How to Weigh Down Portable Basketball Systems

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basketball net image by Mark Grenier from Fotolia.com

Basketball goals dot many neighborhood driveways. Years ago goals and backboards were attached to trees in the yard, utility poles, or hung off the roof. Today portable basketball systems provide flexibility for homeowners on placement location and have adjustments on the height of the goal. Since the goals are portable, they need to be weighed down to keep the structure from falling in strong winds or from the weight of someone hanging on the net or rim. Properly weighing the base down ensures a safe and stable basketball experience.

Check in the owner's manual for your basketball goal on the size of your base. Most portable basketball goal systems have a 35-gallon base.

Purchase 10 bags of 50-pound sand bags from a home-supply store if your base is 35 gallons. Adjust the amount of sand you purchase if the base holds more or less than 35 gallons. Many fill their bases with water. However, water can freeze in the winter and crack the base. Water also weighs 8 pounds per gallon, so a 35-gallon base filled with water would weigh 280 pounds. The same container can hold 500 pounds of sand, making it more stable and safe.

Pry off the hole cover to the base with a large flat head screwdriver. The hole cover should be located at the middle-back portion on top of the base with the goal standing.

Insert a large plastic funnel into the hole of the base. Cut one corner of one of the sand bags about an inch wide with scissors and slowly pour the sand into the funnel.

Lift the base up after pouring all the sand from the first bag into it by grabbing the pole of the goal and pulling it down. This moves the sand to the front of the base, allowing room for more sand. Repeat this after pouring each bag into the base. You might need help from another person to pull the goal down. Continue pouring sand into the base until it is full.

Replace the base cap over the hole, and push the cap down until it fits snugly.

Tips

For added safety, and if you live in a windy climate, purchase one to two 60-pound sandbags and lay them over the sand-filled base.

Warnings

Do not use water mixed with antifreeze in your portable basketball base if you own pets. The smell of antifreeze attracts dogs and cats, and cause death if ingested.

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