November 24

Written By: Chester Shorts


This Is Why Basketball Rims Have Nets

Basketball rims can often be seen with a stringed net or a chain linked net. In the rare cases in school yards or parks, basketball nets may not have a net at all and just a rim. It’s important for basketball rims to have nets for several reasons.

Basketball rims have nets to stop the basketball once it goes in. Basketball have nets to also help referees and players identify a made basket.

In this article, we’re going to show you why basketball rims have nets and how they should properly be installed.

basketball net

Why Basketball Rims Have Nets

As mentioned, basketball rims are often equipped with lace or chain linked nets. Basketball rims have nets for two main reasons. Lets learn what the two reasons are..

Stop The Basketball

One of the main reasons basketballs have nets is to stop the basketball after it goes in. The 3 point rule was introduced in 1979 which meant deeper shots. Deeper shots caused the ball to travel farther and with more force. This means that shots that go in or even miss, will often travel farther when they land.

Thanks to the invention of the basketball net by James Naismith, the basketball will now be absorbed by the netting, and slow down it’s momentum.

The ball will fall softly under the net, where it can be picked up and in-bounded by the opposing player.

Confirm A Basket

Shooting a basketball with a net from 3 point range is easy to confirm if the ball went in, as you’ll often hear a “swish” or see the net move.

However, a basketball rim without a net will often lead to inconsistencies in confirming if the ball went in from both mid-range and far away. There’s no indication, especially if the shot is coming from the corner. A player must rely on his depth perception to confirm the bucket.

When the ball successfully is made through the hoop there’s a clear indication, both for referees and for players that points should be awarded.

Here is an example of a “swish” sounds that comes from a laced net.

What Is A Basketball Net Made Of?

Basketball nets are often made of a lace (similar to a shoe lace) in professional settings, such as a high school gym or local YMCA. Laces are the most common type of basketball net, as it’s also one of the easiest to install. Lace nets can be found here in case your lace netting is starting to deteriorate or rip.

Basketball nets are also made of “chain linked” material. They are interwoven pieces of metal that are often found in school yards or outdoor courts. Chain linked nets are great because they don’t rip easily in case any player wants to hang on them.

Chain linked nets can be found here for outdoor courts to make sure nets won’t rip through aggressive play or poor weather conditions.

Are Basketball Nets Mandatory To Play?

No. A basketball is not needed in order to play basketball.

Although, we do highly recommend you purchase one simply for the reasons listed above. There’s nothing worse than having to chase down made baskets from the corner because the ball starts rolling down a hill.

Having a net in place on the rim will help slow down the basketball, that way it doesn’t exit the net completely clean. This often, as mention, will require the shooter to chase after his basketball. Having a net in place will allow the shooter to take deeper shots and the ball will remain near the rim if it goes in.

Also, if you’re playing against friends or family, (in a one on one situation) arguments can be made if the ball went in or not. Completely eliminate these arguments by buying a net and confirming if the ball successfully went in.

In our experience, using a net can help settle the score and help players determine if the ball clearly did go through. It may not seem like a big deal, until a shot is hit and the defender doesn’t see it go through.

How High Is A Basketball Net?

A basketball rim measures 10 feet off of the ground. The basketball net however, can change in length depending on the net that’s purchased.

In high school, college and professional gyms, the nets must measure 15″-18″ in length. Here is great visual from on basketball hoop and net measurements.

basketball net height

In indoor games, a net is required for all gyms. Standard rules say that a net must be fitted and installed into the rim. As mentioned, this helps the referees determine if the ball goes through the net from a distance.

Basketball rims without nets are often found in street courts and public parks, where the nets are often ripped or altered.


Using a net, whether it be a chain linked net or a laced net is great for stopping the basketball once it goes through the rim. It’s also used to help referees and teammates to confirm a basket. This indicator helps players whether to inbound the ball or to retreat on defense.

Basketball nets have become a standard for basketball courts all across the world. It’s uncommon to see a basketball net without a rim, especially indoors. Most outdoor parks will at least have a chain linked net that makes a loud sound when a basket is made.

Chains are often found on outdoors courts, as the nets are universal for both indoor and outdoor courts.

Outdoor courts use chained rims because of both the weather factor and the fact that they don’t break easily. Laced nets could rip if the player hangs on them after a dunk. Chained nets are a different story. They are hard to break and act as a safer option as opposed to having a laced net on a basketball rim.

What kind of net is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below whether a chain linked net or a laced net is of our preference.


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