Monday, October 9, 2017

Designing an Indoor Basketball Court

Designing an indoor basketball court can be a daunting challenge for any facility, regardless if it an existing facility or newly built. Your goal is to determine the most functional layout for your particular space, while at the same time providing equipment that fits needs of your participants, personnel, and your overall budget.  Luckily there are many options available in the marketplace to customize your equipment so that it is a perfect fit for you facility. 

Participant Play Level

Evaluating the play level of your facility’s participants is the first step when deciding on a court layout and equipment. Is your facility going to be hosting competitive basketball games at the high school or collegiate level? Check our high school and NCAA basketball court diagrams to see exact dimensions needed for regulation play. Recreational facilities and schools with younger players (elementary or junior high) aren’t required to use a regulation court size, but many opt to anyway. The level of play may also determine how many courts you have (space permitting), and also what type of equipment you will need, such as backboard height adjusters that lower the boards to heights under 10’ for younger players.

Configuring Your Space

Now that you have assessed your facility’s play level, you are ready to configure your space.  Do you have the room for just one court, or do your space and budget allow for multiple courts? Are there bleachers or other sports equipment in the way of where the courts will be located? It is important to configure your courts wisely in order to maximize space and minimize interference between basketball games and practices and other activities in your gym. Many facilities choose the popular 6-unit configuration, which involves two main court basketball units at the ends of the main court, and then 4 side-court units running perpendicular to the main court. Typically the main court units will require regulation glass backboards and competition breakaway rims, while the side court units are sufficient with a less expensive option, such as steel or aluminum backboards. Some facilities choose to place a divider curtain in between the side court units to provide more separation during practices or drills. Larger schools and universities may require as many as 12 courts (or more), but they generally do not have the same space and budget constraints as smaller facilities do.

Building Limitations

If you have an older existing facility, or a building that was not originally configured for basketball or other sports activities, you will need to take that into account when designing your court. Some older buildings may have oddly placed heating and air conditioning ductwork that may obstruct the installation of ceiling-suspended basketball systems. In addition, older buildings may have roof structures and beam placements that are not ideal for hanging equipment from.  Regardless of your particular building type, safety should always be your top priority. Typically, basketball equipment manufacturers have a team of experienced engineers that are trained to find equipment solutions for practically any building. Sometimes wall-mounted basketball systems may be a more suitable option than ceiling-suspended systems, and they tend to be more budget friendly as well. Portable basketball systems, although generally more costly than other options, are another great choice for buildings with structural limitations, as they do not need to be hung from the ceiling and can be moved on and off the court as needed. No matter which you choose, always first have a certified General Contractor or structural Engineer evaluate your building so that he or she can make recommendations regarding design and safety.

Multi-Sport Accessibility

What other sports are currently being played in your facility? Are you planning on adding any in the near future? Will the equipment for those sports interfere with your basketball systems?  These are questions you will want to ask when deciding on court configuration and equipment. Today’s facilities are facing the challenges of fitting increasingly more sports activities into the same facility, as schools continue to gain programs and players. Even recreation centers are adding various sports activities to appeal to a wider customer base. Sports equipment manufacturers are paying attention to these challenges by offering numerous options for versatile equipment in order to maximize use and minimize set up time for facility personnel. Motorized ceiling-suspended and wall-mounted basketball systems can provide both recreational and competitive play options, and they can easily be moved up and out of the way of other court activities with the flip of a switch. These systems can be customized to fit your exact facility conditions.  Portable basketball systems provide even more versatility. Not only can they can be easily transported onto the court with minimal set up, and then rolled back into storage when not in use, but they can be moved as needed to different locations on the court. To appeal to both youth and adult players, backboard height adjusters allow the backboard to be lowered all the way down to 8’ so that all ages can play on the same systems. In addition, divider curtains are a great way to make your space more functional by separating basketball courts from one another, or separating your courts from other activities in the gym. For example, a radius divider curtain can separate your basketball court from a perimeter running track.

