The NBA Basketball Hoop: The Official Height and NBA Rim Size


From high school to the NBA and the NCAA, the basketball hoop and attached basketball rim are vital to the gameplay of the sport of basketball. Originally designed by James Naismith, the Basketball hoop is the very foundation of the game and has undergone a few changes since it was made from peach baskets. Here are the important facts about the basketball hoop and some NBA basketball rules that it follows.

How tall is the Rim?

In a regulation game of basketball, the rim is required to be ten feet off the ground in all levels of play. This was one of the original 13 rules of the game at the time of its invention by James Naismith in 1891, and it still holds true to this day. While court dimensions and ball types have changed, the height of the Rim is one rule that has gone completely untouched for the whole history of the game. When Naismith hung the original peach baskets on the first basketball court near the running track at Springfield Teachers' College in Massachusetts, the railing happened to be 10 feet in height. The 10-foot rim standard was coincidental but became an integral part of the game.

Will rim height change?

With the average height of NBA players reaching around 6 foot 7 inches, those in favor of raising the rim height seem to have more support than ever. The 2008 NBA All Star Slam Dunk Competition became a battlefield for the rim-height debate when 6 foot 11 player Dwight Howard challenged NBA officials to consider raising the rim to 12 feet high for his dunk, as an attempt to address contentions by shorter players that his height accounted for his dunking ability. Howard was not alone in his favor towards raising the rim, as players like Rudy Gay and Gerald Green also voiced their liking to his ideas, with Green even going as far as to suggest 13 foot rims.

The NBA isn’t the only basketball league with some rim height controversy, many women’s basketball players have contended that the regulation basketball rim in the WNBA should be lowered. This is because women’s players are nearly half a foot shorter and other sports have easier boundaries for women, like tee boxes in golf, field dimensions in baseball etc. Some WNBA players, however, have come out against this saying that the WNBA’s product, and in turn regulation height, should be identical to that of men’s professional leagues like the NBA and FIBA.

What are some Rim related terms?

double rim​: A double rim is a rim that is layered two times to be thicker and act almost as a basketball net replacement. It has better durability than the average single rim so it is often used in places where non-professional basketball is played.

outdoor courts​: Outdoor courts are courts placed outdoors which are usually made of blacktop, concrete, or more. Outside of the surface not being hardwood, there is no difference between an outdoor and indoor court.

Airball​: An airball is a shot ball that misses both the basketball backboard and the rim as well. Airballs usually go out of bounds and result in a turnover for the offense.

Backboard:​ The backboard is the area behind the rim that the ball bounces off of when shot. It usually is made of glass or metal and allows for bank shots to get into the rim. All NBA basketball hoops are required to have tempered glass but many hoops have metal or a form of plastic.

Adjustable rim​: An adjustable rim is a mechanism that lets you set the height of a basketball hoop to any height that isn’t the standard height.

3 second violation​: A three second violation is a foul in basketball that occurs when an offensive player is in the paint for more than three seconds at one time. This is to prevent the player from camping underneath the basketball for an entire possession. Failure to adhere to this rule results in a turnover

What is the top of the key?​ The top of the key is the part of the court that is furthest from the basket but inside of the three point line. It exists as just above the free throw line at the top of the inner circle.