Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Basketball Goal Games

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

Basketball Goal Free Throws

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

Basketball Goal Nets

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

Basketball goals And The World Series

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 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

Basketball Goal "Dead Spots"

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

Basketball Goals by Lifetime

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

Basketball goal Rims

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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Basketball Goals - Winterizing Portable Units

Well it is that time of year again, the time when leaves start to fall and the winds begin to blow cols. But what does that mean if you have a basketball goal? If the basketball goal that you have is a portable unit, it can mean a lot.

You see there is an innate flaw in the design of today's portable basketball goals, they are usually filled with water. Though the instructions also stat that sand can be used to fill the ballast base, most people opt for the water choice due to the easy of actually getting it into the base of the basketball goal. But there is a problem with water being used as a filler for the base, it freezes.

That's right, when the winter sets in and the temperatures drop, water freezes, even if it is in the base of a basketball goal. Even more of a problem is that when water freezes it expands, when it expands the base of the basketball goal is cracked. Then come spring time, all of the water will leak out and the basketball goal will fall over, maybe even killing little Johnny. That would be bad! So what do you do?? You need to winterize your portable basketball goal to prevent this from happening.

So you go to the auto store and you buy some anti-freeze and you pour it in the basketball goal base. When the winter comes and the temperatures fall, your water in the base of your systems will remain un-frozen with no problems at all, that is until mom backs over the base of the system and the liquid inside starts to leak out. Now Rover, back from chasing a cat, tired and thirsty grabs a drink from the puddle that has formed around the base of the basketball goal. Happy he goes and takes a nap. Johnny comes home from school that day to find that Rover is taking a dirt nap! He is dead as a door nail. What caused this horrible event, the toxic anti-freeze of course.

The way to avoid this unfortunate set of circumstances is to use Sierra, or any other non-toxic anti-freeze. So this year be sure to winterize your basketball goal and keep Rover in mind when you do it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Basketball Goals - The Myth of Yellow Glass

One of the most asked questions that I hear is, will the backboard turn yellow?

What kind of question is that? Well a good one. You see back in the old days a small company called Zue corporation based in Indiana started making basketball goals. Goalrilla basketball goals. They wanted to make really good systems that would hold up to very tough play. One of the most important things to them at the time was backboard strength. That is they wanted to build a basketball goal that had a very strong backboard, one that would not crack or break when hit with, let's say a rock or something like that.

In their quest to find a material that would meet all of their needs they came across Lexon, a material used as a type of bullet proof glass. However, it was not glass it was a type of polymer. It was strong! But, Lexon had one flaw, it was susceptible to UV break-down. That's right, when the sun was bright and shinning, it would cause the material to turn from crystal clear to yellow!

Unfortunately for Zue corporation, they did not do any testing before they used the Lexon in thousands of backboards used in their Goalrilla basketball goals! So when people are driving around and they see basketball goals with a very ugly yellow color they say to themselves, "that is one terrible looking backboard, I do NOT want something like that in my driveway!" And with good reason, to this day any of those basketball goals that are still out there look like crap!

But not to worry. The fact is that most if not all basketball goal backboards today are made from cast Acrylic. A clear material that is 10 times stronger than tempered glass. The best thing is, it will never turn yellow!

One thing to remember is that thickness does matter. Do not get a basketball goal with a backboard that is any less than 1/2" think, you will regret it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Basketball Goals for Halloween

Back in the old days, the 60's, Halloween was a time of great fun and excitement. The night would bring swarms of kids to the streets running from house to house in an effort to collect as much candy treasure as they could carry. In those days, the days of giving out full size candy bars, it seemed that times were better.

What does this have to do with basketball goals? Nothing, except that kids of all ages also enjoy a game of basketball almost as much as they do candy, at least I did when I was a kid :-). I was often envious of other kids who had a basketball goal in their driveway. I wished that one day I too would be able to shoot hoops in the comfort of my own driveway.

That day did come in the fall of 1972 when I came home from school one day. Several neighbors had gotten together to buy and set up a brand new basketball goal in my families driveway. Why neighbors? My dad was an alcoholic and he was incapable of running his own life let alone securing a basketball goal for his kids. Anyway, that day was Halloween, and despite the usual excitement of the candy hunt, I was busy, busy with my new basketball goal! I was so happy that I played into the night just watching as kids rang the door bell on our house and screaming "trick or treat".It was the best Halloween ever, the Halloween that I got my first basketball goal!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Steel Basketball Goals

When it comes to steel in the production of basketball goals, the business saying "location, location, location" rings louder than ever. For those that are not that familiar with basketball goals and the steel that is used to create them, this information should prove to be both enlightening and informative.

The finish that is usually placed on steel parts in the manufacturing process in paint or powder coating. Paint has a nice look and is easy to apply , however it has a flaw in the fact that it does not hold up well to direct sunlight and is prone to wear down and allow rust to form. Powder coating is a process by which a fine plastic powder is applied to steel. It sticks via and electric charge. The steel is then baked to melt and cure the plastic in a tight finish that is very durable. I should say durable if the steel is processed correctly before it is finished.

You see steel as it goes through the manufacturing process becomes very dirty and covered with little deposits of oil. Both of these factors effect the ability of paint and powder coating to stick to the metal on a basketball goal. For example if you powder coat a dirty piece of steel and then it gets scratched, rust will form where the scratch has been made, but it does not stop there. Being that the steel in the basketball goal was dirty, the rust now travels under the powder coating in all directions lifting the powder coating right off of the steel. Soon large sections of the finish will fall to the ground leaving a rusting mass in your yard. If this same piece of steel had been acid washed and then sandblasted before the finish was applied, when scratched, the rust would move no farther that the scratch itself leaving the rest of the finish intact.

Remember this, basketball goals that are produced in China are not acid washed or sand blasted so their finishes tend to fall off and are riddled with rust. Basketball goals that are produced in the United States are sand blasted and acid washed so their finishes last much longer.

Something to consider when you choose your next basketball goal!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Basketball goal Website

Barbarian Basketball Systems Inc. has announced their soon to launch totally new Website. The company produces the highest quality basketball goals made. Over the years as the Internet has grown in popularity, this basketball goal company has recognized the importance of having a solid Web presence. They have promised that their new endeavor will be something special, including great information on basketball goals, pictures and instructional videos.