How Tall Is A Basketball Hoop? A Quick RECAP Of The History

Last Updated on September 17, 2022 by

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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 NBA's official rules, 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, Basketball Rims are 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter at every level of play. As stated by the NBA, a regulation size backboard measures 6 feet wide and 42 inches (3.5 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 size of basketball hoop remains unchanged.

Where did the idea of 10 feet height come from?

The hoop's height 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 that circles the gym's outer perimeter. The railing was 10 feet high.

Actually, the 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 height increase 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. Despite 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. I will say it probably 100 times that is high enough. And make no mistake, I am 6’9”.

Besides, is there an end 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. In fact, 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. However, 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 the change that everyone is talking about. And this is really doubtful that there will be any effort to bring a change given the game's beautiful nature.

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 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.

Basketball rim height and ball size guidelines for youth basketball

Recommended Basketball Rim Height By Age





5 to 7



8 to 10






12 and older


Recommended Basketball Sizes






Male and Female 9 & under

Size 5, 27.5”

22 oz Ball


Male 9 to 12 and Female 9 or older

Size 6, 28.5”

20 oz Ball


Male 12 or older

Size 7, 29.5”

22 oz Ball

Wrapping Up

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 make the game more enjoyable and shall allow athletes to work on their own game.

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