The Field of Battle: Picking your Teams

Posted on February 5, 2014
By: hoopconnect

GET MORE WINS:  The Field of Battle

Now to talk about a topic that is on everyone’s mind that plays pick up basketball; what type of court are we playing on?

I know it is the first question on my mind and I’m sure on everyone else’s.  With this new app coming out, in just a few short months we will be playing more pick up ball than ever before and it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages to the floors you will be playing on.  Sun Tzu said it best; “There are certain constant factors in any engagement that will affect it to some extent…[one of] these factors [is] the…geographical surroundings and nature of the ground.”

With the words of Sun Tzu ringing in your ears, read on to better pick teams for these varying terrains and get more wins.


Types of Floors:


Hard Wood:

The most popular choice for an indoor court.  Commonly made from hard maple whose tightly packed grains make it difficult for dirt to hide.  Once a hardwood court is built it requires little maintenance but how does it affect your play?  Well hardwood floors are better at absorbing impact and help reduce injury.  They also have surface friction range of between .5 and .7 Newtons, this allows for quick cuts while at the same time allowing players to slide across it without losing skin.  Hardwood also allows for more “spring” and so players will be able to jump higher.


What type of team should I pick?: This court gives advantage to the defense, as they are better able to gain their footing and recover when the offense cuts or drives.  When picking teams focus on picking shooters as they will be more effective at spreading the floor and scoring, especially since must baskets on a hardwood floor will be in pristine condition.



The floor where many of us began our careers in local parks.  It is the most common court due to its ability to withstand weather conditions.  That’s about where the benefits of asphalt courts end.  The court will be covered in cracks and other surface damage.  How will it affect your play?  It will be incredibly dirty… people will have all kinds of trouble gaining significant traction.  Also, if anyone falls they will get all kinds of cuts and will most likely be bleeding so try to avoid tripping people.


But who should I pick?:  This court gives advantage to those guys who might not be as good of shooters (cause lets face it, those hops on asphalt courts always suck) but can still dribble and drive.  When picking teams choose bigger bodies that will get your team a higher percentage of closer shots.



Lesser-seen are the multipurpose courts, which are made of plastic and rubber and are easily constructed.  They provide even better results in terms of safety due to their high level of impact absorption.  However, these courts are notorious for giving the ball too much bounce and causing problems for even the best ball handlers.


Why should I pick them?:  This court also gives advantage to the defense because ball handling becomes more challenging.  When picking a team lean more towards the “football basketball player” who wasn’t a very good ball handler to begin with.  The increased safety features will lessen then chance of injury for these guys and they will get the ball to the basket.


With this new information you are better able to pick teams and win the day.  Happy Balling.

–Lee Jorgensen

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