Ease of Operation

Advances in technology have affected every aspect of our daily lives, and sports facility operations are no different. When designing your basketball court, you will want to think about how equipment technology can increase employee efficiency, while at the same time staying within your allotted budget. There are countless products on the market that are designed to make it easier than ever to operate your sports equipment at the touch of a button. Most ceiling-suspended and wall-mounted basketball systems can be operated with an electric motor, so that moving them up and out of the way of other court activities can be done with a simple flip of a switch. Even backboard height adjusters can be electrically operated so that your court can quickly accommodate both youth and adult players. In addition, the majority of divider curtains can also be motorized, which can create separate court spaces in as little as a couple of minutes.  One of the most useful and efficient products to be introduced into the sports equipment market is a multi-equipment control system  that allows one touch operation of all the sports equipment in your facility, including basketball systems, divider curtains, scoreboards, and much more. These systems have several options, depending on your budget and facility requirements. The basic keypad system is a great low cost alternative and allows facilities to control multiple devices with just one keypad operation. More advanced touch screen systems are available with a color LCD display and can be customized for multiple equipment configurations, such as presets for operating on game or practice days.

About GARED

Incorporated in 1922, GARED has become an advocate for rebuilding communities and rejuvenating play by providing equipment solutions to renovate green spaces and facilities. GARED is known as the sporting goods industry’s leader in innovative product design and precision manufacturing, and our institutional and residential sports equipment can be found in a variety of play environments, including schools, parks, stadiums, churches, recreation centers, and correctional facilities. We are a proud supporting member of prominent organizations within the sports industry, and our products meet the safety guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPS). GARED sells its products through a network of authorized dealers across the United States and worldwide. For more information, visit us at www.garedsports.com.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Choosing a Volleyball System

Volleyball season is here!  With so many options available in the marketplace, it may seem impossible to find the perfect system that will fit your facility and team needs.  GARED makes it easy with this handy guide that will examine the four main factors in choosing a system: play environment, facility constraints, equipment material, and budget.

Play Environment
First, you need to determine what type of volleyball will be played on your system. Generally speaking, there are systems available for two types of play – competitive and recreational. Competitive volleyball play requires that the net be a certain height, depending on who is playing. Men’s net height should be 7’ 11-5/8”, women’s net height should be 7’ 4-1/8”, and youth net height should be 7’ (or lower, depending on age). Competitive volleyball also requires that the top of the post be at the same height as the net. These systems must have telescopic posts so that the posts can be raised or lowered with the net staying the same height as the posts. Competition systems also require that a referee stand  be used, so that the referee has a clear view of the court action. Recreational volleyball systems do not require that the post be at the same height as the net, thus allowing other sports to be played on them, such as badminton or tennis. Other types of recreational volleyball equipment include systems for outdoor/playground use, sand or beach volleyball, or portable systems in a bag.

Facility Constraints
Another factor in deciding on a volleyball system is facility constraints. If your facility was built many years ago or the court area was initially designed for other activities, then traditional in-ground systems may not work, and other options must be explored. In recent years, portable and ceiling-suspended volleyball systems have become popular alternatives to in-ground systems because they allow for little or no drilling into your flooring. However, alternative floor anchors may allow you to install traditional in-ground systems in your facility at a cheaper cost. If your current system has existing sleeves and you are looking to upgrade your equipment, you will need to know the sleeve diameter and existing pole size so that you can ensure you get the correct size when you make your purchase. If not, custom base adapters are available from many manufacturers to allow for easy retrofitting of your old system.

Equipment Material
There are several different materials that volleyball uprights can be constructed from. Aluminum post systems were the industry standard for many years, but recently carbon and steel systems have also become popular options. Aluminum systems are lighter and easier to transport than steel systems; however they are generally not as durable as steel and can be more expensive, depending on the market. On the other hand, steel posts systems provide more durability during heavy play environments, but they can be heavy and cumbersome when moving them on and off the court. Carbon systems are the lightest of all three, thus providing a better option for facilities that set up their courts more frequently. However, carbon systems are usually the most expensive alternative.

