Types of Basketball Hoops at a Glance

When it comes to purchasing a basketball hoop, there are no shortage of options available. This is great news because whether you’re an amateur just looking to shoot a few hoops, or serious college or professional athlete, there’s a hoop out there to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at the various types of basketball hoops for home use:

Common Types of Basketball Hoops for Home Use

In its simplest form, basketball is a game of getting a ball through a hoop. The most basic type of basketball hoop is essentially a rim that can be attached to anything. For a quick practice or fine-tuning your throwing technique, this *can* work, but basketball is designed to be played with a hoop attached to a backboard. For this reason, we recommend investing in a traditional basketball hoop with rim and backboard. Let’s take a closer look at the options:

Portable Basketball Goal


A residential portable basketball hoop is one that has a base stabilized with water or sand. These goals will usually have smaller backboards. When the base is emptied, a portable goal is relatively easy to move, making it ideal for situations where installing an in-ground goal is not feasible.

However, because portable goals are smaller and made of lighter materials than their more permanent counterparts, they are not nearly as stable. Portable goals can tip over if not properly weighted and cause damage to the goal or worse, injury to players. And under no circumstances should you practice dunking on a portable hoop! But if caution is used, a portable hoop can be a budget-friendly solution until a more permanent goal can be installed.

Semi-Portable Basketball Hoop

Semi-Portable In-Ground

A semi-portable in-ground hoop has an anchor that is cemented into the ground and the post is then bolted onto the anchor. This gives the goal incredible stability, while also allowing it to be moved if necessary. These types of goals provide long-lasting durability and incredible stability through thoughtful and proven design.

The anchor systems for semi-portable hoops are sturdy while boasting a small footprint. Goalrilla and Goalsetter in-ground goals feature this convenient type of anchor system. As an added bonus, Goalrilla anchors have self-leveling nuts under the pole plate that are easily adjustable until level.

The biggest advantage to this type of basketball hoop is that if and when you move to a new home, you just purchase and install a new anchor. This means you don’t have to purchase an entirely new goal system. Since a Goalrilla goal is intended to be a lifelong investment, it only makes sense to take it with you to your new home!

Direct-Burial In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Direct Burial In-Ground

A direct burial in-ground basketball hoop has a post that is cemented into the ground. So, once it is set, the goal cannot be moved. Cementing the pole into the ground is helpful in terms of stability. But again, once the goal is set – it isn’t going anywhere (well, at least not in a usable fashion). This type of hoop is most commonly seen in commercial settings like parks or playgrounds. They typically do not include any type of height adjustability and often have backboards made from vandal-resistant materials (like steel, polycarbonate, or acrylic). Direct burial in-ground goals are also sometimes called “gooseneck” goals since the curved shape of the post resembles the neck of a goose.

This type of goal is not typically recommended for residential use because they cannot be relocated. They are also rarely height-adjustable. The inability to lower the hoop can make play less accessible (and less fun) for younger players. Also, if and when you move to a new home, you will not be able to take the goal with you. So, if you want to invest in a hoop that will grow and be able to move with your family, a semi-portable hoop is the way to go.

Wall-Mount Basketball Goal


A wall-mounted basketball hoop does not have a post or pole. The backboard is mounted directly onto the wall. This type of basketball hoop works well for applications where space is limited and doesn’t allow for a pole to be installed. Please note, a wall-mounted hoop should only be installed by a qualified professional who can also assess the structural integrity of the wall to which the goal will be attached. When installed correctly, wall-mounted hoops are extremely safe and can be a great choice for home or commercial use. Due to their versatility, they can be installed indoors or outdoors. Goalsetter offers a wide variety of wall-mounted hoops in a range of backboard sizes. These types of basketball hoops are available in adjustable and static models.

Which type of hoop you choose will depend on several elements, including your budget, where you plan to install or place your basketball hoop, and your ultimate goals. Check out this helpful article to learn about other important factors to consider when choosing a basketball hoop.

Basketball Hoops for Younger Players

Silverback Junior Basketball HoopWhat about the younger players? Great question! We firmly believe that basketball should be accessible for all ages. Portable hoops can make great starter hoops for young players since they can typically be lowered further than an in-ground goal.

However, you’ll find that your youngsters will quickly outgrow a smaller, portable hoop. As an alternative, we recommend an add-on like the Silverback Junior Basketball Hoop. The smaller backboard attaches directly to the post of your full-size in-ground goal. This makes the game more accessible to younger players. Plus, it can be taken just about anywhere. The backboard easily attaches to any square or round post that is 6” wide or less.

Finding the Right Type of Basketball Hoop

Questions about the different types of basketball hoops? Wondering which is right for you? Give us a call at (800) 689-0281 or chat now and a BasketballGoalStore.com expert will be happy to help.  You’ll be shooting hoops in no time!

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