Whether you are deciding between a portable or in-ground basketball goal, or considering upgrading your portable unit, it’s important to understand the distinctions between the two types of hoops before making a purchase.


Portable Hoops

  • Large plastic base with wheels for rolling or moving
  • Can be moved to different positions
  • Often remain stationary because they can be difficult to move
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A portable basketball hoop has a large plastic base with wheels for rolling, but don’t be fooled by the name. While portable goals can be moved to different positions in your driveway, these types of goals often remain stationary through their lifetime because the can be cumbersome to move.

In-Ground Hoops

  • Not easily moved
  • Often installed with an anchor system
  • Option to unbolt and relocate if you move homes
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Although you won’t frequently move your in-ground hoop, premium in-ground goals are installed with an anchor system allowing you the flexibility to unbolt and relocate the hoop if you move homes.


Portable Hoops

  • Does not require in-ground installation
  • Requires anywhere from 90 minutes – 10 hours of assembly
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Because portable hoops are weighted by either sand or water inside the plastic base, they do not require in-ground installation. However, they do require anywhere from 90 minutes – 10 hours of assembly out of the box.

In-Ground Hoops

  • Installation process takes longer to complete
  • Requires additional tools, materials, and people
  • In-ground installation greatly enhances quality
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The installation process for an in-ground basketball hoop requires multiple tools and people to complete. This process generally takes about 4 days including 3 days for concrete installation and curing and 1 day for final assembly of the hoop. However, once the process is complete, the permanency and performance of an in-ground goal can’t be beat.


Portable Hoops

  • Less expensive
  • Cheaper materials
  • Shorter lifespan
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Because the average lifespan of a portable is roughly 1/3 the life of a premium in-ground system, the backboard, pole, and other materials are less substantial, making the hoop less expensive.

In-Ground Hoops

  • More expensive, but higher quality performance
  • Investment in your home
  • Adds value to your home and curb appeal
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The higher quality of materials used, the more expensive the goal will be. In-ground basketball hoops often use real glass, steel poles and have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years, with many premium goals, like Goalrilla, lasting up to 15 years or longer. A premium hoop mimics pro level performance for superior playability.


Portable Hoops

  • Blow-molded base as a support structure
  • Average lifespan is roughly 2 to 5 years
  • Lighter, plastic backboard
  • Unable to support the weight of a glass backboard
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Unlike in-ground hoops that feature a glass backboard that simulates pro-level performance, a portable hoop is unable to support the weight of a glass backboard. Instead portable goals utilize a lighter, plastic backboard which sacrifices rebound and playability. Because they are made with more economic materials, the average lifespan of a portable system is roughly 2 to 5 years. Most portable hoops utilize a blow-molded base as a support structure, which is typically the first piece that fails.

In-Ground Hoops

  • In-ground, concrete installation maximizes stability
  • Mirrors the specifications of NCAA and NBA hoops
  • Tempered glass offers authentic rebound
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An in-ground basketball hoop closely replicates the performance of NCAA and NBA hoops, offering the most advanced performance of any residential goal. Most in-ground goals feature tempered glass backboards which offer the most authentic rebound available while the solid steel pole mounted in concrete offers incredible stability for the entire unit.


Portable Hoops

  • Risk of tipping or falling over
  • No dunking
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Because portable hoops feature a counter-weighted base filled with either water or sand, they cannot endure heavy or rough play, such as dunking, due to the risk of tipping or falling over.

In-Ground Hoops

  • Will not tip or fall over with concrete installation
  • Eliminates the trip hazard of a molded base
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The in-ground, concrete installation process makes the hoop much more stable, eliminating the risk of tipping over, especially during a dunk. Additionally, in-ground hoops take up less ground space, reducing the trip hazard of a portable’s molded base.


Now you’ve had a chance to see the ins and outs of both in-ground and portable hoops, you probably have a better idea of what you’re looking for. Click on the image to the right to learn in-depth about the factors that matter most for an in-ground hoop. Otherwise, click the image on the left to see our selection of portable hoops.