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Durable Materials to Consider for an Outdoor Basketball Court

If you have basketball players in your family, it may be a good idea to put up a basketball court right in your own backyard.  That way practice and games can take place anytime, without the need to travel anywhere.  Your home will become a destination vacation for all of the hoop stars in your neighborhood for sure.  If you've been toying with the idea of constructing a basketball court, I'm going to help get you started.  I'll cover durable materials to consider when constructing an outdoor basketball court.  Let's get started.

Good Flooring Materials

The floor of your basketball court is going to be very important.  Bad flooring can ruin a basketball court and also cause injuries to the players.  When considering flooring, first you'll want to think about how big that you want your court to be.  You may not be able to make it a full court that championships are played on, so map out how large you can and want it to be.  Make sure to continue the flooring beyond the edge of the court so that players have some room for lay-ups and so that they don't trip and fall when they save a ball from going off the court boundaries.

Concrete Base

Many people choose a concrete base that is approximately 4 inches thick.  For the best reinforcement, it's a good idea to put rebar in place before pouring the concrete.   Make sure that a pump truck can reach the area where you will want to pour the concrete onto the court.  This may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes it's the little things in planning or mis-planning that turn into big problems.  If there will be tight quarters where you are planning of having the pour truck get to your court, make sure to do lots of measurements and let the concrete company know the dimensions that they will need to drive through.  Concrete slabs average in price approximately $6 a square foot.

VersaCourt

VersaCourt designed a patented interlocking system that provides a uniform and durable surface that will withstand intense activity.  Their courts are constructed from 3/4 inch shock absorbing tiles that are made to reduce player fatigue.  Check out VersaCourt here.

Weather Resistant Flooring

Concrete floors are weather resistant with or without tiles.  The tiles will add a softness to the court, which will reduce muscle fatigue while also being weather resistant.

More Flooring Considerations

  • Will there be any drainage issues that need dealt with?
  • Are there any building codes that you will need to follow?
  • Will you need a building permit?

Great Basketball Backboard and Hoop Brands to Try

The basketball hoop is where all the action is going to be centered upon.  A hoop is the horizontal circular rim that supports the net.  Some people also call a hoop, the goal since in essence that is what it is.  Hoops are mounted onto the basketball backboard.  A good backboard and hoop should be able to easily withstand and absorb the shock of a slam dunk.  It's important to purchase a quality hoop.  You will need to first decide if  you would like to go with a portable basketball hoop system or an in-ground basketball hoop system.  Here are some good hoop brands to check out:

Portable Basketball Hoop Systems

Spalding NBA The Beast Portable Basketball System - 60" Glass Backboard.  This is a portable basketball system so the set up will not involve pouring it into concrete.  This system adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10-feet.  The backboard is 60 inches long and made of glass.  The basketball rim is all weather with a white net.  The stand base is made to be filled with 50 gallons of sand or water.  

Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard.  This portable system features a 52 inch shatterproof Makrolon Polycarbonate backboard that gives the look and feel of pro glass.  It is all-weather resistant and designed to withstand harsh elements.  This basketball system is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturers warranty.  The Power Lift height adjustment mechanism adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10 feet.  Also featured is a solid steel Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs and welded net hooks.  The 35 gallon base provides stability and portability.  The base can be filled with either water or sand.  

In-ground Basketball Hoop Systems

Silverback 60” In-Ground Basketball System with Adjustable-Height Tempered Glass Backboard and Pro-Style Breakaway Rim.  This in-ground basketball goal offers the option to unbolt and move the goal.  Featured is tempered glass backboard and a pro-style breakaway rim that flexes under pressure.  Also featured is a powder-coated steel pole height that adjusts from 7.5’ to 10’ with an all-steel actuator.  This system is backed by a 5-year limited warranty and includes the backboard pad. 

Goalrilla FT Series In Ground Basketball Hoop. This in-ground system features a Clear View tempered glass backboard delivers pro-style look and rebound performance.  The frame is black anodized to create a professional, arena-style appearance.  The in-ground anchor system is made to be cured in concrete with the option to unbolt and move the goal.  This system is one of the most stable systems.  It is supported by a three-point technology.  This system is made to be mounted to a concrete anchor as a 1-piece system.  

Cost Considerations

There may be more costs than meets the eye when building a basketball court.  Here are some costs to consider:

  • Building permit fees
  • Concrete - Will vary from $4 to $8 per square foot
  • Cost of concrete pouring company service.  Some companies may charge per mile, so check out how far that you live from the concrete business
  • Cost of tiles
  • Backboard, backboard stand, rim and net costs
  • VersaCourt will typically cost approximately $3.50 to $4.50 per square foot when fully designed, pained and prepared for assembly.  Fees will run higher if you want additional game lines or custom logos.
  • Fencing - You may want to consider adding fencing especially around the hoop and backboard area of the court to cut down on having to chase after a ball.  Fences prices will vary greatly.  You most likely will want at least 8 foot fencing so that the ball is blocked by the fence when thrown.

The Process of Building an Outdoor Basketball Court

How you build your outdoor basketball court will depend on how big you will build it, drainage issues, what type of surface and how many extras that you'd like.  I'll go over the basic process of building a basketball court here:

  1.  Map out where you want your court and how big it will be.
  2. Deal with drainage issues.  You won't want your court to be placed in a flood zone on your property.
  3. Excavate out a level playing field.  You may want to hire out this part unless you have a tractor or Bobcat.
  4. Dig out an area for a cement slab if you will be pouring a cement slab.
  5. Place rebar where you will be pouring your concrete
  6. Arrange for a concrete pouring company to bring and pour your concrete
  7. After the concrete is set, if you will be buying tiles from a company such as VesaCourt, now is the time to place the tiles
  8. Install the backboard base and backboard with rim and net

Conclusion

An outdoor basketball court has the potential to provide hours of entertainment, fun, exercise and skill building.  I hope that I've equipped you with enough information to have you considering making a court in your own backyard.  I've gone over the basics of setting up an outdoor basketball system so now you just need to decide how elaborate and what size that you want to make it.  If cost is not an issue, I'd recommend adding the tiles over concrete.  Tiles not only cut down on muscle fatigue and look great, but they also provide a softer place to fall.  You may just be saving yourself some money in doctor bills down the line by making the safest court possible right from the get go.

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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