While many hoops could technically be considered indoor hoops, we have decided to focus on the cream of the crop that we have mentioned in several places already, the gym hoops.
These are the hoops you will see used at the professional level. They are the absolute best that you can get in terms of performance and durability, and they offer the best possible game experience.
These arena basketball systems are unlike any other category of hoops we have covered on this list in terms of shape, size, weight, quality, and price. Since we have already defined this category as the cream of the performance and quality crop, a high price won’t negatively impact a hoop’s ranking.
You get what you pay for here and very few people will be in a situation where they find themselves buying these hoops, both because of their cost and because of the fact that they should only be ordered for use in arenas where official games are played.
If you are just such an individual, I sincerely recommend that you go for the best product available if the budget permits it. Since the performance of all these hoops is nearly identical, our ranking will mostly be driven by the extra features each system offers.
#1: Spalding Arena Portable Backstop
This hoop has been used in official NBA games. That should tell you enough about the level of quality, but what about the features? Since these hoops are meant for official games, things such as breakaway rims and padded 72’’ tempered glass backboards are a given.
We will be focusing on other things such as extensions, i.e. overhand, which this hoop has 8’ or 10.66’ of, depending on the model variation you want/need. It also features an auto lift mechanism for easy setup without tools and a spring-assisted lifting mechanism.
There is lots of padding on the front and the sides of the hoop’s structure. Having played on similar hoops, I can confidently say that this padding type and layout is absolutely top-notch, and it virtually eliminates any risk of collision injury.
The hoop can be moved around thanks to a system of 6 casters and it has a floor anchoring system suitable for all surfaces. Neither the caster or the anchoring system will damage the hardwood floor of your gym.
Official games will require shot clocks, and this hoop can support a shot clock holder with wiring but the holders and the wiring are sold separately.
Still, this is an absolute top tier basketball hoop that you can hardly go wrong with in any situation and having to make a separate purchase for a shot clock shoulder shouldn’t steer you away from ordering this hoop for your gym.
#2: Spalding Arena Renegade Portable Backstop
This is one more hoop with “NBA experience”. In terms of both design and features, it is quite similar to the Arena Portable Backstop but it improves on its predecessor’s design in several aspects that are aimed mostly at audience experience.
This is achieved by making the look of the hoop cleaner with less visible cables and changing the layout of the connecting poles behind the backboard in a way that reduces clutter and increases visibility for the people sitting in higher places behind the hoop.
Performance and the rest of the features are nearly identical as those of the Arena Portable Backstop so there is no need to talk about them for the second time. You really can’t go wrong with either hoop and you will be happy with whichever one you pick.
#3: 9618WL Gared Pro 5
GARED Pro S is a non-electric basketball system suitable for even the highest levels of play. Just like the two previous Spalding models, you can choose between a variant with 8’ of extension or a variant with 10.66’ of extension.
The base features a similar front-and-sides padding layout as the Spalding models so you can count on great impact protection. Again, just like with the Spalding models, the color of the padding can be selected when ordering and custom logos or prints can be added at a bit of extra cost.
The unit is lifted via a tension spring system that is easy to operate and the present rim heights are 8’, 9’, and 10’, with custom heights being available upon request when ordering. GARED really offers a high degree of customization with their hoops and their website gives great product information.
The unit is movable via a system of wheels found inside the steel frame that can be lowered or raised as needed to make the system portable or stationary. This unit may not be as advanced as the Spalding system but it is still approved for pro usage and it will do a great job should you order it for your gym.
As we have stated in the intro, no matter which one of these hoops you end up choosing, you won’t be making a wrong choice. There can be huge differences in cost between arena basketball systems but a majority will offer similar performance.
This isn’t always the case, of course, and some arena systems might not be suitable for professional levels of play. If you have a gym that fulfills the criteria for professional play, I suggest you get an appropriate arena system that is fit for pro play as well.
If you’re looking for a basketball system for youth categories and don’t need it for anything else, then it might even be a good idea to target the lower end systems as a cost-saving measure. Just pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s terms and conditions, as well as order minimums.