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In Ground Vs Above Ground Basketball Hoops – The Pros and Cons of Each

If you are really keen on playing basketball in your own backyard then a time will come when you need to choose between an purchasing a more structurally sound in ground basketball hoop versus purchasing an more flexible above ground (portable) basketball hoop.

Each have their own pros and cons so lets break down both hoops in more detail so you can work out which investment will be best for your backyard games.

In Ground Hoops Pros:

1) Sturdiness and Longevity:

In ground hoops are securely fixed (often cemented into the ground) for long term stability and safety. This ensures that aggressive play or slam dunks won’t disrupt your game or inclement weather won’t blow over your basketball ring anytime soon

2) Peace of Mind:

Having the in ground hoops profesionally installed means you know that your hoop has been set the right way, and can provide an enjoyable and secure experience for your hoops for a long time.

3) Professional Touch:

In ground hoops provide stability and use premium materials which will give your backyard court a highly professional look and feel. Whilst it’s not quite like the NBA, its a nice thing to show off to your mates and neighbours and adds a bit of class to the court area.

4) Height Choices:

The modern in ground systems offer easy to change height options which are great for families with growing kids or players who want to practice at different rim levels, and not have to worry about struggling with a manual change bar.

In ground Hoop Cons:

1) Installation:

Lets be honest, it’s little more more than just digging a hole. Properly setting up an in ground hoop involves work, precise measurements and some patience.

2) Permanent Fixture:

The not so flexible nature of these hoops means that once they are installed, they are staying put. You won’t be moving these hoops anytime soon, so make sure you have agreed on its location.
Cost Factor: Generally in ground hoops require an investment upfront due to the materials and labor involved. They are not a cheap purchase, even if you decide to tackle the installation yourself

3) Weight:

On the subject of a self installation, make sure you have 3 – 4 strong friends on standby. These hoops weight hundreds of kilograms, and is generally not considered a two person job.

Above Ground Hoops Pros:

1) Mobility:

If you are anything like our family and needed to change up your court setup, then we were very grateful we had an above ground hoop that would allow this. Above ground hoops can be easily relocated, offering flexibility for using your area such as if you need to mow a law, move the hoop for a party, move the hoop to play cricket or anything else similar.

2) Simple Setup:

There is no concrete pouring or digging required. GThe majority of above ground hoops can be put together with simple toos and installed (without hiring professionals) in a matter of hours

3) Cost Effective:

In ground hoops are expensive for a reason, however for those families that require a more cost effective solutions, above ground hoops offer a way to enjoy shooting hoops without draining your wallet.

Above Ground Hoops Cons

1) Stability Concerns:

While many models strive for stability they may not match the sturdiness of an in ground system. Personally, we didn’t anchor our above ground hoop down properly the first time and the wind blew it over, denting the ring. Strong winds or a powerful dunk can lead to the hoops and backboards moving and adjusting, which may ruin the shooting experience. In our case, we ordered a new hoop and reinstalled it.

2) Durability:

Above ground hoops might not endure the elements or time as their in ground counterparts. They are certainly prone to rust and ‘wear n tear’ in the Australian climates.

3) Aesthetics and Playing Experience:

For those who value tradition and visual appeal above ground hoops may lack the court feel” of an in ground hoop. It’s akin to playing on a mini hoop – enjoyable but lacking the full basketball court experience that many players crave.

What’s the Best Fit, for Your Basketball Court or Yard?

This is a tough one, because if budget is not a factor then it comes down to your personal yard and what you can fit or what flexibility is required. Therefore when deciding between an, in ground and above ground basketball hoop there are some factors to consider.

If basketball is a part of your life and you have both the space and funds investing in an in ground hoop, this could be the perfect choice for you. It’s a long term addition to your home and can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

Most of the reputable in ground basketball hoops range between AUD $1400 – $4800. If this fits your yard and budget, then we recommend speaking to both Goalrilla and Megaslam Hoops in Australia

On the hand if you value flexibility, easy setup and a cost effective option, then there are a range of above ground hoop offers which offer convenience and enjoyment without the need for a permanent installation. If this sounds appealing, we recommend viewing the Spalding range of above ground hoops, which have a reputation for quality and ease of setup. Prices start from AUD $450 upto approx $1900.

On a personal note, we use an above ground hoop which has served a purpose for us over the years and came in very handy when we decided to turn our court and court tiles in a different direction. We also moved house and States, and we were able to pack up our above gorund hoop and it arrived undamaged.

We are also wheel our hoop out of the way when the kids play pickleball or we use the yard for cricket. This suits our family and yard well for thus period of our lives.

What does frustrate me about the above ground hoops is that over time the weather will make them look at bit beaten up worn down. We have also noticed overtime when you hit the backboard hard, it rattles around a lot and makes loud noises, which I am sure the neighbours don’t live. This would be avoided with a stronger in ground hoop.

Long term, an inground hoop would provide much more stability and look more aesthetically pleasing, 

Regardless of which option you opt for your yard and home court, a basketball hoop is a way to promote activity family bonding or perhaps some neighbourly competition. Consider your requirements carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each type of hoop before purchasing (they are not an easy item to return)

More importantly, prepare yourself for hours of basketball fun at home and remember, the ideal hoop is one that motivates you to play and relish every moment on the court.