Sports Equipment

Basketball Backboard Upgrades- The Affordable Athletic Aesthetic

Basketball Backboard Upgrades are an affordable and easy way to improve the aesthetics and athletics of any gym.

When it comes to upgrading gyms, every principal or athletic director has a budget to work with and wants a good bang for the buck. When it comes to upgrading basketball courts, backboard upgrades are the ultimate bank shot for the buck.

The following article is related to indoor backboard upgrades. When you complete this article, you will know everything you need to know about your gym’s basketball backboards.

Why is it such a good decision? It’s the most affordable upgrade with tremendous improvement both in play and appearance of your courts. You’re basically taking an old ugly wooden or rusty backboard and replacing it with a higher quality tempered-glass backboard.

Pretty standard wood board. If you zoom in you can see a great deal of dirt around the rim.

A much cleaner look, especially when you multiply it by four or six boards. It not only looks cleaner but, believe it or not, it brings in much more light.

As previously mentioned, what makes backboard upgrades so advantageous is their price point and ease of installation. The main reason for this is you’re not changing out anything structural or committing to any large scale construction project.

  • You’re not putting a hoop in the ceiling.
  • Refinishing the floor
  • Putting in new bleachers
  • Closing the gym for days, weeks or months

You’re using, in most cases, your preexisting structure to swap out just the boards. Because of this, you’re not only saving money on labor but you’re also saving money on equipment because you’re just purchasing the glass, under padding and rims which is considerably less than if you were to include the entire structure of a ceiling-suspended or wall-mounted hoop.

So how do you know what you need? Let’s go through a quick tutorial. You need to differentiate between a 48″X72″ backboard and a 42″X72″ backboard. No worries. It’s pretty easy.

48″X72″ Backboard
Zoom in to take a better look to see what I’m referring to but you will get a good idea in your gym.

The above backboard is a 48″X72″. You can tell by the 6″ on the bottom side of the rim. The 6″ is there because this was the original regulation-sized backboard. If you have this size in your gym, it’s probably because you have an older building and your hoops were installed prior to the change to a 42″X72″ backboard.

42″X72″ Backboard Size

The above pictured backboard is a 42″X72″ backboard. You will notice that in this particular backboard there is no 6″ space below the rim. They changed to this dimension because NCAA and NBA players were becoming taller, jumping higher and, as a result, were hitting their heads on the backboard. So the change came about due to safety. 42″X72″ is now the standard and what is considered the REGULATION sized backboard.

What are some other factors to consider when looking to replace old wooden or rusty steel gymnasium backboards. Now that you’ve determined what you have, you have to consider how they are attached. Although this isn’t something that you, the educator or administrator, need to get too wrapped up in, it is helpful for you to share with the supplier you’re purchasing new backboards from in order for them to recommend the best option for you. As well, your installer will want to know you they connect.

The best thing you can do for either is to simply take a picture of both the front side, like we did in the pics above, and take pictures of the backside like below.

48″X72″ Backside. I can tell by this pic what the mounting points will be for installation.
42″X72″ Backboard Backside. I can also tell from this pic what the mounting points are.

From these pictures, a reputable supplier and installer will be able to tell you if you can convert to a 42″X72″ or if you have to stay with the 48″X72″. They will also be able to tell if any special brackets or mounting attachments are needed.

In most cases, if you send pictures of the from and back side of the backboards, you can prevent the supplier and installer from having to make a site visit to take measurements which saves everyone time.

All you as the educator really need to do is take pics of the front and back side of backboards and a supplier and installer will be able to help and explain things from there. However, I will go in to the basics to complete the article and I’m sure many will want to know how it all works.

Install Information:

Most tempered-glass backboards have what’s referred to as corner mounts. This where the backboard will mount to the preexisting structure as you see below.

You can see if you zoom in how the structure mounts to the corner mounts.

Below is the manufacturer’s specification submittal for the above 48″X72″ backboard. If you were to put a measuring tape to the mounting brackets in the above pic, they would match the measurement in the below submittal.

Product Specifications Drawing Submittal

What we have gone through so far will account for 90% or more of the gymnasium backboards. There are instances where indoor gyms have fan-shaped backboards similar to what you see on playgrounds. The exact same upgrade scenario applies. There are upgrade packages that will match the preexisting gym structure.

Fan-shaped Basketball Backboard.
Conversion Backboard

The conversion backboard in the bottom pick will work in the exact same fashion as the other upgrade packages. It will mount to the preexisting hole pattern and structure of the fan-shaped backboard.


I cannot give you exact pricing as I don’t know what area of the country you’re in, the shipping costs to your area and what your installer will charge. There are, obviously, too many factors.

With this being said, I like to receive pricing when I ask for it so I won’t completely pull the “It depends.” game but, rather, give you price ranges.

  • $1,050-$1,400 Backboard Upgrade Packages (Glass, Padding & Rim). Depends upon the model you choose.
  • $350-$1,000 Installation– Depends upon your area of the country. New York City vs North Dakota, Union vs Non-Union and other factors such as ease of getting in and out of your gym. Do you need special modifications such as mounting brackets.
  • $500-$1,000 Shipping– Depends upon how many units you order and where you’re located.

Well there you have it. I hope this was helpful and that, as promised, you now know everything you need to know about your gym’s backboards and how you can upgrade your gym in an affordable, athletic and aesthetic.

Should you have any questions, feel free to take pics of the front and backside of your backboards and send them to me. I’m happy to help.

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Upgrading wood or steel gym backboards to tempered-glass backboards is a great improvement to a gym. It improves the quality of play on a basketball backboard and looks great too.
Mike Westhead
Publisher Name
The Sports Installer

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