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Basketball pole shape and size differ among manufacturers

The pole of the basketball system is an important part for obvious reasons; the most obvious reason being it holds the backboard and mounting hardware in position. However, there are also less obvious reasons that might escape some people. With most manufacturers, they will have a series of basketball goal offerings that will increase in quality and size. Thus, the poles of their systems will also differ in quality and size. Other manufacturers will offer basketball poles in only 1 shape, but differ in sizes. We will explore all these options in this part of the basketball hoop purchasing guide.

Basketball pole shape considerations

Basketball pole shapes are typically in one of 3 shapes: square, round, and rectangle. The most common of these 3 are square and round, and thus we will focus on these two in this article. For the cheaper basketball hoop budget, the most common and affordable will be basketball systems with a round pole. The round shape is easily constructed and uses less metal material than a comparably-sized square pole. On the other hand, more expensive basketball systems tend to have square pole that ultimately get very large the higher up the line you go in price. One consideration that few people realize when choosing a basketball hoop is that the shape of the pole can also determine the stiffness, or rigidity, of the basketball hoop. For instance, a square pole is much more rigid in the ground than a comparably-sized round pole. Thus, if you are wanting a rigid, stiff system, you will want to look for a basketball system with a square pole.

Basketball pole size considerations

Now that we have a good understanding of shape, we will take a look at considerations with the size options for the basketball pole. For most manufacturers offering round poles, the sizes will get as small as a 2.75-inch diameter, and grow all the way up to a 3.5 inch diameter. The larger the pole, the less movement you will see when the basketball system is in use. These round pole sizes will also follow a comparable budget, meaning, the larger the pole diameter, the more expensive the system. For square poles, sizes typically start at a 4x4 and go all the up to an 8x8. Some of these size options are manufacturer specific. For instance, only Spalding has basketball hoop options that have an 8x8-inch pole. Other manufacturers, such as Lifetime, Goalsetter, and Goalrilla, will have basketball pole sizes from 4x4 to 6x6. (Note: Spalding also has 4x4 to 6x6 poles). Before ordering your basketball hoop, make sure you take the poles size and shape into consideration. If you will not be happy with a particular shape or size, save for the appropriate budget. Basketball hoops are a long-term purchase; better to save and be happy for the long term than impulse purchase a weaker system and regret it for years to come. As always, let us know if you have questions.

Basketball pole safety

We encourage you to get a pole pad to protect players from impact on the pole during competitive games. We offer round and square pole pads in many shapes, sizes and colors. Spalding, Lifetime and Goalsetter brands are available.



Date 11/5/2013

Choosing the right pole for your needs is very important for enjoying your system as much as you want to. Make sure to research the pole you want and make sure it is just right for you. Be careful not to go out and by a random one that you don't know anything about. Enjoy your system!


Date 11/25/2013

Getting the right pole for your basketball hoop is a MUST! Don't buy just any cheap pole because it probably won't be what you want. Since everybody's circumstances are different, there are obviously going to be poles that are better for some people than for others. You have to make sure you find out which one is the best for you by checking out certain poles and making sure the pole you want will fulfill your needs. Nobody wants to get ripped off, and to prevent it is easy, when it comes to poles. All you have got to do is research the pole and make sure you're choosing the one that best suits your needs.


Date 5/17/2014

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Date 6/8/2014

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Kevin Lill

Date 1/5/2017

Hello, My neighborhood park is trying to install a hoop system by sleeving a new pole onto the existing stub which is buried with the concrete foundation. The stub is sticking out of the ground approximately 3 feet and is round 3.5" outer diameter. What do you think would be our best option for sleeving a new hoop system over the existing? Thanks, Kevin


Date 1/9/2017 10:31:00 AM

Unfortunately, we don't have anything that would work. The bad news is it sounds like you need to dig up the concrete and start from scratch. If your pole was at least 8.5 feet tall we would have a solution. Feel free to contact us with any other questions.


Date 6/17/2018

Why cant you just put a 10ft pole over the existing pipe,drill some holes through both pipes and bolt it together.Just like they do with street signs!!!!!!!


Date 12/1/2018

I am looking for just a round pole. We have a backboard but cannot seem to purchase a pole. Any insight as to where or what to buy? Any help is appreciated.

Charley Hansen

Date 12/3/2018 12:50:00 PM

What brand? if it's a Spalding brand you'll want to call 800-558-5234.

Dina Stanyard

Date 5/27/2019

We have a 54 inch bison basketball hoop but we need a pole to attach to it. Where can I buy just the pole???

Dina Stanyard

Date 5/27/2019

We have a 54 inch bison basketball hoop but we need a pole to attach to it. Where can I buy just the pole???

Michael Kielion’s

Date 8/27/2019

Where can I purchase a square in-ground basketball pole? Online or local store does not matter thanks

Charley Hansen

Date 8/27/2019 12:39:00 PM

You might try spalding at 800-558-5234 or lifetime at 800-225-3865.


Date 3/30/2020

Looking forback board and hoop for my square 4 inch lifetime hoop system about 15years old

Michael Blott

Date 5/11/2020

My pole was hit by a car and snapped off at the base (3 3/4" pole) is there a sleeve I can insert into the ground pole and and the above ground section to repair it?

John Charles SIMMONS

Date 7/18/2021

I have a 3.5 round pole 8.5 feet high in my backyard .Can a wider pole be put over my existing pole somehow so a bigger backboard can be put up?

John Charles SIMMONS

Date 7/18/2021

I have a 3.5 round pole 8.5 feet high in my backyard .Can a wider pole be put over my existing pole somehow so a bigger backboard can be put up?(it is my understanding that only a 54 in backboard can be put up at the largest )

joe swart

Date 10/28/2021

I have a 4 inch round pole do you have any recommendation which backboard would fit

Jeff Gagnon

Date 8/29/2022

I have a 4x 4 pole. Any recommendation for a backboard?

Customer Support

Date 8/30/2022 9:36:44 AM

If your pole is 4x4 square, then most people go with the brackets model 316sp and the backboard model 791564. Feel free to contact us with any other questions.

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