Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop

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When it comes to shooting hoops in your backyard you can’t beat an in-ground basketball hoop. 

They give you superior stability, functionality and offer you the most resemblance to playing on a real court – in, or outside. 

With an in-ground you get:

  • To choose the right height for you.
  • To choose the backboard style and size that’s right for your style of play.
  • To place your hoop in the best position for your play.

Yes, you’ll get some of these options with a portable basketball hoop or even a fixed board over your garage, but you won’t get such a diverse range of options as you will when you choose an in-ground model.

So, if you want the real feel of playing just like the pros, you need to practice as real to life as possible or you just want the most authentic experience. You’ll want to opt for an in-ground hoop.

In this article you’ll find Reviews for the Best:

  • In-Ground Basketball Hoop.
  • Budget In-Ground Basketball Hoop.
  • Best 54-inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.
  • Best 60-inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.
  • Runner-Up/Honorable Mention In-Ground Basketball Hoop.

If you want to get right to these Reviews, they’re right here.

Not sure about whether an in-ground is right for you, want to know more information, head on down and read the in-depth Buyer’s Guide which is right after the Reviews.

Remember – if you plan on getting an in-ground hoop to take some advice on the correct way to install it. Better still, get a professional company to ensure your hoop is safely installed.

In-Ground Basketball Hoop Reviews

Pro Dunk Diamond Rust Armor Package - Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop

If you want a high-performance hoop that’s going to last and looks amazing, look no further than the Pro Dunk Diamond. This ‘gym-quality’ hoop set-up has some of the best features you’ll find outside of a professional court including padding as standard included in the price.

Let’s jump right in and see what makes this hoop so great:

  • A full ½-inch thick, 72-inch tempered glass backboard.
  • 12×8-inch one-piece pole.
  • Height adjustable between 6 and 10 feet with the turn of a handle.
  • 5-foot extension.
  • ‘Extended Corrosion Warranty.’
  • Includes in-ground anchoring system.
Pros
‘Gym quality’ and specs
‘Limited lifetime warranty.’
1-inch thick high impact padding set which includes - backboard, pole & gusset
Height adjustment makes this perfect for families with growing kids
‘Regulation size backboard.’
‘Competition grade break-away rim.
Hard-wearing, built to last manufacturing
Hanging around, no problem with this beast
Cons
This is a heavy piece of kit so you might struggle to lift and to install this without a few good strong people to help. The better option is to pay to have it professionally installed
Some users have complained that the instructions aren’t specific enough between the different models within the range

Note:

With a hoop this size and weight it’s imperative that it’s correctly installed. The best option is to get the professionals to do this for you, they know exactly how to install these bad boys and will ensure anyone who plays will be safe for years to come. Professional installation isn’t that expensive so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are at all unsure about installing this yourself. Safety first. 

Pro Dunk Silver with Rust Armor - Best 54-inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop

It’s no surprise that the Pro Dunk Silver was the choice for a 54-inch hoop. As you can see from the review of the Pro Dunk Diamond, they make quality, professional kit that makes you feel as if you’re playing on a pro court. 

If you’re looking for a pole that still delivers on quality but on a smaller budget and for a smaller plot, this might well be a good pick. So, let’s jump right in and see what makes this hoop great:

  • ‘Gym-quality’
  • ½-inch 54-inch tempered glass backboard.
  • ‘5×5-inch one-piece pole.’
  • Height adjustable between 5 and 10-feet with a simple turn of the handle.
  • ‘Extended Corrosion Warranty!’
  • Includes in-ground anchoring system.
Pros
‘Gym quality’ and specs
‘Limited lifetime warranty.’
1-inch thick high impact padding set which includes - backboard, pole & gusset
Height adjustment makes this perfect for families with growing kids
Hard-wearing, built to last manufacturing
Hanging around, no problem with this beast
Cons
This is a heavy piece of kit so you might struggle to lift and to install this without a few good strong people to help. The better option is to pay to have it professionally installed
Some users have complained that the instructions aren’t specific enough between the different models and this can be confusing
Smaller than regulation size but perfect for smaller backyards and driveways

Note:

With a hoop this size and weight it’s imperative that it’s correctly installed. The best option is to get the professionals to do this for you, they know exactly how to install these bad boys and will ensure anyone who plays will be safe for years to come. Professional installation isn’t that expensive so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are at all unsure about installing this yourself. Safety first. 

