Angled or Straight Basketball Poles?

Angled or Straight Basketball Poles?

Angled or Straight Basketball Poles?

On occasion, I have been asked whether I prefer a straight or an angled pole when selecting a portable basketball system. At first glance, an angled pole may appear to have performance or safety advantages, but when looked at from an engineer’s perspective, some deeper Ed-Van53.jpginsights can be gained. I sat down with one of Lifetime’s head engineers to discuss why Lifetime chooses to use straight basketball poles on our systems.

Ed has been an engineer at Lifetime Products since 1993 and has played a large role in developing our basketball systems over the years. Here are some of his insights on angled vs. straight basketball systems.

Are basketball systems with an angled pole less likely to tip over than ones with a vertical pole? angled.jpg

The stability of a portable system has to do with the weight of the backboard and the weight of the base and their relative positions. That does not really change when you angle the pole. Because the pole is on an angle, it has to be longer than a vertical pole, which adds more weight to the system. That weight is distributed along the pole, making the top of the system slightly heavier than a vertical system. The weight difference between the two styles is very minimal compared to the weight in the base which really determines the stability of a basketball system. If you are concerned about the stability of a portable basketball system, focus on the quality and size of the base, and make sure to fill it full with a heavy material such as sand or water.   

Does the angle of the pole make it safer to play directly under the basketball hoop?

Although the angle does provide a little more room for children or shorter people, the top of the pole can be harder for taller people to gauge. My experience with the conventional vertical pole is that you can see it clearly when you approach the hoop. With the angled pole, it is easy to have a problem gauging the distance and avoiding the upper part of the pole. Basketball systems with an angled pole also have the base out front and additional support braces that are closer to the player and can cause tripping.Ed-Van53---1.jpg

Has Lifetime ever tried making a system with an angled pole?

Yes. It was a few years ago, but we tried the angled pole and decided there were not enough benefits to continue with that system. Because of the angle, you may notice that the pole is likely to rotate slightly if the rim or backboard is pulled down on one side. With a vertical pole, there is no twist and the pole is more secure and easier to assemble. I think we’ll be sticking with our straight, solid poles on our basketball systems. 

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Jason

Jason

Name- Jason

Position at Lifetime Products- Product Marketing Manager for the Sporting Goods category.
 
My favorite products from Lifetime- Our current family favorite is the Big Stuff Hard Roof Play set.  The boys and their cousins LOVE it!  Since our home has the tendency to become a gathering place, we get the most use out of our large array of Lifetime Folding Tables.  We have our eye on the Ace Flyer for Christmas.  I have grand plans for The 60” Lifetime Mammoth Basketball System, I just need to first do a little backyard excavation for the play area. 

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