Inground Basketball Hoop Installation
Basketball Hoop Systems
Inground basketball hoop systems are mounted wither by putting the actual pole into concrete and leveling and measuring the rim as it is placed in the hole or they use a bolt-in mechanism that allows you to place the base unit in the ground and then to simply attach the pole and rim/backboard combination to the grounded portion by attaching 4-6 bolts. The best part of these types of units is that the leveling and measuring are done by simply adjusting the bolts to ensure the proper height and angles are reached during installation. Most of the time the inground basketball hoop outdoor systems are adjustable using a crank shaft mechanism with a set of counter balance weights or a pneumatic system that may be a little harder to move up or down but locks in place with a simple release of the mechanism.
Essentially there are 3 types of in-ground placement concepts that you can select from. The first is called a simple inground burial. This concept was around when our fathers started to have more sophisticated basketball systems and as the suburbs grew. It involves digging a hole about 4 feet deep, placing the pole of a basketball system in place (either before or after you have the backboard system in place) and then filling the hole with concrete. The trick is to get the pole to be straight while the concrete hardens and to be sure that the height of the pole when in its final resting spot will be sufficient to have the rim be at the ten foot mark when the project is complete.
I have installed lots of these hoops systems and have a great knack for getting the height to be correct. Just place bricks at the very bottom of your hole to give the hole some stability while it is drying and you will be just fine. Attach two levels to the pole at 3 and 6 o’clock and you be sure it is not leaning as the concrete dries. We recommend NOT putting the basketball backboard on the pole until the concrete is dry. I know your kids will want to play right away and not wait but they will appreciate the extra day it takes for the installation while they shoot for years at a rim that is 10 feet high and is straight.
The second type of inground system is called a sleeve system. In this system you dig the same hole as we mentioned above but you only put a sleeve into the hole. These sleeves come with very good markings to get it to measure 10 feet when the pole is placed into the sleeve and the same leveling trick works as described above (2 levels placed at 3 and 6 o’clock). Once the sleeve dries in the concrete the pole slides in, you attach the backboard ad you are playing 3 on 3 in no time.
The sleeve installations are sold as being somewhat transportable in that if you would move you should be able to pull the pole out of the sleeve , pack it up and move to a new location. It has been my experience that the pole becomes one with the sleeve after facing several freezes and thaws and all the types of weather that we get in the Midwest. In one recent pull that we attempted we gave up after about 30 minutes of no-budge pulling.
The third type is the type used by the more expensive inground basketball hoop systems and is called a J-Bolt with a Pier. This is the unit we have in our backyard and is my preferred installation. A 4 foot deep hole is dug and a square pipe is inserted following the same measuring and leveling as with the other two types of in-ground basketball hoop systems. On this type a plate is attached to the top with a hinge. This hinge allows for you to completely assemble your backboard system and pole on the ground then raise it up while it swings to the upright position and then gets bolted into place. This system allows for complete transportability while leaving behind a small plate in the ground if you need to move the entire unit. A separate benefit is that you can level the system by twisting the bolts once it is in the ground. We have moved ours once as the kids grew older – we expanded our court to include a 3-point line and had to re-center the inground basketball hoop. It was easy, inexpensive and well worth the added cost on the front end.
In-Ground Basketball Hoop Adjusting Mechanism One of the most significant considerations for a family to review prior to selection of an in-ground basketball hoop is the height adjusting mechanism. When we purchased ours I simply had the smallest of our children try it out in the showroom to be sure that he could crank it up and down without assistance from us. He was 9 at the time and was able to move each of the units without an issue so I knew that we could not go wrong. Listed below is a quick review of each of the different mechanisms used to adjust an Inground basketball hoop.
Each of the mechanisms work in the same way – the rims can typically be adjusted anywhere from five feet up to regulation ten feet (some only go to six feet). They use a counter-balance system to offset the weight that is being lifted. The mechanisms are all safely operating inside of the poles so there is no risk if getting pinched fingers or jammed hands when moving the hoop up or down. Another great convention is that they no longer need pins or anything mechanical to be inserted in order to hold their position. The units glide to a position and then stay in place – that is it. Most of the better units also have a height gage that tells you how high the rim is at any point in time – that takes all the guess work out of your hands and you are ready to play.