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Selecting a Basketball System

Choosing between a Fixed-Height and an Adjustable Pole System

Make this decision based on the ages of the players and the level of basketball you want to play. The official high school and college competition goal height is 10'. But a new basketball fixed at 10' would be a big disappointment to youngsters learning to get the ball in the hoop. The appropriate height for children 5-9 years old is 7'6”. Kids from 10-12 will usually play on a goal set 8'6”. The lower the height of the goal, the more likely the child is to use proper technique when shooting.

The Backboard Material will Affect the Quality of Play

Glass is used for all competition backboards in high school, college and pro arenas because it gives the best ball rebound. Clear, acrylic backboards which give the look of glass and backboards of graphite, steel and fiber glass all have aesthetic, durability, or price benefits. Consider the aesthetic quality of a clear, glass, or acrylic backboard over a fiberglass or graphite backboard. Over time the graphite or fiberglass backboard will fade but the acrylic or glass backboard will look the same for years to come.

Look for Durability

Beware of inexpensive basketball equipment manufacturers that litter neighborhoods with rusty, tilting poles, backboards that age too soon, and sagging rims. Compare features to get a clear picture of what you can expect your system to look like in the years ahead. Goals and Poles' standards and warranties will give you confidence that you equipment will stand up to years of use.

What Safety Setback do You Need?

The distance between the pole and the backboard ranges from 22” to 60” on most systems. There is no one blowing a whistle under the boards in most driveway games. If you expect aggressive play you should consider a greater safe play area. Pole and backboard padding also add a measure of safety when there is rough housing on your court.

Plan Ahead

select a system that will keep up with changing skill levels. If you want your youngsters to play with you now and on a competitive team in the future, you should carefully consider pole and backboard rigidity. Always select equipment warranted to stand up to active play. Also, look for equipment that won't distract from the value of you home or landscape.

In-ground v. Portable

Important measurements:

Free Throw Line: 15' from the face of the backboard
High School 3 Point Line: 19'9” from the center of the rim
College 3 Point Line: 19'9” from the center of the rim
Pro 3 Point Line: 23'9” from the center of the rim
Regulation Rim Height: 10' from the top of the rim
Regulation Court Size: 50' x 94'


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