Pro Dunk Gold - Best 60-inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Once again the folk at Pro Dunk have come up with another winning product. The Pro Dunk Gold offers much of what you’ve read about in the other reviews on their products. The Gold gives you the same quality and features but with a choice of the 60-inch backboard which may suit a smaller space or those on a slimmer budget.

So, let’s jump right in and see what makes this hoop great:

  • ‘Gym-quality’
  • ½-inch 60-inch tempered glass backboard.
  • ‘6×6-inch one-piece pole.’
  • Height adjustable between 5 and 10-feet with a simple turn of the handle.
  • ‘Extended Corrosion Warranty!’
  • Includes in-ground anchoring system.
Pros
‘Gym quality’ and specs
‘Limited lifetime warranty.’
1-inch thick high impact padding set which includes - backboard, pole & gusset
Height adjustment makes this perfect for families with growing kids
Hard-wearing, built to last manufacturing
Hanging around, no problem with this beast
Cons
This is a heavy piece of kit so you might struggle to lift and to install this without a few good strong people to help. The better option is to pay to have it professionally installed
Some users have complained that the instructions aren’t specific enough between the different models and this can be confusing
Smaller than regulation size but perfect for smaller backyards and driveways

Note:

With a hoop this size and weight it’s imperative that it’s correctly installed. The best option is to get the professionals to do this for you, they know exactly how to install these bad boys and will ensure anyone who plays will be safe for years to come. Professional installation isn’t that expensive so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are at all unsure about installing this yourself. Safety first. 

Goalrilla GS54 - Runner Up and Worthy of an Honorable Mention

The Goalrilla GS54 is a well-made, stylish hoop with a solid feel that’s definitely worthy of a spot on this list. It’s perfect for smaller driveways and spaces while still giving you an arena-style feel and play.

Let’s jump right in and see what makes this hoop great:

  • ⅜-inch 54-inch tempered glass backboard.
  • Height adjustable between 7.5 and 10-feet.
  • ‘Pro-style breakaway rim.’
  • ‘Powder-coated steel pole construction.’
Pros
Limited lifetime warranty
Unbolt and take your hoop with you when you move home
2.5-feet overhang
5x5-inch pole
Cons
Smaller backboard
Less height adjustment than others reviewed in this article
Padding not included
Some users have complained that this pole has movement when in use
Some users have commented that the instructions could have been clearer

Note:

With a hoop this size and weight it’s imperative that it’s correctly installed. The best option is to get the professionals to do this for you, they know exactly how to install these bad boys and will ensure anyone who plays will be safe for years to come. Professional installation isn’t that expensive so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are at all unsure about installing this yourself. Safety first. 

If you want to know more about in-ground basketball hoops and assistance in choosing the right one for you, read our in-depth Buyers Guide right here.

Buyer's Guide

Along with baseball, basketball is one of America’s favorite sports. Unlike baseball however, with basketball, it’s generally easier to find a place to play. You can play on a court, in your driveway or even in your own room if you have one of those tiny trash can hoops. 

And if you want to play basketball on your driveway or yard, you can buy your own hoop. Some people even create a half, or if you’re really lucky, a full-sized court right in their backyard! 

There are three main types of outdoor basketball hoops:

  • Portable.
  • Hanging or mounted.
  • In-ground.

And while most of the information in this article can be applied to all three, the main focus here is to help you purchase the best in-ground basketball hoop. 

Manufacturer

There are a number of trusted brands and companies around manufacturing some pretty awesome hoops. Each one has their own approach to creating the best hoop. So, let’s take a look at some of the top brands in a little more detail.

Spalding/Huffy

These two names fall under the Russell Athletics brand umbrella and vary depending on whether you’re buying a high or low end model. Both use different materials in their designs, for example in their backboards – Spalding uses either acrylic or tempered glass while Huffy uses acrylic, plastic or polycarbonate.

Goalsetter

Goalsetter is an American brand manufacturing their hoops in the U.S. They use either  tempered glass or acrylics for their hoops and concentrate on making mounted hoops. 

Goalrilla

Goalrilla is known for their high-end line of basketball hoops, but also have a mid-range line under the name Silverback. They have their own unique hoop life mechanics and they manufacture backboards in sizes 54, 60, and 72-inches. 

Lifetime Products

Lifetime is one of the largest and most popular manufacturers of basketball hoops and other equipment. They have a huge line of products and are fairly inexpensive, although they do have high-end equipment range too. 

