Spalding Basketball Hoop Overview
To get a firm understanding of what Spalding basketball products have to offer, understanding who Spalding is is important. Spalding is owned by Russell Athetics and was acquired after acquiring Huffy Sports. So any time you see Huffy, they are synonymous with Spalding. Spalding manufactures basketball products, including the basketball and basketball system for the NBA. Huffy, on the other hand, manufactured basketball systems more geared toward a lower end, economy market. Thus, with Spalding you will see products as cheap as $200 and as expensive as $2500. Here is a breakdown of these systems.
In this market, expect to see price from $100 to $350. The backboards and poles in this category of Spalding basketball goal are going to be the most conspicuous differences between the low-end basketball hoop and the mid-range basketball hoop. In this case, many of the backboards are going to be made from plastic or polycarbonate. The plastic is typically called Eco-composite, which simply means that Spalding made the plastic from recycled materials. The polycarbonate backboards are also included in this level of system because many of them have a smaller round pole size, meaning 3-inch diameter or smaller. Going to the mid-range systems, we will see improve on both of these components.
In this market for the Spalding basketball line, expect to see pricing between $350 and $700. This group of basketball systems will have an acrylic, polycarbonate, or tempered glass backboard material. You also will not see a pole size smaller than 3.5-inch diameter round pole. Most of the poles in this category will actually be 4×4 square poles. The square pole structure makes the system a lot more rigid during play so you will see less movement with a system with a square post. The interesting improvement that shows up, as previously mentioned, is the introduction of basketball systems with glass backboards. Generally, glass backboards are preferable to polycarbonate or acrylic materials because glass is more rigid and will produce a better rebound than the other two materials. From here on up to the high-end basketball systems from Spalding, the vast majority will have glass backboards, with only a couple more acrylic backboards.
In the high-end market, Spalding introduces a brand name called Arena View. The Arena View goals are named that because the mounting brackets design and attachement to the backboard resemble that of basketball systems seen in colleges and the NBA. The Arean View brackets generally attach to outside frame of the backboard rather than to uprights towards the middle of the backboard, thus clearing up the view of the players behind the backboard. For this level of system, expect to see prices anywhere from $1,000 to over $2,400. When comparing glass backboards between this level of basketball and the mid-range line of systems, the glass material is generally thicker ranging from 3/8-inch thick to 1/2-thick tempered glass. The poles are also much larger, anywhere from 5×5 to 8×8. The poles are also different in the way they are installed in the ground. All previous basketball hoop models in the mid-range and low-end markets will have a portion of the pole cemented into the ground, or slid into a ground sleeve that is cemented into the ground. With the high-end basketball goals from Spalding, the pole is attached to the ground using an anchoring system, which is cemented into the ground. This anchoring system is seen on all high-end goals from Spalding, and is preferable for the larger systems because it makes the unit more stable in the ground.
Other minor differences you will see between the different level of systems are dealing with the height-adjustment mechanism. The lower spectrum of available goals will have what is called the Exacta-height mechanism that requires a broomstick handle to activate. From there you will see a mechanism called the speed glide, uses use a sliding trigger that, when activated with a push button, slides up and down a pole that raises and lowers the backboard height. Lastly,you will see a unit called the U-Turn mechanism, which uses a detachable crank to raise and lower the backboard height.