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5 Things to Know Before Buying a Basketball Hoop

August 17, 2011

CLEARFIELD, UTAH — Playing basketball outside is a great way to have fun, burn calories, and improve coordination. But, purchasing a residential basketball hoop can be overwhelming and confusing. Whether you plan to shoot hoops for fun, play competitive games of 3-on-3, or practice team drills, these quick tips will help you decide which hoop is right for you.

1. Location - Before you buy, make sure you have ample space to play. A large, flat, paved surface like a driveway is ideal. Keep in mind it is unsafe (and often illegal) to place a basketball hoop on a street or sidewalk.

2. Portable or In-Ground – A portable basketball hoop has a large plastic base with wheels that provides the flexibility of rolling it to a different area, or even taking it with you if you move. In-ground systems take up less ground space but require cement installation and are permanent. However, they tend to be more rigid and offer slightly more stability for aggressive players.

3. Backboard material - Graphite and polyethylene backboards are designed primarily for young children. Acrylic backboards provide a clear playing surface ideal for beginner or intermediate players. For more serious players, polycarbonate backboards such as the Lifetime Shatter Proof Fusion™ provide high-performance and durability with a clear, arena-style glass look while high-end tempered glass backboards combine professional styling with the best performance and rebound for aggressive players.

4. Backboard size - For young players just learning to shoot, a 44" backboard is sufficient. Young teens practicing drives to the basket and a wide range of bank shots will benefit from the rebound space of a 48-50" backboard while aggressive players will appreciate the large 54-60" and even regulation-sized 72" boards like those offered on Lifetime Mammoth systems.

5. Height adjustment mechanism - Lifetime Products invented the first adjustable height basketball hoop 25 years ago allowing players of all ages and skill levels to play on the same hoop. To raise and lower the hoop quickly and easily from 7.5 to 10 feet, look for one-handed mechanisms or even effortless pneumatic devices like the Lifetime Power Lift®.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of residential basketball hoops, Lifetime Products offers a variety of both residential portable and in-ground basketball hoops available nationwide at sporting goods stores, discount stores, and online at