The Dominator basketball hoop is the best outdoor inground basketball hoop that exists. There is no other outdoor basketball hoop in the world that compares. Now, I’m not saying that other hoops aren’t good basketball hoops, in fact, there are many that are exceptional. Goalrilla, Megaslam, and Pro Dunk make an inground basketball hoop that does more than just “get the job done”. However, none of these compare to the quality and best “bang for your buck” that you get from the Dominator.
The Dominator brings many features of an arena style basketball hoop design to your backyard. When you play on a Dominator basketball goal, it feels like you are shooting hoops in the Madison Square Garden. But the question is… Why?
One of the most important features of the Dominator is how it raises up and down. But before we get into why the Dominator is unique, it’s important to understand how other basketball goals raise up and down and why it matters. After all, a basketball hoop is a $1300-$2500 purchase. So we want to make sure you understand all of the key elements that will help you as you decide on a basketball goal that’s right for you.
Telescoping Pole vs. Parallel Linkage System
What is a Parallel Linkage System?
A parallel linkage system is a movement system that allows a pole (lever) to be pushed straight up or straight down which transmits motion to a beam moving in an arc, without putting significant sideways strain on the rod.
Now, in terms of basketball hoops, this means that there are two “parallel” poles that are connected to the backboard. The opposite sides of those poles are connected by a bolt that goes through the main vertical pole (this is the hinge point), and a bolt behind the main vertical pole. Both of these bolts stabilize the parallel poles and ensure that they stay connected to the vertical pole. Fixated on the back bolt is a hydraulic jack connected to a crank. This crank and jack is what allows the hoop to raise and lower. This system gets the job done for raising and lowering a high quality outdoor hoop and is exactly how the majority of most outdoor basketball goal systems work.
Although a parallel linkage system and hydraulic jack gets the job done, it is not the most effective way to raise and lower a high quality outdoor basketball goal. Now, if you’re looking to purchase a $1000-$1500 basketball hoop for your driveway, It really won’t matter that much. BUT if you are looking for a high quality basketball hoop that replicates real arena play, it is important to note that there are a few drawbacks to this system.
Drawbacks of a Parallel Linkage System
Wear and Tear of Pivot Points
Basketball goals that raise and lower using the parallel linkage mechanism have multiple moving parts. More movement means more wear and tear on connection and pivot points. The pivot points are where the force is placed as the hoop is adjusted up and down. The constant raising and lowering of the basketball goal leads to the wearing down of the pivot points. Due to normal wear and tear and natural weather effects (especially rain and snow that lead to rust), these pivot points become weak.
**Rust is a basketball goal killer. Rust completely ruins the adjustability of a goal, making it hard to raise and lower (sometimes it becomes too hard to adjust and younger kids can’t adjust the hoop) and can take an extremely high quality basketball hoop and turn it into an eyesore on the driveway or court. When rust spreads at the pivot points on the hoop, it really increases the shake of the backboard and rim because it eats away at the pivot points. Rust also takes a pristine, black coated basketball goal, and turns it into a faded gray color. This isn’t really the look that you want for a high quality outdoor basketball goal.
Once rust eats away at the pivot points or normal wear and tear play wears those pivot points down, it changes how the whole basketball goal reacts during normal play. Usually, the wearing out of these points leads to extra shake in the backboard and rim. Even an errant shot on the backboard or rim can cause excessive shake in the hoop which can be very frustrating if you are trying to have a game like reaction from your basketball goal. So, if you are trying to replicate an NBA or NCAA basketball hoop, this may be a problem because the extra shake means that you won’t get a normal bounce from the backboard and rim.
Arc of the Hoop as it Adjusts
The second drawback of a parallel linkage system for a basketball hoop is how it adjusts. As the hoop is adjusted up and down, the backboard and rim move in an arc motion. This means that the rim and backboard get closer in proximity to the free throw line when it is lowered, and as it is raised, it gets farther from the free throw line. Many basketball hoop companies mention this in their websites because it is important to know. In fact, many companies have created a table showing what the overhang is at each height adjustment. In most cases, the difference in overhang at a 7 ft height vs. a 10 ft height is 6 inches. meaning that when the hoop is at 7 ft, the rim and backboard are 6 in. closer to the freethrow line than what they are when the hoop is at 10 ft. This can be a hassle especially if you are trying to replicate an NBA or NCAA basketball goal.
Why Does all of this Matter?
An inground basketball goal is a big purchase. It’s something that you want to know a lot about before you actually make the decision. That’s why we want to make sure you understand why we think the Dominator is the best outdoor basketball goal out there.
Outdoor basketball goals have always been manufactured using a parallel linkage system to raise and lower the hoop. This is the way that inground adjustable basketball goals have always been made. It works, so why go away from it? The answer is simply that nobody has taken the time to make it better. That’s where the Dominator comes onto the “court”.
How the Dominator Compares
When the Dominator was created, the vision was to create an outdoor basketball goal that replicated an NBA, NCAA, and even Highschool basketball goal.
One of the key differences that distinguishes the Dominator from all other basketball goals is how the Dominator basketball hoop adjusts up and down. The Dominator basketball hoop raises up and down by the use of a telescoping pole. This means that the main pole simply extends straight up and straight down. There is no arc motion involved. The question is why? Why does it even matter? There are two main reasons why the Dominator was made using this motion instead of a parallel linkage system.
Same Distance from Freethrow Line Always
The first reason is that the distance from the rim stays the same no matter what height the hoop is at. Whether you’re playing dunkball at 7 ft, or a competitive 3 on 3 basketball game at 10 ft, the overhang distance will remain the same. In all other basketball goals, the hoop is raised up and down in an arc motion. This can be frustrating (obviously depending on how serious you are) if you are trying to bring your basketball game to the outdoors. If you are an athlete and want the best outdoor basketball experience, you may want to consider the Dominator basketball goal because there is no other basketball hoop that adjusts like the Dominator.
No Movement = Less Shaking
The second reason why it’s important to know that the Dominator raises straight up and down is because it creates a more realistic feeling when shooting and dunking. The Dominator has no pivot points, meaning that there is no movement at connection points between parts on the basketball goal. This is extremely important for a high quality inground basketball hoop. Movement between parts causes weakness in the system. Weakness leads to more shake in the goal. When you are trying to replicate an NBA style hoop, the last thing you want is to have your backboard shake excessively from a basic bank shot.
The Dominator completely avoids that issue.
The single telescoping pole of the Dominator means that when force is applied to the hoop (whether by a ball or a dunk), there is not an excessive amount of shaking. You will get just the right amount of play. It feels like you are shooting on an arena hoop. This is because there are no pivot points on the Dominator. No pivot points means no movement. When there’s no movement there’s not an excessive amount of shaking.
We believe that it really does matter how a high quality outdoor basketball goal adjusts. Many critics will say it doesn’t matter. However, if you are wanting to bring your basketball game to the outdoors, there is no better hoop to help than the Dominator.