It is thanks to Lifetime that standard basketball hoops can be height adjusted. 

Basketball Hoop Parts

Every hoop is different, from the size to the construction and the materials used. Knowing a little about these should help you to decide which hoop size, type and standard, is right for you.

Backboard

Backboards come in different sizes. 72-inches is the regulation and professional standard size so if you want to play like the pros, this is the size for you. However, you can also get boards as small as 42-inches, great for younger kids just getting into the sport, or for those who have limited space. 

Plus, there are backboards somewhere in the middle of those two sizes so, there’s plenty of options if you are worried about space and cost.  

Backboards also come in different shapes including square and fan designs. 

Over the years designers have come up with new materials from which to create backboards, which is great for the consumer because it’s created boards which are cheaper and longer lasting. The popular materials used are:

  • Polycarbonate.
  • Acrylic.
  • Tempered glass.

Polycarbonate is a rigid plastic that works well in general weather and is the cheapest to make. These types of backboards are meant for fun or casual play so, are great for the backyard or drive. 

Acrylic, which is made from a type of thermoplastic is a well-rounded middle of the road material for backboards. It offers good quality and durability so, if you want a board that’ll last from season to season and you can stretch your budget a little they’re a good choice.

Tempered glass is the material used to make professional hoops. The type you see in courts and gyms. It is the most expensive to make and offers the best performance when it comes to bouncing off the backboard. The downside is that they are less durable than the other hoops and can be shattered in inclement weather or a heavy dunk.

Rims

The rim is one half of the actual hoop, being the circle that attaches to the backboard and holds the net. The average size of rim is 18-inches. Rims come in two types:

  • Standard.
  • Breakaway.

Standard rims that do not breakaway have become less popular because they do not relieve tension when the rim is bent from a dunk. They are only used on low-end cheaper models and it is recommended that all you do is lay ups and standard shots as a dunk could bend the rim out of shape. So, if you’re after more of an authentic play then a breakaway is probably your best bet.

Breakaway rims are the new standard and are designed to help relieve the tension from a dunk to help prevent damage to the hoop. Breakaways come in either:

  • Enclosed.
  • Exposed.

Recreational hoops tend to use exposed, with one or two springs. These are generally low quality and can rust. They can also make the rim too bouncy.

Enclosed rims cover the springs and are generally better quality, however how much better depends on the price and the hoop. 

Nets

The net attaches to the hoop. This seems to be an innocuous part of the hoop, but it is important if you want to be at the top of your game. They’re made from:

  • Chain.
  • Nylon.
  • Polyester.

Chain nets are mostly found in street and outdoor courts as they are durable and can take more punishment than some of the other types. They tend to be the standard net for in-ground hoops. If you are thinking of buying a chain net consider buying a zinc coated one or spraying the chains with a water-repellent as they are prone to rust. 

Take care when using a chain net as it can hurt your hand during a dunk and is known to erode balls over time. 

Nylon and polyester nets are mostly used on portable hoops and are a durable net for all types of hoops. To get the longest use find a net made with heavy duty nylon and polyester.

Professional nets are made from polypropylene for extra strength and have been designed to prevent whipping when a shot is made. 

There are also types of specialty nets for fun, like a glow in the dark net. It absorbs the sun’s light during the day so it can light up at night.

The Pole

A basketball pole’s durability and functionality will depend on its size and shape. Poles can be:

  • Round.
  • Square.
  • Rectangular.

Square and round tend to be the most common used in recreational in-ground hoop poles. 

Round poles are found most often and tend to be the cheapest option. They’re typically 2.75-inches in diameter but can go up to 3.5-inches.

Square poles tend to be either 4×4-inches or 6×6-inches.

While square and rectangular poles are more expensive, they’re built to withstand more and their rigidity means they’ll last longer. 

The thicker the pole, the less momentum when dunked on. 

Erecting Your Hoop

Unlike a portable basketball hoop which you can drag to any location you choose, in-ground hoops require a bit more planning as once they’re in, that’s likely where they’ll stay.

There are three ways to erect an in ground hoop:

  • Ground sleeve.
  • Direct burial.
  • Anchor.

Ground Sleeve

Ground sleeves are the most common way to install an in-ground hoop. The sleeves are metal tubes which are inserted into the ground about 4-feet and secured with concrete. 

The tube is slightly larger than the pole which lets the pole slip into the tube easily and gives a grounded base, the pole is then bolted to the tube. 

