How Tall Is A Basketball Hoop?

Well, for a young athlete or beginner that’s a pretty much common question to ask- how tall is a basketball hoop? According to the official rules of NBA, a basketball hoop should be 10 feet (305 cm) above the ground. Very easy to remember, huh?

Even for the junior high, high school, NCAA, FIBA the rim is exactly 10 feet off the ground. Anything different in women’s basketball? No. Although on average they are shorter than men, the height regulation stays the same 

Besides, at every level of play Basketball Rims are 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter. As stated by NBA, a regulation size backboard measures 6 feet wide and 42 inches (3.5 feet) tall

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Why the hoop is 10 feet?

James Naismith invented a game named basketball in 1891. Then he drafted a brief set of rules about how the game could be played back then. Initially, he set the rim height at 10 feet. Now even after so many years, the height of basketball hoop still remains unchanged

Where did the idea of 10 feet height come from?

The height of the hoop did not come into the head after extensive consultation and lots of calculation or experiments either.

James Naismith a Canadian gym instructor at a YMCA school in spring field, Massachusetts was asked to create a thrilling game that could be played indoor on even rainy days. He then hung peach baskets on the railing of a running track which circles the outer perimeter of the gym. The railing was 10 feet high.

Actually, at that time Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) gym had only 10 feet high railing available at their disposal. Since then 10 feet hoop became one of the integral parts of the basketball game.

Attempts to change the height:

Well it will be a mistake if you think the 10 feet height idea has gone unquestionable until this point. The game has grown and developed over the years. There were occasional calls to increase the height of the hoops. All is to make the shot making a bit more challenging and exciting

In 1947, the average height of an NBA player was 6’2” but now the height is almost 6’8”. Better training methods and superb athleticism with the combination of increase in height make this idea of changing the height even more demanding. It grew even more severe when NBA set the average height requirement of an NBA player at 6’7” (2.01 m).

Due to height advantage, tallest guys on the team are drafted to various teams quite regularly. But all these attempts to change the height remained unsuccessful for years

A Higher Rim- Good for the game?

There are plenty of talks and suggestions to change the rim height. But the question is still there-how much benefit it will bring to the game? As you can see most professional basketball players are tall. And being tall is a great advantage in basketball. So this has led to many asking for the hoop to be raised above

But higher rim means the fundamentals will be more crucial then. Making shot won’t be that easy. Height and physicality of players will be less vital. In spite of this, that will be so much unfair to the shorter guys on the court who are not born giants. A big slap in the face indeed. If you ask me, I will say it probably 100 times that is high enough. And make no mistake I am 6’9”

Besides, is there any ending to raise the height? There will always be someone who can jump and reach even higher

The issue of increasing the rim height comes back again:

In 2008 NBA All-Star slam dunk competition began. Dwight Howard, a 6 ft 11 inch guy challenged NBA officials to raise the basketball hoop height to 12 feet for his dunk. Players like Gerald Green and Rudy Gay even agreed to meet Howard’s challenge. 

Green also suggested the rim height to be raised at 13 feet at least. Infact, they wanted to finish the argument that the height was the reason for their amazing dunk shots

However, the NBA officials didn’t pay heed to their opinions. They declared that the hoop height remains at 10 feet whether there’s any dunk competition or not. Though the officials promised to raise the rim for the 2009 dunk competition. Later Howard completed a 12 ft two handed dunk.

Probability of changing the hoop height in future:

Many players, coaches have settled for a new height of 11 ft. few go for 12 ft. NBA officials though, have not given any indication of change that everyone is talking about. And this is really doubtful that there will be any effort to bring a change given the beautiful nature of the game

My Personal Experience:

I love this game of basketball. As long as I can remember when I was 7 or 8 years old, I had been shooting a men’s size 28.5” ball into a 10 feet basket. I truly believe this reason has contributed a lot to my bad shooting habits that I still have now. If you don’t rectify those mistakes early, these bad habits tend to stick with you even when you’ve grown up

Young athletes dream of playing like their role model LeBron James- dunking the hoop, throwing alley-oops, swishing 3 pointers etc. but with a short stature and limited skills in that age, it is not only challenging for the children but also impossible to propel a regulation size basketball to a rim that’s so high

A men’s ball is almost twice as heavy as compared to a ball that a 8 years old plays with

Youth basketball has the following basketball rim height and ball size guidelines:

Basketball Rim Height:

Ages 5 to 7: 6-foot rim
Ages 8 to 10: 8-foot rim
Ages 11: 9-foot rim
Ages 12 and older: 10-foot rim

Basketball Sizes:

Size 7, 29.5”, 22 oz Ball: Male 12 or older
Size 6, 28.5”, 20 oz Ball: Male 9 to 12 and Female 9 or older
Size 5, 27.5”, 17 oz Ball: Male and Female 9 & under

Seems like a big deal for parents, right? Not much. Fortunately, most in ground and portable basketball hoops are height adjustable. Big relief!!

Say to your youngsters that one day they’ll jump in the air like professional basketball players. This is the best way to give confidence to a young athlete in his early days. Depending on his/her age and height provide the recommended basketball and adjust the rim.

Furthermore, these adjustments will not only make the game more enjoyable but also shall allow athletes to work on their own game

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  • December 21, 2019
  • Blog
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