Basketball is one of the most popular competitive games, partly because it can be practiced by either professional players or inexperienced players of any age. It is also one of the most versatile sports as the players can either be part of a team against an opposing team, play one on one, or simply play alone just for fun and practice. There are even countless variations of the actual basketball game that make use of the same skills and equipment. Rules can be easily made up and may or may not have a competitive aspect.
Most introductions to basketball start in the streets with nets installed in driveways, backyards, or neighborhood parks. Played mostly on asphalt or concrete, the game is just waiting to be explored. Who can resist throwing a basketball for the first time just to see whether or not the ball with fall into the net?
Although frequently played outside, indoor school facilities – from elementary all the way through to University – are usually where basketball games take place the most often. Schools commonly offer gymnasiums that incorporate basketball courts with the appropriate markings and nets. In these environments, you generally have a proper basketball court to play on, the one important factor that differs from the outside game is the type of surface beneath your feet. If you have a net and proper markings, the game can commence, but what about the choice of flooring that will be played on?
A basketball court with a proper sports floor will offer users a better athletic performance to practice game moves and skills such as dribbling, passing, layups, jump shots, free throws, shooting, pivoting, etc. Players must practice regularly to improve their technique, footwork, and tactics of the game.
There are different factors to consider in the flooring choices depending on the location, budget, level of competition, or other games and activities that may take place in that same locale. Here, I will be presenting four common types of basketball court surfaces to consider as well as a summary of some of their features, benefits and sports standards.
All of the following flooring options offer:
- Consistent ball rebound tested to meet the standard for basketball flooring. Tests are based on the ball’s responsiveness and its interaction with the surface.
- A specialized cushioning system for shock absorbing properties.
- Consideration of the ability to reduce immediate impact force.
- Adequate friction with the surface to prevent slipping injuries.
- Sufficient resistance to deformation that may affect the safety of the athlete.
Hardwood flooring systems
Contrary to popular belief, not all basketball courts are made of wood. It however tends to be a favoured choice because most NBA (National Basketball Association) games are played on maple hardwood. Sports floors made of hardwood are recognized as one of the finest playing surfaces available and appreciated by most due to its classic and timeless natural look. Maple is a tight-grained wood species, making it extra dense and strong, which makes it capable of resisting to the test of time with proper care. Meeting the MFMA (Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association) requirements and standards is also an important factor for this flooring system. The major advantage of hardwood flooring is that it can be stained and painted to your desire, but deep sanding and refinishing is also possible many years later to produce a floor that looks as good as new.
Resilient synthetic vinyl (PVC) floor
Resilient vinyl is a flexible covering material that is respected for both for its composition and its usefulness. It is the most versatile floor covering as it caters to more activities than just your basketball sporting events. This flooring is offered in several thicknesses and many different colour variations to better adapt to your requirements. Superior quality synthetic products also offer important health, environmental, and safety benefits:
- Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly™
- Phthalate-free manufacturing process
- Low levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- GreenLay™ installation method to reduce waste
Gymnasium flooring research has come a long way when faced with building standards. These are not only helping to improve the indoor environment and air quality, but also creating flooring that is easy to maintain.
Rubber pad & poured polyurethane surface
The primary benefit of this poured floor is that it is seamless. Since it is a poured surface, it also includes additional benefits such as being non-porous, increasing its hygienic properties and ease of maintenance. This surfacing is tough and durable, able to handle many basketball games and other games on its court. As an added benefit, it can also be resurfaced if needed.
Wood and synthetic combination flooring system
This surface incorporates two types of flooring to offer the best of both worlds. This type of flooring is often referred to as a high-performance sports floor. The surfaces introduced are a wood sub-layer with a synthetic vinyl surface. The wood component offers high stability spread over large areas and the vinyl provides flexibility when compressed, ease of maintenance, and durability. This surface includes everything that is necessary to create a great basketball court.
The popularity of basketball makes it the most important sport to integrate into any gymnasium, but it is important to note that these spaces can also be used for many other sports disciplines. Built to last, these gym courts can handle multiple sports, activities, and events. When the big game is about to begin, know that the floor will support you just as much as your team!