7 Easy Steps to Remove a Basketball Pole

Do you need to remove a basketball pole? Maybe it's in the wrong spot, or you want to take your hoop to a new house. Removing an in-ground basketball hoop might seem like an impossible task. 

However, all you'll need is a willingness to put your back into it and a couple of good friends to help you out.

Don't be deceived. It is a very labor-intensive job. But, with some basic knowledge and the right tools, you can get the job done. You have the option of renting a bulldozer (if you don't own one) to make the task a bit easier, but it's not strictly necessary.

Additionally, if you'd rather kick your feet up and watch the game instead, you can always hire a professional to come out and remove the basketball pole for you. 

What You'll Need to Get Started

Before you get ahead of yourself, let's take a look at the tools you'll need to make the job easier. Here are the bare basics to remove an in-ground basketball pole:

  • Shovel
  • Safety goggles
  • Some friends (the more, the better, you'll need help with the digging)
  • Sledgehammer (only if you need to break concrete off the pole)

In addition, if you live somewhere with in-ground utilities, you should have a local utility company's number on hand. It's a good idea to double-check with them on where the buried service lines are so you don't accidentally hit anything while you're digging. 

If you've opted not to rent a bulldozer or backhoe for the job, be prepared for some hard work. The more people you can get to come over and help you out, the less likely you'll be to curse at the concrete. 

How to Remove a Basketball Pole: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Pole

The first step is to remove the backboard and rim to lighten the pole and prevent possible damage. Lightening the pol will make it easier to take it down once you've successfully loosened it from the ground.

Step 2: Check For Buried Utilities

Check for phone, gas, electric, internet, or other cables that run underground. Additionally, you can call your local utility company to check if there are any buried services in your area so you can ensure that you don't hit any of them when digging. 

Some cities offer a free service to map out and mark any buried utilities, which you should take advantage of to avoid problems.

Step 3: Ensure the Surrounding Area is Clear

It is essential to clear the area before you begin digging. There is a chance the pole will fall before you're ready for it. For that reason, make sure there are no people or vehicles nearby that could be damaged. 

Step 4: Start Digging

You're finally ready to start digging! You should begin digging on either side of the pole and continue until you hit the concrete at the bottom of the pole. Generally, the bottom of the pole lies roughly two or three feet below the surface.

Step 5: Rock the Pole

After you reach the bottom of the pole, you can put your shovel aside. The easiest way to remove the basketball pole is to rock it side to side using the space you created by digging.

You and a friend should stand on opposing sides and use a substantial amount of force to push and pull the pole loose. 

Step 6: Remove the Basketball Pole

Once you've managed to loosen the pole enough by rocking it side to side, you'll be able to remove the pole from the ground.

As it can be heavy, we recommend you walk the pole to the ground rather than letting it drop as it could cause injury.

Optional - Step 7: Break Off Old Concrete

Breaking off the old concrete is entirely optional. If you're getting rid of the pole, you might not need to. If you want to relocate the pole, break off the concrete with a sledgehammer.

Make sure to put on your safety goggles when hammering the concrete to prevent debris from flying into your eyes.

remove basketball pole

What if You Don't Want to Dig?

Although digging your pole out might be a bit of a backbreaker, it's the cheapest option. If you or a friend happens to own a truck, you can try to use a tow rope to pull the pole down.

While this is undoubtedly more budget-friendly than hiring a professional, we recommend you proceed with caution. You don't want to end up shelling out for truck repairs because the pole landed on your truck and damaged it.

Alternatively, you can meet somewhere in the middle between a complete DIY job and hiring a professional. Hiring a bulldozer for the day can help you get the job done in a couple of minutes without the labor of digging and rocking the pole.

Additionally, if you're handy with a saw and don't plan on taking the pole with you, you can cut it down. To do this, you'll need a reciprocating saw and a metal cutting blade. Cutting the pole down is the fastest method. However, it requires a little bit of know-how when it comes to cutting metal. 

Ultimately, if you really don't want to get your hands dirty, then you should hire a professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What do you do with a rusted basketball pole?

If your pole shows signs of rust, but you don't want to replace it, you can paint it. Grab two coats of rust preventative and high gloss enamel paint. Clean the area with a damp cloth, allow it to dry, and then apply your paint.

Keep in mind that once rust starts to show, it may damage the integrity of your pole. The better option is probably to dig it out and replace it with a new one. 

2. Can you change a portable basketball hoop to an in-ground hoop?

Absolutely! You can fix and cement a portable basketball hoop firmly to the ground. However, note that this job will take you about seven to eight hours to get done. You should remove the rim and backboard from the pole as a tip, as this will make it lighter and easier to move.

3. Can you fix a basketball hoop on the sidewalk?

This depends on the local bylaws in your area. However, you are free to install it on the sidewalks as long as it isn't in the way in most places.

Conclusion: Removing a Basketball Pole

Whenever you need to remove a basketball pole, it's best to plan it for a day you've got friends free. The laborious task is difficult for one person to do alone. With some help and the right tools, you can get it done without calling in professionals. 

Moreover, if you aren't up to the task of digging it out yourself, there are other options. You can rent a bulldozer or use a reciprocating saw to cut it down.

Finally, you can hire a professional to come in and remove the basketball pole for you. Whatever method you choose, make sure you are not cutting or touching any utilities in the process.

You might also like: How to Move a Basketball Hoop

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast