Secure your basketball hoop before you alley-oop

Victorians aspiring to be the next Patty Mills, Chris Goulding or Liz Cambage are being warned to make sure their home basketball hoops are properly installed and maintained to avoid serious injury or damaging buildings.

With the NBA, NBL and local junior basketball seasons underway the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is alerting the community to the dangers of incorrectly installing hoops at home.

Before Victorians start practising their jump shot in their backyard basketball ring, they should check the VBA’s tips on making sure it is set up safely.

The VBA’s Executive Director, Operations, Lynda McAlary-Smith said basketball hoops should never be fixed to a freestanding wall or single layer of brickwork.

“These types of walls are not strong enough to support basketball hoops, and the installation may weaken over time and lead to the wall collapsing,” Ms McAlary-Smith said.

“A brick wall and other structures are generally not designed to resist the forces that would be applied by the use of a basketball hoop and backboard.”

Anyone with a basketball hoop attached to a single brick wall should safely remove it immediately.

Melbourne United basketball player Chris Goulding grew up shooting hoops in his backyard and knows the importance of safety.

“If you set up a basketball ring at home make sure it’s installed safely. We want everyone playing this great sport, but we don’t want anyone getting hurt,” he said.

A ring and backboard should ideally be fixed to a ‘hot dip’ galvanised steel post.

There are specific measurements that should be followed and the manufacturers instructions should always be read.

Over time a basketball hoop, backboard and any structure it is fixed to can deteriorate with exposure to the elements, so it is important to inspect it regularly.

An inspection should include:

  • the fixings of the post to the ground
  • the fixings of the ring to the backboard
  • the fixings of the backboard to the supporting structure
  • the condition of the supporting structure, especially where a backboard and ring are fixed to a wall

In 2002 a nine-year-old boy from Kilsyth in Melbourne’s east died when he slam dunked a basketball hoop attached to a garage door and a section of brick wall collapsed onto his head.