When Were Basketball Backboards First Used?
The first basket ball backboards were installed in 1894, to keep spectators away from the goals. They were originally made out of chicken wire, as were the baskets. With the addition of backboards, the game changed to include rebounding.
When basketball was invented, wooden peach baskets were often nailed onto the edge of a gymnasium balcony as goals. Spectators, who wished to see their team win, often leaned over the railing and interfered with the ball.
To prevent such interference, a large wooden backboard was put behind each basket. Later, the backboards were moved inside the court to allow for a shot at the basket from anywhere inside the playing area.
The dimensions of earlier backboards have been lost in time.
Now all levels of basketball — including high school, NCAA, WNBA and the NBA — have the same regulations: 6 feet wide and 3 1/2 feet tall. Backboards must be flat and transparent. Each backboard contains a 24-inch-wide by 18-inch-tall rectangle painted on the surface above the basket. The upper edge of the rectangle’s bottom line is even with the rim.