The Basketball Hoop: Its Story

By Andy Zain

In basketball the points are scored when a player throws a ball into a hoop suspended 10ft above the ground. In the NBA and NWBA the official size of the basketball hoop is 18in (46cm) in diameter. The net that extends from the hoop ranges from 15-18in (38-46cm) in length and is usually made from nylon. The hoop is made from metal, usually steel and in competitive games is connected to a backboard.

Steel is used to create the metal hoop and is usually coated in a powder to protect it. In competitive games it is connected to a backboard.

The peach basket was replaced in 1906 by the metal hoop that we see today. At the beginning spectators could interfere with shots, so the backboard was introduced, to which the hoop was attached. A bonus of this was that players could now score by hitting the backboard at specific angles.

The more expensive hoops for sale are connected to a back plate which houses a spring system. This system allows for the hoop to be manipulated so that it can be pulled down when skills such as a 'slam dunk' are made. Not only does this prevent the hoop from breaking but also makes the skill mentioned above easier to perform. After the skill has been performed the hoop returns to its original position.

Whilst there are loads of colours of hoops available, red is the most popular. 'Break away rims' are a function of more expensive hoop systems. These 'break away rims' can easily be broken off if sufficient force is applied. The advantage of this is that the backboard and back plate are not damaged. It is not difficult to replace these rims either. Generally a reasonable price to pay for good quality replacement rims is $30-$50.

There are many versions of hoops on the general market. The cheaper models that do not include this spring based system start from as little as $20. 00 whereas the spring fitted systems can be as expensive as $300. It is possible to purchase a model where by the hoop, backboard and base are packaged together therefore not requiring a wall to affix the hoop too. These models can range from around $80 to in excess of $600.

Hoops can also be purchased with adjustable poles these allow for customizable height so that younger players are able to play the game with a basket height relative to their own.

Some producers of basketball hoops include Huffy, Lifetime, Spalding and Hybrid although other producers of basketball hoops are available. - 31494

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