Why Do Basketball Hoops Have Nets? | Surprising Answer


Basketball hoops have come a long way since there invention. But what has stayed relatively the same on the hoop is its net that attaches to the rim. But what is the point of the net on a basketball rim?

Why do basketball hoops have nets? Basketball hoops have nets for several reasons, when the ball goes into the net it slows down the ball while controlling it in an area in reach of the players so they are not chasing the ball, this allows the player to retrieve the ball and inbound immediately. It also confirms the ball actually went into the hoop. Having the netting on the hoop allows for an easier and bigger target to aim at while the shooter can see the rim, and net together as a whole.

Basketball nets have had many different looks over the years and still do, but has served its purpose throughout those 125 years basketball has been around. I don’t know about you but I hate playing on a hoop without a net, when you shoot the ball in the basket and it swishes you have to chase down your shot. Same with layups, you shoot the layup off the backboard and again someone has to track down the ball, and you have no idea where it’s going it’s so unpredictable.

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The Purpose of Netting on a Basketball Rim

I love hearing the sound the ball going into the rim and hitting nothing but net its the sweetest sound to a basketball player’s ears. Notice how when the ball goes into the net it stays in the area of the hoop as opposed to if there was no net you would be chasing the ball down. While also playing on a hoop without the netting I have encountered times during a game that nobody knows if the ball went in or not. The net confirms without failure the ball went in.

A rim without a net is harder to shoot on, not only is it harder for all the times you make a shot without hitting the rim you don’t get that sweet sound of the swish to award you for your efforts. With the rim and net, it makes for a bigger target for any player to shoot on, in fact, if you are not used to playing without a net it can throw off your shot. But if the rim you play on because the mesh is broken from your countless swishes no worries netting is fairly cheap. But you also get what you pay for.

The cheaper price nets are made of nylon and will have a shorter life span than the more expensive ones. The heavy-duty nets are made of polyester and are still reasonably priced. The one in the image below is your standard net that is heavy duty and tangle-proof so you won’t have to worry about fixing it after swishing the ball countless times. With great reviews, it will last the lifetime of your hoop. Click on the image to check it out on Amazon.

There are also other nets that are much cheaper in price and material so you get what you pay for. This will also depend on how often you play on your basketball hoop,  if it’s every day go with the heavy-duty one if it’s once in a while get a cheaper one.


Basketball chain net vs the Nylon net

So we talked a little about the nylon and polyester nets. The polyester is the stronger of the two. When it comes to chain nets I love them just not for my own hoop here’s why.

If you have a portable basketball hoop that adjusts and your dunking a lot the chain net can scratch up your arms. The chain net can also tangle fairly easily and it is really annoying to try and separate it and straighten it out. They are the same price as a polyester net but that sound is that much sweeter. Something else to consider is that a metal net will wear out your basketball much faster with all the baskets you make. So if you do go down this route make sure you are ok with that or use a ball your not worried about ruining the grip on.

A heads up if you are one that shoots baskets at night in your yard the metal netting will definitely annoy your neighbors as the sound of the metal clanging with the backboard and rim is fairly loud. Every miss or make will make a lot of noise. Click the image this is the best one for the price down below on Amazon.

If you do decide to play basketball at night and are interested in a nylon net there are ones that glow in the dark that help you see. I think it’s kind of cool, give you a reason to play and work on your skills. I use to shoot in the dark on purpose to improve my shot, I think it helped a lot, shooting became easier with a light on lol. check out this glow in the dark mesh down below. If you really wanted a rim to light up they have those on the market also, it’s basically an led light attached to the rim.


The Annoyance of Playing without a Net

I don’t know about you, but I find that a rim without a net is harder to shoot on, and sometimes when you swish the ball you can’t tell if it went in or not. I will drive to another park and go to another basketball court if I see the spot I want to play at doesn’ have a net on the rim. I don’ feel like chasing the ball around I am a little older now. I’m willing to bet most players are like me, not old, but get annoyed. I always see courts abandoned because there is no netting on the rim. Every time that ball swishes through you better not be under the hoop or you will get hit in the head.

The History of the Netting

When basketball was first invented in 1891 the game had very low scoring due to the difficulty of how hard it was to put the basketball in the hoop. There was no one teaching you how to shoot, how to dribble because there was no dribbling at that point. While a basket was only worth one point you had very low scores at the end of games like hockey due to players not being very good. There was no need for a net but a backboard and a peach basket were used with a hole underneath the basket it so someone who was reffing the game would poke the ball back out of the basket.

Eventually, they would cut a bigger hole in the peach basket but shortly realize that they needed to make a change as the lifespan of a peach basket didn’t last too long. It wasn’t until the popularity of the sport grew that players would become very good at the game and they had no choice but to redesign the hoop with basketball nets attached to a metal rim.

Interesting Basketball Net Story

At my local University, there was one side of the court with a really worn out basketball net on it, th net was really thick and breaking apart like a used rope. They didn’t replace it for many years, this same court was used for college games and I was baffled why they didn’t just replace it. Every time you would score a basket it took what seemed a second longer for the ball to go through the net. Until one day I found out why they didn’t replace it, the local University was not much of a fast break team, but some of the teams that played in their conference were, this would slow down the fast break considerably after a made basket, giving them enough time to get back on defense and stop the fast break. I thought that was pretty ingenious.

How long does a basketball net hang from the rim?

The average length of a basketball net is 21 inches or 53 centimeters. The standard size comes with 12 loops to hang on the rim hooks.

Can you wash a basketball net?

Yes, you can wash a basketball hoop if it is dirty as long its not a chain net lol. Be careful putting it in the dryer, I would take it out of the wash and hang it on the rim and it can dry that way.


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