Question: When referring to the whole system including rim, net, backboard and support structure, what should you call it?
Answer: Technically speaking, the most proper way is basketball system. This is not the most common though.
From my experience, I believe basketball hoop is most common which is inaccurate as it refers to only the orange ring or rim. This is also the case with basketball goal which is used almost as often. Hoop, goal and rim can be used synonymously.
A full list of terms people use to refer to a basketball system in order of popularity are…
- basketball hoop
- basketball goal
- basketball system
- basketball pole
- basketball net
- basketball rim
- basketball equipment
- basketball backstop
A few observations about the different terms…
This seems to have a geographical slant. People in the north east use the term basketball hoop more frequently than others. Also, there seems to be a quality or price associated with the term as basketball hoop usually refers to low-end portable basketball systems rather than high-end in-ground basketball systems.
Again, there seems to be a quality associated with this term skewing to the higher-end basketball systems. If you’re looking to buy a basketball system, it is unlikely that you are looking for a $200.00 portable from Wal-Mart. It is more likely that you are looking for $1,000.00 plus basketball system.
This seems to be a term gaining popularity. I don’t believe it has a quality or price associated with it but It does seem to have a geographic preference to the south west.
The other terms on the list such as backboard, net, pole and rim are usually used by people beginning their search. Once these people educate themselves on the norms, most will begin to use one of the more common terms above.
I know the answer is a bit long winded but with the nuances of the English language, familiarity of the subject and geographical preferences all being variables, there is a lot to cover. In my opinion, if you’re looking for the term that most people will understand to be the complete basketball system, use basketball system. If you don’t, the other person may think you’re talking about a specific part such as the rim, backboard or pole.
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What do you call it? Leave your responses in the comment section below.