Basketball Pole Specifications to Check Before Buying
If you have just started researching what you need for the next basketball system you purchase, here are four specifications you must take note of.
1) The gauge:The thickness of steel on the main pole usually is the gauge specification, which also is frequently expressed in inches. Smaller gauge mean thicker steel, so, for instance, a 7 gauge (which would be 3/16 inch) is 50 percent thicker than 11 gauge steel (1/8" thick). The pole will be more rigid with thicker steel. You should purchase the thickest main pole that you are able to afford.
2) The shape and size:Round poles are the least expensive but also the least sturdy and reliable--much less so than square or rectangular poles. The most common diameter of round poles is 3.5 inches. On rectangular poles, larger sizes mean more system stability. Stick with one-piece pole designs for the best long term stability and durability.
3) Gussets:Gussets, which do not apply to direct burial basketball poles, are an integral component of flange ground-mounted basketball pole systems. Gussets are essential to the pole's stability where it attaches to the flanged base, and they add rigidity to the pole. Gusset counts range from 0 to 8, with the higher the number representing the more stable and rigid system.
4) Different types of ground mounting:Basketball poles can be mounted in the ground four different ways--ground sleeve, direct bury, J-bolt anchor, or hinge anchor a) Sleeve mounted units allow a direct bury post to be removed from the ground. If you purchase a sleeve mounted unit, be sure the sleeve is designed with a post leveling feature that will allow the basketball post to be leveled after installation. b) Direct burial mounting buries the pole directly into the concrete--great for stability, but it also means absolutely no margin for error. Screw up the mount the first time, by not curing it precisely level, and you are stuck with a crooked post you cannot adjust. c) With J-bolt mounting, you installed supplied J-bolts into a wet concrete footing. The whole system can still be properly leveled after the concrete/j-bolts have cured, which is a big advantage over the direct burial method. d) Flange anchor mounting offers the flexibility of being able to move the system from one location to another, but you must make sure the flange is exactly level.