball hoops have bases that often leak, potentially causing hoops to tip over and cause major damage, Lifetime’s high-quality blow molded bases perform much better than the competition and exceed safety standards.

In-Ground Bases

An in-ground base system sees the pole cemented directly into the ground, resulting in extraordinarily stable and secure hoops. They do not tip, lean, or fall over. In order to properly anchor these, between 420 and 640 pounds of cement is required, depending on the size of the system. In preparation for the cement, an appropriately-sized hole needs to be dug as described in the hoop’s instruction manual. After an in-ground base is cemented in, owners need to allow several days for the cement to cure before playing on the hoop. Since the pole is established directly in the ground via cement, they are not generally portable once installed. However, using a ground sleeve can allow for the future removal and relocation of the hoop. The ground sleeve is placed directly into the cement instead of the pole, and then acts as the entry point for the basketball system’s pole. This is the best way to securely move an in-ground system around multiple locations. In-ground bases are usually used with medium- and large-sized systems.

Bolt-Down Systems

Like an in-ground system, bolt-down systems involve planting an anchor system into cement—usually between 1,040 and 1,680 pounds of it. The bottom of the pole is then securely bolted onto the cemented-in anchor system. Therefore, it can be removed, relocated, and re-bolted in another existing anchor system, allowing for some mobility for the hoop. Bolt-down systems have incredible stability and will not tip, lean, or fall over. Like in-ground systems, once the cement is poured, it needs several days to cure before the hoop can be used. This type of base is most common with large and Mammoth basketball systems.

Mounted Backboard and Rim Combo

Sometimes, when playing space is limited, a combo system is most effective. This system consists of a rim and backboard combined together, with no pole or base. Instead, a mounting kit can be used to attach the system to a wall, roof, or existing pole. By fastening the hoop to a wall or roof, owners can maximize playing space and not obstruct their court with a base.

Lifetime offers two combo mounting kits: the Fixed Mounting Kit and the Adjustable Mounting Kit. The Universal (Fixed) Mounting Kit mounts a Lifetime Backboard and Rim Combo to a wall, roof, or 3.5” diameter pole. The Adjustable Mounting Kit mounts a Lifetime Backboard and Rim Combo to a wall or 3.5” diameter pole and can be adjusted from 8 to 10 feet of height.

Mounting kits are separate components from combo systems. They offer locational versatility but do not have the stability and strength of a portable, in-ground, or bolt-down base, so dunking on them is not recommended.