Sports Equipment

Top 10 Things That Happen, (Or Have to Happen) When A Tempered-Glass Gymnasium Basketball Backboard Shatters

The chance of this happening is small but the pain inflicted by such a small thing happening is large.  

See the article at the bottom for a story of a school that had to postpone their state playoff schedule because of a shattered backboard.

For questions about backboard sizes and what you may need, please see this companion post about Backboard Upgrades.

10 Things That Happen (Or Have to Happen) When A Tempered-Glass Backboard Shatters

  1. A kid probably did it.  In the story at the bottom of the page, it was a kid hanging on the rim but, in most cases, it’s a kid with a lacrosse ball or baseball. A tempered-glass backboard is basically the same thing as your car windshield. It can take shots but not blunt blows.
  2. Secure the area. Although shards of glass will not fall and pierce someone, the glass does crumble into a million pieces and does spread when it falls. Even when you sweep up the first piles, it’s going to slowly continue to start breaking apart and raining glass. You basically have to rope off a 20’ radius around the backboard.
  3. Have cardboard available to dispose of the glass. Even though it’s in crumbles, it will cut through the plastic of even a contractor bag. The cardboard makes it safe for those handling it too.
  4. Use a 16’ A-Frame Ladder (Or the scaffold that you will need for step 9.) to work on the backboard. You can’t put any weight on the backboard or more glass will fall.
  5. Have masking or duct tape available. Even if the backboard has glass missing, still try and tape off the backboard with masking or duct tape. It will help keep the backboard together and less glass from falling. The tape will be going directly on the glass.
  6. Access the emergency backboard that you have in storage. If you don’t have one, you have to get one.
  7. How to buy an emergency backboard?
    • If you don’t currently have an emergency, you can order one from me.
    • If you’re having an emergency and you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, you can also order one from me. I keep emergency boards on hand.
    • If you live in other areas of the country, order one which will take 3-5 days to arrive as it’s most likely shipping from the Midwest.
    • You may be able to drive to a manufacturer and pick one up. For example, I live in Northern NJ. I’ve had several emergencies where a backboard shattered. I drove the 2.5 hours to JayPro in Ct; purchased the board; and then delivered and it to the school.  Another example, if you live in Ohio and lose a board, it may be easier to drive to Indianapolis to get one from Gared.
  8. If you have a new or contingency backboard available, carefully remove the cardboard box from the contingency backboard. You will use this to put on and around the shattered backboard followed by a good tape job on the box. More glass will keep falling off. Wrapping it with the cardboard from another backboard will keep everything tight. Take your time and don’t be bashful with the tape. You want to capture as much of the falling glass as possible.
  9. Rent or acquire 10’-15’ of scaffold. When taking the old backboard off, and putting the new one on, it’s easier to work off the scaffold. If you have a lift, even better.  If there’s a stage or bleachers in the gym, use the elevation to more easily lift the backboard onto the scaffold. Try and install one of the platforms as close to right below 10’ as possible. It will make putting the backboard on easier because there will be less lifting.
  10. Glass is like sand, it will be everywhere. Make sure you clean up well. Bonus Tip- An emergency backboard, with shipping, is roughly $1,000. Can you imagine the cost or losses you would incur if you had to keep your gym closed for 3-5 days while you waited for the replacement?

Bonus Tip– An emergency backboard, with shipping, is roughly $1,000.  Can you imagine the cost or losses you would incur if you had to keep your gym closed for 3-5 days while you waited for the replacement?    Take a look at this article.

Check out this article about the broken glass backboard.

Any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: