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What are the Different Types of Basketball Gear?

By Ken Black
Updated May 23, 2024
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Basketball gear can be as simple as the ball or as complex as a wide range of items, including specialized basketball shoes and various types of basketball goals. The major expense, in most cases, is the basket and backboard apparatus. However, the sport's popularity among young people stems partially from the fact that, once you have a ball, basketball gear can nearly be anything you would like it to be.

For those who are interested in playing basketball at home, a rim and backboard will be necessary. While some choose to make their own homemade backboards, buy a rim and attach it to something already at the home, such as a wall, many choose something more substantial. Today, fiberglass and Plexiglas backboards are nearly as common in home setups as they are in public-use settings. However, those interested in purchasing a backboard will likely be making a substantial investment. Depending on the quality, the apparatus can cost anywhere from approximately $150 US Dollars to more than $1,000 USD.

The piece of basketball gear most people are familiar with is the basketball itself. It is important to understand, when purchasing a basketball, that some are only rated for indoor use and may not hold up well to outdoor use. The bubbles and ridges on a ball meant for indoor use only will quickly become worn down and the ball will not handle as it is supposed to. Therefore, make sure you choose the type of ball that will work well for your situation.

Basketball clothing is perhaps the most versatile of all basketball gear. A pair of shorts, athletic shoes and a T-shirt will be sufficient. However, for organized teams, basketball uniforms consisting of shorts and sleeveless shirts are often used. The short style has changed over the years. Before the mid to late 1980s, nearly all shorts were cut to a length above mid thigh. Now, they tend to run down nearly to the knee and in some cases past the knee.

Specialized basketball shoes are often used, but any type of athletic shoe can be used. These shoes often give a lot of ankle support and plenty of traction for hardwood floors, the type of flooring most often used in a gym. They can be quite expensive, running $200 USD or more for a single pair. However, there are models not associated with major basketball stars that can be found for significantly lower price.

The type of basketball gear a coach will need or utilize is similar to the type of sports equipment used in other types of activities. A whistle for conducting drills and getting the players' attention, cones for drills, and perhaps a first-aid kit to deal with any injuries are often available. The equipment required in basketball is not as substantial or specialized as it may be in some other types of sports.

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Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Jan 12, 2014

Drentel - Basketball, like any sport, can be expensive when you choose to buy every piece of equipment out there, and the most expensive at that. I understand that a sport like golf is going to be costly--clubs and green fees. However, parents and coaches should be able to work together to keep organized sports more affordable, so more kids can participate.

By Drentel — On Jan 12, 2014

If you have a child who has played organized basketball, you know how expensive youth basketball gear can be. The shoes alone are enough to push the household budget to the brink.

By Sporkasia — On Jan 11, 2014

The article makes a good point about a person not needing to buy a lot of equipment to play basketball. This accounts for the popularity of the sport for kids in many places.

Small towns and large cities alike usually have basketball goals set up for the public at parks or other locations. So if one kid has a ball then the game can begin.

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