This Is Why Basketball Rims Have Nets

By Alex Mercer

November 24, 2019

Basketball rims can often be seen with a stringed or chain-linked net. In rare cases in schoolyards or parks, basketball nets may not have a net or a rim. Basketball rims need to have nets for several reasons.

Basketball rims have nets to stop the basketball once it goes in. Basketball nets 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 its 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” sound that comes from a laced net.

What Is A Basketball Net Made Of?

Basketball nets are often made of lace (similar to shoelaces) in professional settings, such as a high school gym or local YMCA. Laces are the most common type of basketball net, as they’re also one of the easiest to install.

Basketball nets are also made of “chain-linked” material. They are interwoven metal pieces 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 for outdoor courts 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 to play basketball.

Although, we do highly recommend you purchase one simply for the reasons listed above. Nothing is worse than chasing 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, so it doesn’t exit the net completely clean. This often, as mentioned, 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 about whether the ball went in or not. 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 a great visual (from the website 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. 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.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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