Purpose of the Net on a Basketball Rim

Basketball in hoop

The purpose of the net is simply to make it easier for players, officials, and fans to tell when the ball has passed through the rim.

NBA and NCAA Net Rules

  • The net "shall be constructed to check the ball momentarily as it passes through the basket"
    • Meaning: The net must be tight enough that the ball pushes its way through, giving a clear indicator that a basket has been scored.

If a ball sails through a net-less rim it might look like an "air ball" or missed shot; therefore, the net on a basketball rim serves a visual aid that is essential to watching a basketball game.