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    August 12, 2006

    How To... Install a Basketball Hoop

    Improve your basketball skills at home with your own practice
    basketball hoop. Here are instructions for installing the free standing
    kind...

    The following information is simply a guide to
    assist you with your project.  It is best to refer to the installation
    instructions you were provided with your equipment. 


    POLE INSTALLATION 

    Steps
    1. Choose a location near the surface
      you plan to use as the court. Driveways and patios work well.
    2. Purchase a post-mount
      basketball goal kit from a sporting goods or department stores, home
      improvement center or lumberyard. The kit should include the backboard,
      rim, net, post mounting bracket and possibly the mounting post. (In some
      cases you'll have to purchase the post separately. If so, obtain the
      specifics for the size of the post from the instructions provided with the
      goal kit.)
    3. Buy four 80-lb. bags of concrete
      from a lumberyard.
    4. Dig a hole adjacent to the
      playing surface at least 36 inches deep and 18 inches in diameter.
    5. Place the base of the post
      into the hole. You'll need guide wires, wooden bracing or a friend to help
      hold the post in a vertical position while working. Use a level to check
      its position often.
    6. Mix the concrete according to
      the instructions on the bags. (Remember to keep the mix fairly dry. It
      will dry more quickly and will help support the post better as it dries.)
    7. Fill the hole gently and
      evenly with the concrete mix to a level about 4 to 6 inches below ground
      level.
    8. Allow cement to dry for at
      least 48 hours.
    9. Fill the rest of the hole
      with dirt and pack it in tightly.
    10. Attach the backboard to the
      post according to the instructions provided with the goal kit, and then
      mount the rim to the backboard.
    11. Hang the net and you're ready
      to play.
    Tips: 
    1. Mobile basketball hoops are a
      fantastic, less permanent alternative. These units, which can be moved
      around on their wheeled bases, require little assembly and cost a bit more
      than standard poles.
    2. Retractable poles are
      available; they allow easy adjustment of basket height for different skill
      levels.
    Warnings: 
    1. Some of the materials are
      fairly heavy and awkward. This is a project that might be a good
      two-person job.
    Alternatives:
    1. If you are looking for a
      professional to do the installation for you, contact some local concrete
      companies to get a quote on what it would cost.
    2. Check with the place you
      purchased the hoop from about any installation services they may have too!
    MOUNTING HOOP ONTO AN EXISTING STRUCTURE 
    Practice your moves at home with your own basketball goal. You can install
    one on an existing structure, such as a garage, quickly and inexpensively, here's how:

    Steps:
    1. Examine the playing surface
      near the structure you're planning to mount your goal on. The ideal court
      is level and smooth with plenty of room to play. Patios and driveways
      usually work well.
    2. Purchase a rim, backboard and
      net. You'll find these at sporting goods or department stores.
    3. Choose a set designed for
      rooftop or wall-mount applications. Some setups require that you buy the
      adjustable mounting bracket separately.
    4. Secure the adjustable
      mounting bracket onto the structure according to the manufacturer's
      instructions. The mounting bracket should allow for adjustment to any roof
      pitch or structure face, or even a combination of the two, with the use of
      slide assembly and nut-and-bolt lockdowns.
    5. Mount the backboard and rim
      according to the instructions included with your backboard/rim kit. This
      will primarily entail attaching the backboard to the bracket with a series
      of nuts and bolts.
    6. Check the vertical attitude
      of the backboard with a small level. (An out-of-plumb backboard can make
      for some wild rebounding.)
    7. Attach the net to the rim.
    Tips:
    • It's a good idea to coat any
      bolts that penetrate the structure's roof or wall with latex caulk to help
      seal out moisture, thus preventing premature rusting. The exposed heads of
      the bolts can be sealed the same way.    
    • Regulation height of the rim
      is 10 feet from the playing surface; regulation rims measure 18 inches in
      diameter; and regulation nets hang 15 to 18 inches from the rim's hooks.
    • Regulation backboards are 6
      feet by 3 1/2 feet. Smaller, fan-shaped backboards are also
      available.     
    Warnings:   
    • Use caution when handling
      mounting materials; some can be fairly heavy. You may want to have a
      friend help.
    • Ensure the mounting structure
      is extremely secure and a full solid wall is recommended.
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    Item Reviewed: How To... Install a Basketball Hoop Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Adam Wedlake
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