If you dream of having a basketball court to practice your skills in between rounds of pick-up basketball at neighborhood courts, consider building yourself a regulation half court in your yard. If you have kids, they will also enjoy hours of recreation putting up shots and playing games of horse. With some careful planning and manual labor, you can construct a court that will last for years.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space
A regulation full size basketball court for NBA and NCAA college games is 94 foot long and 50 feet wide. Because each side of the court is a mirror image of the other, simply divide the length by two for a 47' x 50' half court surface. If you have a driveway that leads to a two-car garage, you probably have enough space for a regulation half court.
However, you want to give yourself enough space around the court for players waiting to get in the game, for bystanders and accessories like a shooting gun or ball rack. So add a few feet to your dimensions so you can have space beyond the court boundaries.
If you have limited space even for a half court, you can reduce the width of the court but make sure you leave enough space for a regulation free throw line (15 feet from the basket) and three-point arc. The dimensions of the three-point arc will vary depending on whether you abide by NBA or college rules.
Purchase a Quality Goal System
Keep in mind the adage "you get what you pay for" when you go shopping for a goal system. The last thing you want is a cheap goal and backboard that cannot withstand the wear and tear of heavy duty play and inclement weather.
If you want a goal that will stand the test of time, avoid portable systems with bases that you fill with sand or water for stability. While you can move these goals around, if the base becomes defective or starts to lose sand or water, the structure will not be stable.
An in-ground goal that is cemented permanently in the ground, like those you see in outdoor courts at playgrounds, is more durable. You can choose straight or offset poles made of heavy duty steel coated with weather-proof finishes.
If you want to truly replicate a regulation half-court, purchase a tempered glass backboard like those used in pro and college games for good ball rebounding action. Unlike backboards made of metal or wood, glass backboards will not rust or deteriorate.
If you cannot find a goal system that fits your specifications in your local sporting goods store, purchase what you need via online retailers that specialize in basketball equipment. Make sure to add a few extra nets to your order if you plan on using your court often.
Build the Surface
Once you decide on the dimensions for your court, you begin planning to build the surface. If you have a paved area already in your driveway or backyard, all you have to do is clean it and paint the lines for your court. However, if you are converting a grassy area, you will need to excavate earth, build a foundation and lay concrete.
If you do not have experience pouring large amounts of concrete, hire a contractor from a site like http://www.treefrogsshowrooms.com to construct the court for you. It should take less than a day to build.
Whether you have a brand new surface or convert an existing paved area, you can also add modular tiles to the court that include stencil markings for the sideline, baseline, three-point arc and free throw line.
Just because you only have a half court does not mean that you cannot practice like the pros. Many drills and skills are taught in the half court, such as layups and defensive presses. So invite your rec league team over for a practice, enjoy the court solo or play games with your family.