Can 2 Basketballs Fit Through the Rim At the Same Time?



By standing directly underneath the rim and looking up at the basketball hoop, it appears that the basketball when it is shot into the net looks as if there is not much room for error. Even on a swish, it looks as if the ball just goes in perfectly. An inch any way to the left or right and your hitting rim, two inches and you’re missing the shot. Truth be told there is actually a lot more room than you think up there.

Can 2 basketballs fit through the rim at the same time? Yes, and No, two women’s basketballs can fit through the rim at the same time. But Two Men’s basketballs can not fit through the cylinder simultaneously. The basketball rim may appear smaller in comparison to the basketball than it actually is.

So why is this important and why should I care, your perception of how you shot the basketball may change when you try putting two basketballs into the hoop yourself. How so you ask? read on.


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So exactly how many balls can you fit in a basketball rim?

The size of the basketball rim’s radius is 9 inches and the diameter is 18 inches. The circumference of the rim is 56.5 inches. The rim itself is made of tensile carbon steel and made of around 5/8″ in diameter of solid steel rod.

A men’s basketball diameter is around 9.5 inches and circumference is 29.5 inches. Give or take not all men’s basketballs are made equal and not all basketballs are filled with the right amount of PSI or air.

Two men’s basketballs fit in a basketball hoop but will not go through. Technically two and a half men’s balls fit in the hoop. Some will argue that they will go through but either they are pushing one ball through before the other just a touch. Or the balls are not official size and are not properly inflated.

A women’s basketball diameter is around 9 inches and circumference is 28.5 inches. Its diameter is half an inch shorter when compared to a men’s ball and a full inch smaller in circumference also.

Two Women’s ball’s fit through a basketball rim at the same time within a quarter of an inch to spare. Three women’s basketballs can sit on top of the rim but would not pass through.

Do It Yourself or Ask Your Coach

It’s one thing to tell you that two basketballs can fit through the hoop or just sit on the rim, but it is another for you to try it yourself. The basketball rim gives off this illusion that one basketball just fits in the rim without much room for error. But actually when you shoot the ball and it goes through the net you have about 8 inches to spare within the cylinder.

I really encourage you to find a broken rim, or an adjustable rim and get a ladder while safely trying this exercise for yourself. Seeing is actually believing.

It doesn’t matter what size the basketballs, the idea is to get you to notice all the extra room there is when shooting just one ball. When basketball players I coach are told this they do not believe it. So I pull out the ladder and sit two men’s basketballs on the rim and force them through or slight push one through before the other.


Visualizing and Where To Aim At That Big, Wide Rim

Immediately as a player, you will now have a different perception of the rim your shooting on. Do you see how much room there is for error? Take advantage of this, in your mind when you’re having a bad game or your not hitting your shot revert back to the time you put two basketball’s in the rim.

That will be a reminder of how much room there is upon that rim. Do the exercise before playing to convince yourself that the rim is like a hola-hoop. What are you going to do with all that room? Knock it down.

When aiming you should be aiming dead center of the front or back of the rim depending on what feels comfortable for you to look at. You have to be consistent with where you look at the rim so you can lock in quickly every time you shoot until it becomes automatic.

Visualization is so important when shooting that studies show when visualizing the basketball going through the rim, your body doesn’t know the difference between visualization the shot or actually taking a shot.

Are Basketball Double Rims are Smaller?

Again these rims are the same circumference as the regular rims, they appear smaller for one of two reasons.

1) I always notice with these double rims they are usually higher than 10 feet by a few inches and are outdoor. This gives the illusion that the rim is smaller cause it is higher and the rim is thicker. The reason why its a couple of inches over 10 feet is that it prevents people from dunking and breaking them over time.

2) These rims are extremely stiff and don’t allow any room for error. If you hit the rim first it usually bounces out. Really you need to hit the rim when the ball is on the way down and mostly in the net. You get a lot more in and outs because of the rim being so stiff. I would bet you have 6 inches of room for error rather than 8 in this case.

Again this is going to make it seem the rim is a lot smaller than it actually is. Click here for double rims on Amazon to take a further look.


Related Q & A?


How Much Weight Can a Basketball Rim Hold?

I am guessing by this question you are probably doing a lot of dunking and you are concerned and don’t want to break the rim. This is going to depend on several factors mostly on how the rim is supported and what the rim is made of.

Most Rims are made from steel but can still bend if you hang on the front especially if they are not spring loaded or a thick steel rim.


Adjustable Rims These rims generally are massed produced you can find one on sale from $150 and up. These I do not recommend hanging on the rim even though its made from steel you can potentially A) pull the whole rim down including the base and pole, even though it filled with water or sand. Or B) You can break the rim or bend it. Click the picture to check the price on Amazon.

Spring Loaded Rims – Like adjustable rims or sometimes they are mounted on a garage or at your local gym these rims are built of high-grade steel and have a spring in them to allow dunking and hanging. It’s still not recommended to hang on them long as you can potentially break them after dunking on them for a long time. These rims are generally $700 and up.


Double Rims – There made of high-grade steel and are very thick, It usually takes a lot to break these rims and only happens after years of wear. These rims usually are attached to a strong structure. I see people dunking on them all the time. 


What Size Basketball Should I buy for My Son or daughter?

A lot of people wonder what size basketball should you be playing with at different age groups. Below is a chart to help determine the size of the ball for each age group.

Circumference Weight Age
Size 7 29.5″ 22 oz Boys 14
Size 6 28.5″ 20 oz Boys 12-13
Girls 12+
Size 5 27.5″ 17 oz Boys 9-11
Girls 9-11
Size 4 26.5″ 14 oz Boys 5-8
Girls 5-8

Size 7 ball which is the Men’s size ball is generally high school, college, and NBA. Women’s ball is used in grade 9 and up to the college levels, WNBA. More on basketball size charts for kids click here!


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