Sure, you can shoot a basketball around by yourself but it’s a lot more fun playing with others. Going to a local indoor court is a great way to meet other players and find consistent pickup games to join. You may even find a local league that you can join.
Simply typing in “how to find indoor basketball courts near me” into a search engine will turn up a list of results of local gyms, schools, and recreation centers. However, picking a random location from a collective list of places geographically close to you isn’t the best way to find the best indoor basketball (detailed ball reviews via SPORTTEN.COM) courts in your area. You need to do some research and see what a good indoor court needs to have and choose one that fits that mold.
An indoor basketball court should have certain features that make it usable on a basic level. Good indoor courts will have those basic features but will also have additional ones that make it better than others.
A Proper Playing Surface
A standard size court that meets NBA regulation is 94 feet by 50 feet. Any indoor basketball court should close to those dimensions and be made of a flat, even surface that is free of damage. While most indoor courts in schools and gyms are made of hardwood they can be made of different materials depending on what the given facility chose.
Hardwood courts are smooth and offer a consistent bounce as well as an even playing surface without deep seams or grooves. NBA courts and ones made to those standards are usually made of hard maple due to the density of this particular wood as well as its low risk of splintering. They’re durable and need little upkeep over time. Maple-oak blends are also a popular choice for indoor courts. However, hardwood courts tend to be more expensive so local sports complexes or gyms might shy away from this pricey option.
When looking to save money, some facilities opt for plastic flooring known as multi-purpose flooring. These start with a smoothed out slab of concrete that is then topped with modular polypropylene tiles that snap together easily. This floor has great traction, a consistent bounce, and is easier on the body than hardwood since you’re less likely to get burns and abrasions if and when you fall. They’re also durable enough to withstand constant use. Some courts will have a rubber layer between the concrete and the tiles for better shock absorption as well as sound dampening. More so, these courts are sometimes finished with a layer of polyurethane to make it more durable as well as moisture resistant.
Some basketball players have a preference for what kind of indoor court they use citing things like bounce consistency and traction. If you have a preference, look for an indoor basketball court that has the flooring you’d rather play on.
Finally, a good indoor basketball court has to perform well during a game. It should provide good traction so players aren’t slipping while running up and down the court. It should also be uniform enough so a basketball bounces properly every time it hits the surface. Uneven courts can cause a ball to bounce on an angle or not bounce hard enough. This can affect the pace and course of a game by resulting in bad passes and sloppy ball handling. When things like this happen in a game, it’s frustrating for players since there is nothing they can do to prevent these issues; it’s a problem with the court, not their skill or their individual performance. Make sure that the indoor court you play on is up to standards so you can play a decent game.
Basketball may not be as physically tough a sport like football or hockey but there should still be certain features to help ensure the safety of players on the court. Check to see if the facility has first-aid on hand in some form. Proper maintenance is also a safety concern. Any damage like broken or warped flooring, shattered backboards, and similar issues can pose safety risks for people. Steer clear of indoor courts that aren’t maintained to a proper level.
General Facility Features
Since an indoor basketball court is housed in a larger facility like a recreation center, a school, or a gym you should make sure that the facility meets your standards, too. You first want to make sure that the place is well maintained. This can be a reflection of how well the court is maintained without you even having to see the court. For example, if you see that the floors in the hallway have deteriorated without being repaired, it’s more than likely that the court’s flooring is treated with a similar lack of care.
The cleanliness of the complex should also be taken into account. Dirt, dust, and grime on the court can cause slips and falls as they can affect your traction. In general, no one wants to play basketball in a place where they will be breathing in dust or is, worse, infested with pests like roaches or mice. Sadly, this can be the case in low-income areas where the money for the upkeep of public facilities like recreation centers is lacking.
When choosing an indoor court, you may also want to look for one that has air conditioning or some kind of ventilation system. This is pretty standard in gyms that require private memberships but isn’t always a given in public complexes or schools. In those cases, large electrical fans may be used to cool off the court. If you’re concerned with overheating while playing, you should look into what kind of ventilation is used for the indoor basketball court you are looking to go to.
Finally, consider the security of the facility. You may prefer a place that has a locker room complete with lockable stalls to store your things while you play. This may seem commonplace but there are some complexes that won’t have anything like this. There, you’ll simply leave your gym bag or other personal belongings outside the perimeter of the court where everyone has access to it. Similarly, if you’re not playing in a place where you need a membership to enter, you may prefer that the place have a security guard on duty for safety and protection. No matter your preferences, check to see what a given place has in terms of security before deciding to play there.
By taking all of these considerations into account, you can go back and type “how to find indoor basketball courts near me” into a search engine and start filtering through your local options. Once you find something that suits you, head down there and see how it is in person. If it meets your standards, consider setting up regular games or joining a league if there is one available.