Unlike the other types of installation, using a ground sleeve installation gives you a level of portability. If you move you can remove the pole and reinstall it at your new house with another ground sleeve. A ground sleeve also makes it easy to take the pole down for repairs or if you’re expecting extreme weather.

Direct Burial

Direct burial is the cheapest method of installing a basketball pole. A hole is dug to about 4-feet and the pole inserted but unlike the ground sleeve, the concrete is poured around the pole base setting it into the ground. This makes it almost impossible to remove the pole should you want to take it with you when you move or you need to get to it for repairs. 

While you can undertake an install like this yourself if you are handy at DIY, it is recommended that you use a professional installer. You can usually pay for professional installation at the same time you purchase your pole or a search engine can help find locals in your area that specialise in this type of installation.

Note: if you do decide to DIY, it’s recommended you install the backboard once the concrete has settled. 

Anchor

Anchor installs do offer a degree of portability, so if you think you might have a move in the future and want to take your pole with you, this is another installation type, you might want to consider. 

After the 4-foot hole is dug, it is filled with concrete, a square plate is placed on top and the pole is bolted down using J bolts. Some anchors also use a hinge so you can raise or lower the hole pole when installing the backboard or making repairs. 

Important Note:

Before you start digging research your local, state and homeowners association rules and regulations. Some may have specific rules about erecting an inground pole, and at times they are outright banned. 

If you find out you can’t erect an in-ground pole why not consider a portable one instead, for more information check out our Portable Basketball Hoop article for more details including reviews and a buyers guide.

Next, call 811. This organization works with national companies responsible for locating and marking underground utility lines like pipes and sewage. They’ll contact your local companies who will come out and mark where the utility lines are so you can dig safely without causing any damage or accidents. If you don’t you might wind up breaking the law, so it’s worth taking the time and trouble to do it right.

Other Considerations

Price

This is probably the main consideration when buying an in ground pole. Knowing your budget before you start researching is a good idea. Things to consider are:

  • Material and size of backboard i.e tempered glass or polycarbonate.
  • Material and size of pole i.e. round or square.
  • Type of rim.
  • Type of installation i.e. do you want to be able to move it later?
  • Style of play i.e. recreational or serious practise etc.
  • Installation costs.

Location

In ground hoops take careful consideration on where you want them installed. Apart from the cost you need to consider:

  • How safe it is to play in that area i.e. away from roads or your neighbors yard.
  • If there’s pipes, wires or anything else below the surface.

Weather

One of the perks of in-ground hoops are they can stand up to weather a lot better than portable hoops. You don’t have to worry about them flying off and causing damage or them freezing and breaking. 

Note: if your hoop is on a hinge considering lowering it in extreme weather so there’s less chance of it falling and breaking. 

You should also take steps to prevent your pole from rusting. Read the manufacturers guidance on any rust or weather proofing that may be necessary.

Safety

In-ground hoops are great but they’re heavy pieces of kit and for this reason you should think about safety while you choose and as you play. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Choose the right size hoop for the people that are going to be playing. 
  • Consider the skill level and ages of the people who’ll be using the hoop.
  • Padding is available, sometimes it’s included in the pole price, to protect players from the solid metal pole and other areas. It can help prevent injuries.

Proper use of the basketball hoop. 

Climbing, hanging or general shenanigans with a hoop should be discouraged as again, someone can be injured. Roughhousing also falls into this category. If someone gets a little too rough falling on concrete or hitting the pole can hurt a lot.

One should also practice proper basketball technique. Running, jumping and throwing have right and wrong ways in execution, and if improperly done can lead to strains, pulls or even a broken window from a wayward pass.

Conclusion

It’s a basketball hoop, it shouldn’t be that complicated, right? Unfortunately, it can be. There are a lot of different parts to buying a hoop and other things you may not even have considered, such as the digging regulations. 

As with everything, research is important. You need to know the pros, the cons and the possible risks of different materials, parts and use of your basketball hoop. Know your local laws and check your HOA regulations.

Basketball is a fun sport, and it should always remain fun. That’s why it is important to do the leg work early and find out everything you need to, instead of finding out when it’s too late.

To get the best experience, know what you want. Look at guides and tips to see what you may need to consider. Look at the user reviews of hoops and check-out the Reviews here for our top picks.

Doing all of this will ensure that your basketball hoop will be fun and safe for a long time.  

Have fun with your new hoop!

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