H-arm vs Y-arm: Choosing the Right Basketball Hoop

H-Arm vs Y-Arm: Choosing the Right Basketball Hoop

If you’re in the market for a high-quality basketball hoop, you’re probably expecting a professional look and feel. There are a lot of things that factor into a hoop’s performance and aesthetics, including seemingly small details like backboard support arms.

When it comes to high-end hoops, there are two main types of support arm designs: H-arms and Y-arms. Each design has a unique set of characteristics, creating a distinct experience on the court. To explore what design makes sense for you, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of H-arm versus Y-arm basketball hoops.



H-Arm Supports

The H-arm design, as the name suggests, looks like the letter “H” when viewed from underneath. Parallel sets of steel support arms run directly from the hoop’s foundation pole to the center of the backboard, creating a secure connection.


H-Arm Advantages

H-arm supports attach to the backboard right behind the rim, giving the hoop maximum durability. This lessens the stress on the backboard’s frame system when players go to dunk or hang on the rim.

This type of design is also less costly to produce, reducing the retail price. And, because the support arms take up less space, H-arm hoops are easier to transport than Y-arm counterparts.

H-Arm Disadvantages

Because H-arms are attached directly behind the rim, the backboard can “twist” slightly under pressure — especially if applied from only one side of the hoop. If the hoop is well-secured to the ground, this isn’t a safety concern, but it’s not ideal for competitive play.


Y-Arm Supports

The Y-arm design branches out from the foundation pole, with supports that secure to both sides of the backboard. This support system mimics that of professional basketball hoops in NBA and college arenas.


Y-Arm Advantages

With widespread support arms that attach to the outer frame of the backboard, there’s nothing to inhibit the center of the glass. This creates a more lively bounce of the backboard, which is preferred by competitive players. It’s the best possible replication of indoor play.

Y-Arm Disadvantages

With a more complex support arm system, Y-arm designs tend to have higher retail costs. They’re also more challenging to transport, with arms that take up more space.


Choosing the Right Hoop for You

At the end of the day, deciding between H-arm and Y-arm hoops comes down to cost, performance, and to a lesser degree, style.

H-arm hoops offer impressive durability, and are often more affordable. Y-arm hoops, on the other hand, give the best play characteristics, but tend to be more expensive. Y-arm hoops also give more of a “professional” look with widespread support arms cradling the backboard.


Start Shopping Today!

Still deciding? Check out Rainbow Play’s 60” and 72” basketball hoops. The 60” model features a durable H-arm design, while the 72” model comes with a high-performance Y-arm design. Best of all, they’re both backed by a lifetime warranty!

Choose up to three products.