Are Basketball Backboards Measured Diagonally Like A TV?
Author Ryan Tate
Posted March 12, 2013 in category

The short answer is no.   Backboards are measured in width x height x depth.  For example, if you were to see the specification…

72″ x 42″ x ½”

72″ = 72 inches wide
42″ = 42 inches tall
½” = ½ inch thick

Diagram showing correct measuring technique for a backboard

Common backboard sizes are below…

72″ x 42″ (regulation)
60″ x 36″
54″ x 36″
48″ x 36″

You’ll also see fan shaped backboards sometimes which are measured in only width.

Why are backboards measured differently than TVs?
TV’s are a special case because when they were first manufactured tubes could only be made round so the diameter was the specification that was measured. It stuck even after rectangular screens were developed.

Why does backboard size matter?
I like to call it backboard real estate. The more you have the more bank shots you can make. If you have a wide playing area it is advantageous to get a wider backboard to get more bank shots in.

Other dimensions to account for
When comparing backboards there are a few other dimensions you’ll want to pay attention to that affect performance.

  • Backboard thickness – Regulation boards are ½” thick.  Most residential systems will use something thinner.  The thicker the board, the more solid the the rebound.
  • Backboard material – Some common materials include tempered glass, acrylic, aluminum, steel and wood.  Regulation boards use tempered glass which performs very well and holds up in the elements.  It’s the material of choice unless you’re worried about vandalism in which case one of the other materials might be a better option.

Learn more and buy
If you’re researching different backboards for your driveway, park or playground we’ve got a ton helpful information so you can make an educated buying decision. Choose the type of system you’re interested in here.

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