Budget
Budgetary concerns are always on the minds of schools and other facilities when purchasing sports equipment. Luckily, most manufacturers offer several different options so that many price points are covered. It’s important to examine your budget first before buying a volleyball system, and make sure to check to see if your facility also needs any secondary equipment, such as padding, nets, or storage equipment, as those items can quickly add up. If you are a recreational facility that offers several different sports at your location, then you may want to consider purchasing a recreational volleyball system that can also be used for other net sports such as badminton or tennis, in order to save on equipment costs. In addition, purchasing smaller sized posts and economical netting, and using existing floor sleeves are other ways to minimize equipment expenses. Generally it is a good idea to get quotes from several different companies to find the most competitive pricing before making your decision. Some manufacturers will even offer a discount if you purchase more items or spend above a certain dollar amount. Lastly, don’t forget to account for freight and installation (if applicable) in your budget.


Be sure to follow GARED on Facebook (@gared1922) to get more insiders tips about volleyball equipment and to check out our featured project showcase of amazing facilities all over the country. We will also be posting a Customer Service Question of the Week throughout September, where we will answer questions we hear often from customers regarding volleyball systems, mounting options, and accessories.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get in the Game with GARED!

Get in the Game with GARED!

Basketball season is almost here! Get your school or facility ready for the action with GARED! We can help you pick out just the right equipment for your organization, whether you are just replacing a few accessories or doing an overhaul of your entire court!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to give your systems a whole new look without spending a lot is to replace old, worn, or falling off backboard pads and goal nets. Gared offers several styles of board pads, including economical peel-and-stick, glue-on, and our most popular bolt-on Pro Mold®backboard padding, which is available in 16 vibrant colors. And we have several styles of indoor and outdoor nets to choose from, including our most popular GAW competition nylon net, our GGN recreational net, and a wide selection of web and chain nets as well.

You may also want to consider switching out your rims to improve goal performance and durability during heavy play this season. Always use breakaway goals if there will be any dunking or competition play on your systems, as fixed (stationary) rims put increased stress on your backboard, making it more likely to crack or break. Gared’s celebrated line of breakaway rims are the best in the industry! From our Scholastic 1000 Flex Goal to our most popular Collegiate 2000 Breakaway Goal to our elite 4000+ Multi-Directional Breakaway Goal, you are sure to find a rim that meets the needs and budget of your facility.

For a more dramatic overhaul of your court set up, now may be a perfect time to upgrade your basketball units! If you have steel or aluminum boards, consider upgrading to glass for a more professional look and better ball rebound. Gared carries a full line of glass backboards, including aluminum-framed and steel-framed boards, short 42” and tall 48” boards, and rectangular and fan-shaped glass boards. Give us a call to get our expert advice on your particular set up - our engineers can retrofit just about any existing system!

And finally, don’t forget the training equipment! Gared carries a full line of Toss Back® training aids that are designed to dramatically improve a player’s quickness, strength, stamina, and accuracy. We also have DVD’s available which highlight popular training drills and workouts. Gared also carries practice and rebound rings, which are designed to help improve shooting accuracy and rebound skills.


Call GARED today at 1-800-325-2682 or visit us at www.garedsports.com for more information on our entire line of basketball equipment and accessories.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Get Set for Volleyball Season!

Volleyball season is right around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about upgrading or replacing your facility’s volleyball equipment! From post pads, nets, and storage equipment, to complete inground or portable systems, GARED has all the premium indoor and outdoor equipment you need to take on your most demanding games!

If you are looking for a traditional, inground system for your facility, GARED’s complete line of Libero and Rallyline aluminum and steel post systems may be just the answer. We offer 3” and 4” lightweight aluminum and heavy-duty steel post systems, available with or without floor sleeves to fit your existing court set up. Whether you need a competitive system for your top program, or an economical multi-use unit that will accommodate all your indoor net sports, we have you covered!

Is your gymnasium always busy with different court activities throughout the day?   Are you looking for an electrically-operated volleyball system that can be set up and taken down with the flip of a switch? Look no further than GARED’s Skymaster® ceiling-suspended volleyball system! Our innovative design allows you raise and lower your entire system up and out of the way of other court activities in just minutes, saving you the time and effort of hauling away bulky upright posts into storage areas. Our Skymaster® system includes everything needed to play, including posts, net, padding, and referee stand.  It can also be custom-manufactured to meet your facility requirements, and is available in one-, two-, and three-court configurations.

