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How Tall is a Basketball Hoop? Size Guide For Backyard, NBA & Regulation Hoops

Basketball hoops are almost always at least 10 feet (3 meters) tall. You might find shorter goals for younger players and/or space is limited. However the hoops you will find in local gyms, parks, college courts and professional/NBA/regulation ones will be 10-feet tall.

Why Are Basketball Hoops 10ft High?

How tall is a basketball hoop?

Simply because the inventor of the sport (James Naismith) hung the peach baskets which he used as the games first hoops off the running track railing found at the YMCA gym (in Springfield, Massachusetts) which happened to be 10ft high.

This height is good as it is challenging enough so as not every play can score point after point, but not so high that we can’t enjoy the off-the-rim style of play that NBA fans love to watch.

Some have argued that the height should be raised, especially since people and NBA players have gotten taller on average over the years, but it doesn’t look like 10ft high hoops are going anywhere for the time being.

How Tall is a NBA Basketball Hoop?

NBA basketball hoops are 10ft high, as tall as they have always been since the game was invented in 1891. Interestingly the average height of an NBA player has risen 5 inches (from 6’2″ in 1947 to 6’7″ in 2015) over the years but this hasn’t made the game any less interesting to watch given that the hoops height has remained the same.

Consistent Height

So, this height remains the same no matter which regulations you are looking at.

  • NBA basketball hoop height: 10ft (305cm).
  • WNBA basketball hoop height: 10ft (305cm).
  • NCAA basketball hoop height: 10ft (305cm).
  • FIBA basketball hoop height: 10ft (305cm).
  • High-school basketball hoop height: 10ft (305cm).

However, there is one instance where you will find shorter basketball hoops and systems.

Youth & Kids Basketball Hoop Height

Even at the younger level it isn’t uncommon to find 10ft tall basketball hoops. Kids in middle-school or junior-high can often expect to train on the same style and size of hoop used in high-school (10ft).

However some schools or summer leagues might use smaller hoops to accommodate smaller players.

Below you will find some general guidelines for particularly young players:

  • 5 – 7 years old: 6 – 7ft.
  • 8 – 9 years old: 8ft.
  • 10+ years old: 8ft.
  • 11+ years old: 10ft.

When in doubt, seek the advice of a professional basketball coach. They will be able to advise you on what size hoop you should invest in depending on your child’s age.

Has The Height of a Basketball Hoop Ever Changed?

No, the regulation height of a basketball hoop has not changed since the sport was invented.

This is despite many other things in the sport changing over the years including:

  • The number of players per team (originally 9 per side where now you have 5).
  • The ball (soccer/football balls were used originally as the basketball did not even exist!).
  • Dribbling being allowed (originally players had to remain stationary with the ball, a rule closer to netball than modern day basketball).
  • The rims and hoops themselves (originally peach baskets were used which players had to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball from when someone scored).

Of course the uniforms have also changed over the last few decades.

For example, basketball knee sleeves come in and out of fashion periodically and the style of basketball shorts and outdoor basketball shoes favoured by players can even change by the season.

The goals available have also come a long way with the best in-ground basketball goals having fantastic features (such as height adjustable hoops, rust-resistant support poles and all-weather nets) which extend the life of the hoop, offer better playing experiences and higher performance.

Keep This Height in Mind Whilst Installing Your Hoop

Looking to install an in-ground hoop yourself? Keep this regulation height of 10ft at the top of your mind. You will need to make accurate measurements that will result in your hoop sitting comfortably at the 10ft height.

Will The Height of Hoops Ever Been Raised?

Never say never! Although it is unlikely.

There have been several calls to raise the height of the hoop over the years and each time regulators have declined.

The problem is that, whilst raising the height would make the game more challenging, it would also make it virtually impossible to dunk or hang for near enough all players.

For these reasons, and fans love of some above the rim play, it is unlikely that the regulation height of basketball hoops will be increased.

Jake Dennon

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in football (soccer) and regularly played with my friends and for my school. We had an ex England ace coaching us at one point and he really motivated me to make sports a big part of my life.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from basketball to weight lifting and everything in between. I was lucky enough to train weekly at a local tennis club who's head coach was a at one point the 9th best player in India and within the top 100 ranked players in the world.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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