Installing an In-Ground Basketball Goal

My three kids love the sport of basketball. They are constantly dribbling and shooting anywhere there is a hoop. We have had a goal in our driveway for years, but it was always the portable kind. After our third one “died” (after cracks in the bases, goals that fell over, poles that won’t stand upright, etc), we opted to install a new goal in the ground.

After waiting weeks on HOA approval (you can only imagine how many times we were asked- “did you hear yet???”), we finally got the go-ahead. But man, this was more of a task than I realized! I wanted to pass on tips in case anyone was looking to do this.

First, you have to dig a whole in the ground that goes down 36 inches. Stephen was able to dig down about 1.5 feet with the shovel, but he then borrowed a post-hole digger from a neighbor. This made the job SO much easier!

This hole is about 18 inches in diameter.
Post-hole digger… a game changer!

Next, we mixed the concrete. We got the “just add water” mixing type of concrete. In total, we used 14 bags of the 80 lb concrete mix.

We dumped a bag into the wheelbarrow, added water with the hose, and mixed with the shovel. We would eyeball the water to make sure the concrete was wet enough, but not too wet.

We then would dump the wheelbarrow’s contents into the hole. We continued this until the concrete level was 18” from the top of the hole. We then added 4 pieces of rebar and placed them in a square position, ~8 inches apart from each other.

Making sure they were 8” apart. You can shift the rebar around.

We kept mixing and dumping the concrete in until the concrete was 4” from the top. We cut a 4” tall piece of circular concrete form and placed it on top of the concrete.

I don’t have a pic of it in the hole, but it was just a 4” tall section of this that sat on top of the concrete.

We continued to fill… it only took one more bag at this point for us. Once it was full, we smoothed out the concrete. Stephen put the plate with attached anchor bolts down into the concrete.

The front of the plate will be 26” to the backboard of the goal, so he placed it in a good spot where the backboard will hang over the driveway a bit.

He made sure the plate was level to the ground.

We let the concrete sit for 7 days. The directions recommended 4 days, but between weather and just life happenings, we waited 7 days. It was extra solid!

We screwed the pole into the screws coming out from the concrete. There were nuts and washers that tightened the baseplate. You could level it by adjusting the washers.

The last step was putting up the backboard. The directions said “use 4 adults” and they weren’t kidding! This last step was heavy and hard, but Stephen and two neighbors of ours were able to get it up and screw everything into place.

Ahhhh…. The kids are so excited to have a goal in the driveway again. It’s been a long 2 months! Hope these tips might be able to help you on your future goal installation. 🙂


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