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In this section, we highlight some of the more popular portable basketball hoop and we give in-depth reviews for each.


If you are looking for your teen, we'll show you the right hoop for them. The best hoops for teens.

 The Basketball Game

When was basketball invented?

Among the list of notable alumni at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts is James Naismith, the creator of the great game of basketball. Naismith was a young graduate student at the college who had been given the responsibility, in 1892, to design a new game for the school’s physical education department. Because of the nature of the severely cold Massachusetts winters, Naismith focused his efforts on developing an indoor game.

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts

Since its inception back in the late-19th century, the game of basketball has evolved immensely. Naismith’s name graces the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fall is located in his honor, in Springfield Massachusetts. Celebrated on the walls of the HOF are countless pictures, stories, and artifacts of how Naismith introduced basketball first, by throwing balls with laces into peach baskets. It wasn’t until later versions of the game that the hoop became bottomless.

The cradle of basketball would eventually shift from Massachusetts down to Indiana, where “…the game took hold and launched Hoosier Hysteria like nothing before and thrived in Indiana like nowhere else. Seldom was there symmetry between state and sports so seamless... Indiana was made for basketball, and basketball for Indiana.”

Emblem of basketball club Indiana Hoosiers mens basketball

NCAA Basketball History of champions

Indiana University won NCAA Championships in 1940, 1953, and 1976. In 1976, the team was led by head coach Bob Knight, known worldwide for his mercurial temper and chair-throwing ability. But before Coach Knight burst onto the championship scene, John Wooden won 10 NCAA titles between 1964 and 1975 at UCLA. Wooden had been an Indiana legend after having played at Purdue and coached at Indiana State.

Since Coach Wooden unprecedented success, NCAA basketball has been filled with parity. Traditional “bluebloods” like Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke have won multiple championships – but underdogs like Villanova, Georgetown – and most recently Baylor – have also captured their own trophies.

Beginning in 2011, the NCAA Tournament expanded to 68 teams that comprised of the NCAA Division I Championship basketball tournament. Before this date, the field had been limited to 64 teams.

The history of basketball is studied regularly by kids and adults of all ages. Its history is rich and full of folklore, failures, reinventions, and wild success stories. Basketball has become a powerful industry in its own right – providing not only a healthy way to foster competition and a great way to meet new people for kids, but well-respected careers for players, journalists, basketball referees, and more.

Basketball Rules & Regulations

You Must Know

As the game of basketball evolved, so did its rulebook. Pages and pages were added to it as generations of avid players found new ways to improve and expand the game.
One of the main tenets of basketball is this: you cannot foul an opponent.

  1. The basketball rules on fouls stipulate that any “illegal” contact on an opponent will be deemed a foul – which college and high school players get five and after this, they are disqualified from a game.
  2. A foul is described as gaining an unfair advantage through physical contact. There is some interpretation that has to be made by the referee, but, in general, the defensive player may not touch the offensive player in a way that causes the offensive player to lose the ball or miss a shot.

In the NBA, players get six fouls before disqualification.

Basketball Rules College  

basketball rules for college kids

In recent years, the basketball rules in college have been amended to mimic more professional leagues –

  1. A 3-point line was pushed back.
  2. A restricted area in the paint (often referred to as the “restricted area” or “RA”, or “the charge circle”. Defensive players cannot take a charge in this restricted area, which was introduced to protect offensive players. Some believe that this was to make the game more fun to watch, by allowing more scoring opportunities.)
  3. A shortened shot clock (decreased from 35 seconds to 30 seconds in men’s college basketball, compared to the NBA shot clock which 24 seconds. Women’s college basketball has remained at 30 seconds).

Many believe that this better prepares college athletes for the program, whether that is in the NBA, FIBA, overseas placement, etc.

The main difference that remains is the actual game structure; a regulation NBA game is four-12 minute quarters for a 48-minute game, men’s college games are two-20 minute halves and women’s college games are four-10 minute quarters.

High school rules and regulations   

Basketball rules for kids

Vary state to state and county to country. Often school districts and/or local leagues will set the rules and the format of the games (i.e. number of quarters/halves, length of games, how many referees are involved, etc.). The same applies to youth leagues, where what rules are enforced usually depends on the age of the players and the mood of the officials and how much they want to “let go”,  so the kids can get exercise, or how much they want to correct on the spot.

But some rules are at the very core of the sport itself:

  1. Traveling (players cannot take more than two steps without dribbling.)
  2. Double dribbling (must only dribble with one hand at a time – and once you’ve started dribbling, you cannot stop and start again. Think about dribbling like a “one-and-done” opportunity – but you can also pass the ball and start dribbling again once you receive it back.)
  3.  Freedom of movement (cannot run over someone who beats you to a spot)
  4. Out of bounds (each competitor must play within the lines on the court)
  5. Carrying (player must keep a hand on top of the ball while dribbling.)
  6. Backcourt (once the offensive team advances the ball past the half-court line, they may not go back across the line into the backcourt. The area past the line is often called the “frontcourt”.)
Time limits (the general idea of a time limit – no matter what the time limit – also applies in just about every competitive basketball game at any level.)
basketball rules defense

The rules for defense can get a little more complicated based on the league and level. Typically, the two most popular defenses are:

  1. Man-to-man Defense
    2. Zone Defense

There are several variations of both defenses. Zone defense can be especially complicated in leagues that observe “illegal defense,” which stipulates that each defender must be within a certain reach of the person he is guarding.

Strategies & Tactics

basketball drills

The first way to play your best basketball game is to get in great shape and practice hard! Basketball is an amazing game – it teaches teamwork, hard work, camaraderie, and many other valuable life lessons – but to be successful and give yourself a chance to get better every time you play, you must be in good shape!

Since basketball is a TEAM sport, it is vitally important to work well with others, to communicate well, and have a clear set of standards for yourself and your team. Having everyone aligned to the same team goals can help a team become a winning basketball team. When everyone on the team can agree on expectations and the mission, the team has a much better chance of success! Equally as important is the love and passion for the game.

How to play as part of a winning basketball team

Of course, once a team is cohesive and moving collectively in the same direction, it is important to improve daily and increase fundamentals and skillsets at every opportunity.

The keys to winning are simple:

  1.  pass the ball and catch the ball
  2.  be in an athletic stance in every position on the court
  3.  be intentional and thoughtful about your ball-handling
  4.  footwork and shooting skill work
  5. do not get bored with the constant effort needed to be put in to improve.
practise shooting hoops in the driveway

Sometimes you may need to work on your shooting form for an hour, in the same spot in your backyard, by getting yourself a Portablehoop. This also develops great muscle memory. Sometimes you may need to work on front pivots, or reverse pivots, or drop steps or a jump stop for hours at a time, just so you can do it correctly once or twice in your next game. It is that kind of commitment to the process of improving that usually separates the good from the great.

When it’s time to put in an effective offense, play to the strengths of your individual players. Identify what they do well and then design an offense accordingly.

Best Basketball offense for youth  

Often for youth teams, it is important to learn the basic spacing of a good offensive basketball team. Some good options may include:

1)  a 4-out, 1-in look with one post player on the interior and four guards evenly spaced around the perimeter. Two perimeter players will be located on the top of the floor – often called the “slot” or the “shoot” area – and two players on the wings .Passing and cutting (moving without the ball with purpose) is essential and players can fill each other’s spots.

2) A 3-out, 2-in look would also allow young players to practice their ball screen offenses and learn the basic pick-and-roll options with different spacing and “slides” out of the screening action.

3) If there is one especially skilled player, isolation plays are also a great option. You can either set a high ball screen on the top of the floor for this player or simply let them attack their defender in a one-on-one situation.

One thing that may throw this entirely out is - zone defense! Zone defenses can be easily beaten by having a high-post presence, finding an open gap near the elbow, and a low-post or short corner presence.

The more often you can enter the ball into the high-post, the better! This will allow you to play “high-low” between the two post players and “play down” to the low post or short corner, or play “inside out” and get open looks when the ball comes back out to the perimeter. Some of the best basketball plays of all time are also the most simple!

Popular Portable Basketball Hoop Options