Want to take your game to the next level? An in-ground basketball hoop provides a level of realism that matches professional hoops. They’re tall, stable, and you won’t have to worry about bringing it inside if the winds are too strong.
Let’s get to the process on how to install an in-ground basketball hoop:
Required tools and materials
- Basketball hoop
- Concrete – 60 lbs minimum
- Measuring tape
- Level measuring tool
- Two-by-four wood planks
- Glue or fastener nails
- Another person or two
Choosing a location
At this point, you probably have already chosen where you’ll be installing the basketball hoop. That’s great. Every house is different and every person has their own preferences regarding the ideal location of the hoop.
However, its good to have in mind these few recommendations that really can apply anywhere and will help you make the best decision possible on where the installation location should be:
- Surface: Is the play area suitable for basketball. Is it smooth and hard enough to comfortably play basketball in?
- Where will missed shots go? This is something a lot of people overlook. You don’t want to install the hoop directly in front of your neighbor’s backyard as you’ll find yourself having to knock on their door every 5 minutes.
- Area availability: If installing it in a driveway or parking spot, is the area going to be available most of the time with no obstructions or objects that can be damaged with a basketball ball?
- Is the surface suitable for markings? Ideally, you’ll want to paint a three point arc and court lines. If you plan on doing this, make sure the surface can be painted on.
- Underground pipes: The absolute worst thing that could happen while installing an in-ground basketball hoop would be rupturing an underground pipe. Call 811 before you dig.
- Public Nuisance laws: This is especially important if you’re installing it on your driveway or where it’s visible from the street. Make sure your city and neighborhood don’t have restrictions that could apply to having a basketball hoop on your driveway.
Installing a basketball hoop – the process
1. Dig the hole
The first step in the process would be digging the hole where the base of your hoop will be installed. Properly digging this hole is essential to the stability and durability of your court.
Dimensions vary depending on the hoop you have. Find the width and depth of the whole recommended by the manufacturer.
Make an outline of these dimensions using two-by-four wood pieces, attaching them together with either strong glue or nails. Make sure the internal, not the external of the wooden rectangle (or square) dimensions match the recommended dimensions in the instructions of your hoop. The inside of this structure is where the concrete will go.
Having this wooden structure in hand, dig a swallow hole where it fully fit. After you get the horizontal dimensions right, dig down up to the recommended depth according to the instructions. Make sure the sides match the wooden outline you have frequently. You don’t a bad surprise such as the wooden plank not fitting properly.
Once the whole depth is done according to the required depth, push the wooden outline into the whole. Try to make it as tight as possible at the bottom.
2. Mix the concrete
You don’t need to be an expert construction guy to mix a small amount of concrete to install a simple basketball hoop.
Get your wheelbarrow ready (if you don’t have one available, a big, strong container may do the trick), place the concrete bag on top of it and slice it open.
Add water on the other side of the wheelbarrow. Add the recommended volume of water on the according to the quantity and type of concrete you bought. Do not add more water than what the instructions recommend as you may end up with thin, watery concrete.
Gradually wet the mix. Pull small amounts of dry concrete into the wet part and blend the whole mix slowly. Do not rush the mixing process as you’ll want every single particle of wet concrete to be properly wet.
3. Pour the concrete and place the anchor/pole
Now that we have our hole, wooden outline, and concrete ready its time to pour the concrete into the hole.
You have to find out how your basketball system secures into the ground. There are two types:
- Anchored with a base: Your basketball system includes a rebar-mounted anchor with 4 screws that attach to the pole and the rest of the structure.
- Single pole: The pole itself is the base of the structure.
If you have an anchor-type system: Pour the concrete in up to ground level. Agitate it regularly with a small shovel to remove any air pockets and make the mix even. After the hole is filled, push the rebar onto concrete, making sure its in the middle of the hole. Make sure the anchor is completely flat to the ground with level measuring tool and make sure it stays like that. Let it completely dry for 36 to 48 hours, checking it regularly to make sure its always level with the ground.
If you have a single-pole system, the procedure is very different. Have one or two people hold the pole completely straight in position while another person pours the concrete in the hole around the pole. Agitate it with a shovel or a tool to make sure there are no air pockets.
Clean off any excess cement before it dries. Small amounts of residual concrete can dry really fast so make sure to this as soon as you’re done pouring the cement.
4. Let the concrete dry
You might want to start using you new hoop right after its installed. Sadly, you’ll have to wait until the concrete is completely dry.
This could take as little as 24 hours, but for the best results and to avoid any risk of having to re-pour the concrete, you should wait at least 48 hours. Don’t attach the basketball system to the anchor before the concrete dries out.
If there is any chance of rain right after you pour the concrete (5 hours), or if starts raining, cover the concrete before or as soon as it starts raining and remove it when it stops pouring.
5. Final steps
Now comes the fun part. Raise your basketball hoop and attach it to the ground. Read the instructions on how to do so on your instruction manual. You should have a person helping you with this due to the weight of a full-sized pole.
In-Ground Hoop Installation – FAQ
Should I fill the pole with concrete?
It is not needed. If an installation is done correctly, the pole will be firm and stable enough for the vast majority of players. They’re made of steel or aluminum and they’re already really sturdy as is.
If you absolutely want to fill the pole with concrete, do it at your own discretion but first read your basketball hoop manual. Some of the poles aren’t hollow structures so if you pour concrete, it might not even reach the bottom of the pole and you could even reduce the stability and structural integrity of it.
How difficult is it?
Is it a relatively simple process with a few steps. In summary, dig a hole, pour the concrete, insert the anchor and then attach the pole.
Its easier said than done but a couple of adults able to sweat out a bit and follow instructions are fully capable of doing it. You could bring a professional contractor, but its a relatively simple process that pretty much any homeowner is capable of performing.
How long does the hoop installation take?
Excluding the time it takes the concrete to dry, it could take 2 to 3 hours to properly install it. The most time-consuming part is digging the hole to the right dimensions. It really shouldn’t take more than 4 hours unless you find unexpected surprises in the process, such as an underground pipe or big rocks.
Should a professional be hired?
It’s not necessary. Mixing concrete might be intimidating for some, as it might sound like a difficult process that only construction contractors can perform. Believe it or not, all you need is mix concrete and water to the correct proportions.
However, if you are still not sure, basketball systems offer professional installation for a few hundred extra dollars.
You could just set a portable hoop on your driveway and forget about any installation process. The downside is these don’t offer the level of realism, stability, and authenticity as inground hoops.
Take your game to the next level by installing an in-ground basketball hoop at home. It can be a tricky process but it can be broken down into a few simple steps.
Read more: Basketball Hoops for Toddlers & Children