A Place to Play Regardless of Weather
Indoor basketball courts are usually preferable to outdoor courts because they can be used all year around without worrying about being exposed to unfavorable weather. Indoor courts provide protection against the weather, but it may be hard to schedule a time for play and it can cost money to secure court time. Outdoor courts are generally free but are often not as well equipped as indoor courts.
Most indoor courts are very well equipped and provide a comfortable environment for playing basketball. This is usually how the cost for admission is justified. Having shelter from the weather means that higher quality equipment can be purchased without worrying about it being weather resistant material. This allows the use of equipment that is not only practical, but aesthetically pleasing as well. Indoor basketball courts offer a safer, more refined basketball playing experience.
Equipping an Indoor Basketball Court
There are a multitude of choices available for properly equipping an indoor basketball court. The bare minimum essentials for building a court are the playing surface and the basketball goal system. Indoor courts have many variations available for these two core components of the court.
The backboard for indoor basketball courts is traditionally tempered glass due to its luster and ability to provide similar characteristics (i.e. feel, rebound quality) in courts all over the world. Cast acrylic backboards can sometimes be used because they look similar to glass backboards and are cheaper, but they don't provide the same feel as glass. Facilities that feature a main court and also provide side courts frequently use metal backboards for these side courts since they are significantly cheaper.
The mounting unit for the backboard, rim and net can vary. Usually the basketball goal is mounted to an apparatus that is attached to the ceiling. A wire and pulley system allows the basketball goal to be pulled upwards towards the ceiling when it is not in use. Other instances involve a basketball post that is attached to the floor. These units are often portable and can be moved elsewhere when the space is being used for something else.
The flooring used for indoor basketball courts is traditionally hardwood flooring. A basketball court is commonly referred to just by the name "hardwood” for this reason. Finished hardwood has many benefits including:
Less chance of injury
Less strain on leg joints due to mild flex in the wood
There are less expensive rubberized flooring and tile options that can sometimes be used in place of hardwood but they provide a different feel that can be disliked by some.
Other Elements for Indoor Courts
There are a few other elements that many people consider necessary for a proper indoor basketball court. Whatever type of surface is used, that surface must be properly lined. The lines are necessary for defining the boundaries of the court. There are special paints that can be used for lining the court that offer enhanced durability properties.
Many people believe that indoor courts require a scoreboard. Not all indoor courts will have a scoreboard because they are very expensive and can be viewed as a luxury.