Another portable option is our new GoCourt® portable volleyball system! These systems also eliminate the need for drilling and installing sleeves into your gym floor, and allow you to easily wheel your entire system in and out of the court area in minutes!  Everything you need to play is included with the system, including padded referee stand, padded portable bases with aluminum uprights, net, and antennas and sideline markers.

Also check out GARED’s full line of outdoor volleyball equipment! We carry heavy-duty steel systems, and also lightweight square aluminum systems that are perfect for beach tournaments and sand leagues. And don’t forget about our famous Mongoose® wireless system, which eliminates the need for guy wires that players can trip over. Our Mongoose® system is completely portable and includes a carrying bag, padded posts, net, ground plates, sand wedge adapters, and boundary marker – easy to set up and ready for play!

Don’t forget the accessories to complete your volleyball set up! GARED offers referee stands, post pads, nets, floor sleeves, cover plates, custom base adapters, net antennas and sideline markers, storage racks and carts, equipment transporters, and even net storage racks so all of your equipment can be stored neatly and out of the way of other sports equipment during the off season.

Questions about choosing a volleyball system that is right for your facility? Do you have a program budget that you need to meet? Call GARED at 1-800-325-2682 and speak with one of our trained Customer Service Specialists who will answer any questions you have! Or you can always visit us online at www.garedsports.com for product information, specifications, installation instructions, warranty information, and much more!



Monday, March 14, 2016

Are You Ready for March Madness?

March Madness is almost here! Is your school’s basketball court ready for all the action? Whether you just need to replace accessories, such as nets or pads, or if you need redo your entire court, or just need to stock up on training equipment to prep for the big game, call Gared or visit us at www.garedsports.com to pick out the perfect equipment for all of your upcoming tournament games!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to give your systems a whole new look without spending a lot is to replace old, worn, or falling off backboard pads and goal nets. Gared offers several styles of board pads, including economical peel-and-stick, glue-on, and our most popular bolt-on Pro Mold®backboard padding, which is available in 16 vibrant colors. And we have several styles of indoor and outdoor nets to choose from, including our most popular GAW competition nylon net, our GGN recreational net, and a wide selection of web and chain nets as well.

For a more dramatic overhaul of your basketball set up, now may be a perfect time to upgrade your basketball units before the championship games! If you have steel or aluminum boards, consider upgrading to glass for a more professional look and better ball rebound. Gared carries a full line of glass backboards, including aluminum-framed and steel-framed boards, short 42” and tall 48” boards, and rectangular and fan-shaped glass boards. Give us a call to get our expert advice on your particular set up - our engineers can retrofit just about any existing system!

You may also want to consider upgrading your rims to improve goal performance and durability during heavy play this season. Always use breakaway goals if there will be any dunking or competition play on your systems, as fixed (stationary) rims put increased stress on your backboard, making it more likely to crack or break. Gared’s celebrated line of breakaway rims are the best in the industry! From our Scholastic 1000 Flex Goal to our most popular Collegiate 2000 Breakaway Goal to our elite 4000+ Multi-Directional Breakaway Goal, you are sure to find a rim that meets the needs and budget of your facility.

And finally, don’t forget the training equipment! Gared carries a full line of Toss Back® training aids that are designed to dramatically improve a player’s quickness, strength, stamina, and accuracy. We also have DVD’s available which highlight popular training drills and workouts. Gared also carries practice and rebound rings, which are designed to help improve shooting accuracy and rebound skills.

To celebrate March Madness, Gared is offering a great special on popular basketball items, just in time for all of your big games! You get 2 Collegiate 2000 Breakaway Rims, 12 GAW Anti-Whip Nets, 1 Practice Ring, and 1 Rebound Ring for a special price of $500.00 (school/facility cost). Hurry and place your order now, because this offer is only good through April 1st. Use Promo Code PLAYOFF16 on your PO. Order 2 complete packages, we’ll ship it for FREE! (Invoice must be paid within terms in order to receive 100% freight allowance). Email your Purchase Order to orders@garedsports.com, and we usually ship in 24 hours!

