In Ground Basketball Goal Installation
There are several steps to consider before beginning an in ground basketball goal installation. The first step is to consider the location of the hoop. You should consider if the time of day is the same as when you will most likely be shooting baskets. Make sure your basketball hoop will be facing a direction that won’t cause sun interference when looking at the backboard. Once you have picked the correct general area to install your in ground basketball goal, consider the overhang of the unit. Most basketball systems have anywhere from 18” to 60” of distance from the post to backboard. As a general rule, it is good to maximize the overhang over the court. This provides the greatest amount of player safety to prevent players from running into the basketball post. However, if your playing area is on the smaller side, you will want to move the basketball footing out further into the yard. This will position the basketball backboard closer to the edge of the driveway or court surface. Be careful not to go too far though, and try to maintain at least 24” of overhang. This will allow adequate concrete underneath the basket to allow the arc of the basketball to fall on concrete instead of kicking out into the grass and forcing you to chase it.
Once the exact location of your in ground basketball goal footing installation has been determined, mark the spot with paint, then call 811 to check for underground utilities that may interfere with digging the hole. 811 will come out and flag the utilities showing you exactly where NOT to dig! Assuming there is no interference with utilities or other underground obstructions, it is time to gather tools.
You will need:
- a shovel
- wheel barrow
- concrete trowel
- water source
- appropriate number of bags of concrete for your basketball hoop
- a “form” typically comprised to 24”long 2x4’s screwed together in a 24”x24” square
First, dig the hole to the size stated in the instructions that came with your basketball goal. The footing is the most critical part of any in ground basketball goal installation. The footing must be strong and built to the specifications in the instructions or you risk the unit falling over if done improperly, don’t cheat on footing size! Mix concrete as per the instructions on the bag, continuing mixing and pouring concrete into the footing until concrete reaches the top of your square 2x4 wooden form.
Next, insert the broom handle into the concrete footing and vibrate it up and down several times. This will help remove an air pockets in the concrete that may have become trapped during your concrete pour and will make the footing stronger. Depending on if you have a direct bury basketball post, are using a removable sleeve or are installing a bolt down basketball goal, you will need to either insert the basketball post, sleeve or anchor bolts into the wet concrete at this time. Give extra attention to make sure components are inserted squarely and plumb to the basketball court.
Trowel off the top of the footing to give it a nice smooth, finished look. Wait 5-7 days to allow footing to fully cure before completing the assembly of your in ground basketball goal.