Tips on choosing a Basketball Rim

If you’re in the market to purchase a new basketball system, or just want to replace an existing rim, here are a few things to consider before you buy.

One may consider buying a Flex Goal, or the classic Fixed Goal. Most players these days lean towards the breakaway goal, as opposed to a fixed goal, because it’s safer for both player and your backboard.

Another thought to consider when replacing your existing rim with a newer one is the mounting area on the backboard that secures the rim. This area has (4) mounting bolts that go through the rim, backboard, and are secured with nuts and lock washers to the back-plate. Typically a high-end backboard system will have a bolt pattern of 5” x 5”, or 5” x 4”, and the cheaper low-end systems use a bolt pattern of 3” x 2”, plus or minus an inch.

In reality, there are two basic types of basketball rims: Breakaway and Rigid.


The terminology used to describe the Breakaway Rim is; Standard Flex Goal, Flex Goal 180, while others will say a True Breakaway Rim, or a Collapsible Rim. Basically all these names have different meanings, but they all share several things in common; they give away, or collapse downward when pulled, or hung on. Breakaway style rims are most popular for indoor use, as they are responsive; they offer a better performance level and feel, over the traditional Fixed-Rigid rims.


The classic Fixed Rim or Rigid Rim doesn’t move or flex when pressure or weight of a player is applied. The rim itself is a one-piece, fully welded ring with rear plate attachment points. These rims are typically used outdoors, and/or on a low-end beginner basketball system. Fixed rims are no longer used in the NBA, and major universities.

Finally, the level of play is important to know up front, as this will be useful when selecting the optimal basketball rim. The aggressive use by players, the skill level, and the temptation to Slam-Dunk are key factors in rim selection.

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