Basketball Hoop Height: How Tall, How Short

Basketball Hoop Height

Generally speaking, there is no definite height for the hoop. It will actually depend on who will be playing or for where it should be used.

Basketball Hoop Height

The Right Basketball Hoop Height – It Depends!

Based on the recommendations of the American Sport Education Program, the following rules should be observed regarding the height of basketball hoops:

  • For those who are below 2nd grade, the right hoop height is 6 feet
  • Players from 8 to 10 years old should use hoops with a height of 8 feet
  • The right size of basketball hoops for 5th graders is 9 feet
  • Those who are above the 5th grade should use hoops that are 10 feet. This is also the official rule for professional basketball leagues, including the NBA

Adjustable Hoop Height: You Can Never Go Wrong

While there is a standard regulation on how tall a basketball hoop is, a safe choice would be to choose one with an adjustable hoop height. This is especially true if you have kids at home. With this, you can make the hoop taller as they grow, considering that their height changes.​

By choosing a hoop with adjustable height, you can also have it matched depending on who is playing. If you are playing, you can make it taller. On the other hand, if kids are playing, you can make it shorter.​

Measuring Basketball Hoop Height​

There is an easy way to measure the height of a basketball hoop. To do this, you will need a tape measure and a ladder. One person will climb the ladder and place the tape measure at the front tip of the rim of the basketball hoop. They will then let the tape measure fall straight down in order to determine the distance.​

If you want a regulation height basketball hoop, then it should measure 10 feet. This is a good height for players that are eleven years and older. You will then want to measure the backside of the hoop as well so you can make any adjustments if the ring is at all off the ten-foot mark.​

Why Is 10-Feet Considered Regulation?​

​The 10-feet measurement dates back to the beginning of basketball. During 1891, Canada was facing a harsh winter, so James Naismith was given the task of creating a game that was both fun and challenging.

​So, he got his inspiration from other sports of the time, including soccer and football and decided to hang peach baskets on the railing of a running track that circled the perimeter of the gym. This railing was ten feet from the ground.

After this and after the invention of basketball, the other gyms in the area were built to these same specifications, so the 10-feet railings were in each one.​

Basketball Size​

Now that you know how to decide which basketball height is best for each player's age, you also need to learn how to choose an appropriately sized basketball for them to play with.​

The NBA has specified certain sizes for different players, and these specifications are good guidelines to follow when it comes time to choose a basketball for your new hoop.​

The ball used by NBA players is 29.5 inches in circumference. This is the size that is used for both men's college and high school leagues. The women's league uses a ball that is slightly smaller at 28.5 inches. Women ages 9 and up can use this size basketball.​

The following are a few more specifications for younger children to follow:​

  • Boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 8 should use a ball that falls between 22 and 25.5 inches.
  • Male and female players between the ages of nine and 11 should be using a basketball with a circumference of 28.5 inches.
  • Boys 12 and older in middle school should be using a basketball that has a 29.5-inch circumference.

Basketball Hoop Height for Dunking

If you like dunking and you have a standard 10-foot basketball hoop, you will need to have a standing reach of around 7 feet, 7 inches. This means that you will have to be able to jump at least 29 inches in order to touch the rim of the hoop. You then need to extend that to around 35 inches so you can successfully dunk the ball. This is definitely not an easy feat, however, and is considered to be a pretty impressive accomplishment in professional sports.​

So, if you aspire to be a dunking expert, you don't necessarily need to have the advantage of height - even though this will definitely help. You need to have a good standing reach and a high vertical jump.​


​Having age-appropriate hoop height and the right size basketball will prove to be highly influential in carrying out a good basketball game. Do not force your children to play in taller hoops if it does not match their skills.

Make sure that they first learn with what they can handle. On the other hand, for adults, follow the standard hoop height, especially if you are training for competitive basketball leagues. Also, don't give up on your dreams of dunking if you are on the shorter side — practice, practice, practice.​