Before even looking at basketball goals, it's a good idea to figure out what your actual needs are. To figure this out, I have come up with the following questions.
Who will be using the basketball system?
Age, skill level and usage type all play a part in figuring this question out. If young children will be using the system you might consider an adjustable basketball goal. Most premium basketball goals will adjust down to 7 feet although some will go as low as 5 feet such as the Hoops Pro Dunk basketball hoops. As children get older, they can easily adjust the basketball hoop to the height of their choosing.
- Elementary: 5-7 feet
- Youth leagues: 8-9 feet
- Jr. high on: 10 feet.
Even as children get older many still enjoy lowering the basketball hoop down to have fun dunking. Many companies such as Goalsetter and Goalrilla do not allow dunking and hanging on their rims. If your children will be dunking you should make sure that it does not void the warranty. For more information on basketball goal warranties you can visit this basketball goal warranty guide.
If nobody will be dunking and everybody is jr. high level or above you might consider a fixed-height system. These goals are usually a little cheaper and not as complex.
Type of Play
If the players are going to be rough on the system including dunking or lots of play you should seriously look at a premium basketball system as a money saving investment. A heavy-duty goal that will withstand years of adolescent abuse can range in price from $800.00 to $3,000.00. Most of these systems use a pier system so you can relatively easily take the basketball goal with you when you move.
How much portability do I really need?
Many people begin their search by looking for portable basketball goals at Academy, Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting goods. Some home owner associations will not allow permanent basketball goals. Check the rules in place before getting an in-ground permanent basketball system.
Portability is an attractive feature at first although I would urge you to take a second look at more permanent hoops. Many people are under the delusion that they will be dragging heavy portables to and from the garage each day which just doesn't happen. A broken down ugly portable sits on the driveway or nobody plays because it's piled under junk in the garage.
The value you get out a portable system is much lower than an in-ground or roof-mount goal. The portable is either much lower quality or much higher in price. A portable basketball goal at the same quality as a non-portable in-ground adjustable system can be upwards of $5,000.00. Portable goals you buy at Wal-Mart or other local retailers are not durable and will not withstand very many years of normal play let alone heavy or abusive play before having to be replaced.
If you're worried about loosing your investment when you move, most premium systems are installed via pier. This means you can take your system with you when you move relatively easily. I call this semi-portable. You will need to loosen 4 nuts and transport the goal to your new house. You will also have to buy a new pier template from the manufacturer to install at your new house. This can be anywhere from $75.00 to $150.00 depending on the manufacturer. If you know you will be moving in a few years, I would recommend buying a second pier (other than the one that comes with the basketball system) when you initially buy the goal.