Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We all know the names, horse, pig, and many others, but how do these basketball goal games work? Let's go through one and see it we can't clear things up.
Let's start by going through the game, how it is played and how it is a winner is determined. The game of "horse" is probably the most popular driveway basketball goal game. There are two or more players involved. Free throws are usually shot to determine who goes first. The person to go the longest without missing a free throw goes first. The first person takes a shot at the basketball goal from anywhere on the court. If that player makes the shot, then everyone else must shoot from that spot on the court. If the player makes the shot, they are OK, but if the player misses the basketball goal, they are given a letter. With each miss a letter is added. First and "h", then an "o" and so on. The person who reaches the fully spelled word looses, or they are out of the game. The game would continue until there is only one player left. That person is the winner. Any word can be used for the game, the longer the word the longer the game will most likely be.
Monday, November 2, 2009
When many people think of basketball goals they think of free throws. There is some debate as to just what a free throw is, a bit of art and science I would imagine, but the fact is that they are a big part of the game of basketball.
To shoot a free throw, you stand behind the free throe line, 19 feet away from the basketball goal, and you throw the ball, trying to get it through the hoop. There is no chance that there will be someone trying to block your throw, that would be against the rules. Nobody can interfere with a free throw, it is just the player, the ball and the basketball goal. Though players used to throw their free throws underhanded in the past, todays players use a traditional overhead shot. This shot is a bit like a jump shot, but without the jump. It would seem like a hard thing to do, but with practice, there is no reason why you can't shoot like a pro.
There are hundreds of drills that you can do to help you with your accuracy, however when the pressure is on, even the pros can have a hard time! The video above should drive that thought home.
The basketball must hit the basketball goal rim on the second free throw or the try does not count and it is the opponents ball out of bounds. The same holds true for the first shot, if there is only one shot to be made. However, this does not hold true for the first of two shots. In that case, if the player misses, he looses that chance and must try for the second shot.
Friday, October 30, 2009
A basketball goal net is a net is a net... but that might not be true. There are many different types of basketball goal nets and varying qualities as well.
Many times the type of net that you choose for your basketball goal will be determined by the use that it is going to get. For example the amount of use that a basketball goal would get in someones driveway would most likely be less that of a goal in a city park. And there are applications were vandalism is an issue, some nets address that better than others.
First off in the plain Jane, run of the mill white nylon net. These are the nets that are shipping with almost every basketball goal. However it is worth noting that the thickness of the cord used is often an indication of quality. The thicker the cord, the heavier the net, the longer it will last.
Next we have basketball goal nets that are made from steel chain. These are actually nets that have been formed by creatively joining lengths of chain. These nets are often used in situations were there will be a lot of abuse and use. These nets are typically zinc coated to prevent rust and will indeed last for years.
And last but not least is the Permanet. This basketball goal net is made from aircraft cable covered in vinyl. This net will never rust and is very durable. This net is often used in prisons, schools and city parks were b=nets tend to take a real beating!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It might seem like an odd couple, basketball goals and baseball, but there are some interesting things to consider. Baseball is considered the great American pastime, but do you know that playing basketball is even more popular? That is right, all of the basketball goals around the country provide more recreational opportunities than all of the baseball diamonds in the United States. In fact the main reason is obvious. How many houses can you drive by in a given day and see a baseball field in the front yard? My guess would be, not many. On the other side of the coin, how many houses could you drive by and see a basketball goal in the driveway? My bet would be, a lot.
The situation is much the same as when you consider a tennis and a ping pong table. The tennis court, although very fun, is just not practical for every house in the town. However, a ping pong table is. It takes up less room and is far cheaper. Therefore, basketball goals far out-pace baseball fields for sporting interest.
There is another story though, and that is spectators. More people like to watch baseball in person and on TV. I guess that grown men running down the court and slam dunking a ball into a basketball goal can become a bit boring, but give me a break, baseball?? NFL football...now you are talking. The popularity of the basketball goal just can't compete with football. Football is the real American pastime!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Being that it is close to Halloween, I thought that it might be a great time to talk about the dead. Not the dead as in people, but the dead as it relates to spots on a basketball goal backboard. You see there are "dead spots" on many of the basketball goals that are manufactured today. But what is a "dead spot"?
When talking about a "dead spot" regarding a basketball goal backboard, you are referring to a spot on the backboard that when hit by the ball produces little or not rebound. That is to say that when a basketball hits that spot on the backboard, it does not bounce off it just drops to the ground. But what would cause such a thing?
There are several reasons. The first is backboard material and thickness. Rebound is a result of a ball hitting a stationary object. The heavier the object and the more ridged, the better the rebound. Thickness is part of that equation. Thicker materials usually provide better rebound. The exception to that would be metal. Metal backboards do not have to be thick to be heavy. But acrylic and glass are another story.
With glass and acrylic, the thicker the better. The best basketball goal systems have backboards that are 1/2" thick. Acrylic should be cast and glass should be tempered. The thicker the backboard, the heavier it is and the more mass that it has. More mass equals better rebound!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Perhaps you have heard the name, or maybe even purchased one of their basketball goals, the fact is that Lifetime basketball goals have been around a while now. They have been popular but are they any good? Do they last through the years? Do they stand up to changing weather conditions? Are they made of quality materials?
In a quest to find some of these answers I will fall back on something just most people don't have when it comes to basketball goals, installation experience. I have installed thousands of basketball systems and can tell you just about anything you could ever want to know about any of them. I can tell you that I have installed hundreds of Lifetime basketball goals and there are some things to consider.
In the beginning, Lifetime basketball goals were made in the United States, in Utah I think. They had this one system that had an over sized pole and it was galvanized. That was the best basketball goal that they have ever made. It was strong and very stable given it was a three piece pole with a rather small backboard. Never the less, it was a good system for the price.
But what happened? The quality of their basketball hoops has gone down in my opinion, to a level that warrants investigation. I think that most of the goals are made in China, though they could have parts from different places. My main concern is with the quality of the steel used in their basketball goals.
The steel that they use is too thin. This allows the poles to shake and vibrate in an unacceptable manner in my opinion. A more substantial gauge would be in order here. I can understand the need to save a little money, but this is not were it should be done. If you think about it, basketball goals should be sturdy and have a great rebound. Well rebound is directly related to mass. That is if something is massive and heavy, it will provide a lot of resistance and thus a lot of rebound. Simple physics.
So stay tuned while we continue to look at Lifetime basketball goals and others in an in-depth way that will tell you how to choose a basketball goal.
Monday, October 26, 2009
When the time comes to buy a basketball goal, one thing that comes up more often than not are questions about the rim. The rim is the portion of the basketball goal that the ball must go through in order to score points. On most basketball goals the rim is painted orange. This is for viability as much as it is for tradition.
All basketball rims are made of steel. There are single rims, double rims and even triple rims. The number of rims is determined by the desired strength and the overall rigidity. The more rims the stronger. Rims are basically steel hoops. Multi rims have more than one hoop welded to the other. Typically rims with more than one hoop welded to one another are used in situations where vandalism is a problem, like prisons, school yards and city parks. There do not really cost much more money due to the fact that they are simple to make. More often than not these rims are "static" basketball goal rims, meaning they do not move up and or down if someone hangs on them. Flex rims are a different story.
Flex rims come in two styles, front flex only and 360 flex rims. Front flex rims only go down in a forward angle when someone hangs on the rim. The tension or amount of "give" depends on how tight you make the adjustable rim springs. However on a 360 flex rim the rim goes down to the front and to each side depending on which part of the rim the player is hanging on. These are popular in the NBA and in some collages, they are very expensive! The typical home basketball goal will have a standard flex rim. That should prove to be more than enough for any player using your family basketball goal.