Do you know a school that is in desperate need of new basketball equipment but doesn’t have the budget for it?  Surprise your favorite facility with FREE EQUIPMENT by entering Gared’s March Madness Bracket Challenge! Winning brackets will receive basketball equipment for the school of their choice!

Follow these easy steps to enter:
2. Click on “Sign Up”, which is located on the top bar.
3. Enter your information to create an account.
4. Go to the Gared bracket challenge and enter the password “slamdunk”. 
5. Fill out your bracket, and “like” GARED on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (click on the buttons on the top of our webpage at www.garedsports.com) to see the complete list of winners.

 GARED will be awarding the following gymnasium upgrades to the winning brackets:

1st Place:  2 Competition Glass Backboards, 3 Competition Breakaway Rims, 2 Pair Premium Board Pads
2nd Place:  Varsity Toss Back Basketball Training Aid
3rd Place:  12 Anti-Whip Basketball Nets & 12 Mark V Basketball Scorebooks

Brush off your dancing shoes & good luck!

Deadline to enter is March 16.
 Product must be shipped directly to local facility.
Product is not available for resale.
GARED is not responsible for installation of product.
GARED chooses freight provider and will cover standard shipping costs.



Game Day Munchies  – Bacon-Wrapped Lil’ Smokies

Enjoy this fun snack while you watch your favorite teams! These bacon-wrapped little smokies are a guaranteed hit at any party!

Ingredients:
1 package lil’ smokies
Brown sugar
1 lb bacon

1.       Preheat oven to 375°.
2.       Line 9 x 13 pan with foil.
3.       Cut bacon slices into thirds.
4.       Wrap one third piece of bacon around each smokie, secure with a toothpick and place in pan.
5.       After all the smokies are wrapped and placed in pan, generously heap brown sugar on top of the smokies and in between them.
6.       Bake for 30-45 minutes.
7.       Makes about 40-45 smokies.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Choosing the Right Residential Basketball System

Choosing the Right Residential Basketball System

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about a basketball system for your home! Gared offers many different styles of residential basketball systems so you can choose the perfect system that will fulfill the needs of your family, while also keeping external factors in mind, such as geography, weather, and possible vandalism.

Gared carries four different series of residential adjustable basketball systems: Varsity Jam, Collegiate Jam, Pro Jam, and All Pro Jam units. Each series has two board choices available – acrylic or glass - and our premium systems even have an extra option for a heavy-duty polycarbonate board. As you go from the Varsity Jam systems all the way up to the All Pro Jam systems, the post size, safe play area, and board size increases to make a stronger, more durable unit.

If you live in an urban area where vandalism is a concern, you may want to consider a unit with an acrylic or polycarbonate backboard instead of a glass board. In addition, putting a padlock on the adjustment actuator can prevent unauthorized use or theft.
For those on a tight budget, Gared’s Varsity Jam line is the perfect choice! We carry two different Varsity Jam systems, each with a 5” square post with 2-1/2’ foot safe play area from post to board. You can choose either a 34” x 54” or 36” x 60” glass backboard, and each comes with our heavy-duty Titan breakaway rim. Our Varsity Jam units provide quality systems that your whole family will love, at an affordable price!

Looking for a top-of-the-line premium basketball unit? Gared’s All Pro Jam systems have it all! From the 6” x 8” beefy steel post to the regulation size board and collegiate breakaway rim, our All Pro Jam units have the look and feel of
professional systems while easily standing up to the most rigorous games on your home basketball court!


No matter which system you choose, all of Gared’s residential basketball systems have an easy-to-operate height adjustment actuator, which allows the rim height to adjust from 7’ to regulation 10’. Our units are comprised of a black powdercoated steel post which provides superior strength and durability, and our bolt-to-ground post design allows for no-hassle installation and portability of unit if you move.  The heavy tubular lower arm provides a direct-goal attachment for backboard and rim, reducing the stress placed on the backboard when in use. In addition, all backboards feature a white target and border and square corners for a professional look, and have attachment braces which extend to the outer corners of the board, allowing for an unobstructed view during play. Gared’s units also feature our celebrated line of heavy-duty breakaway goals with nylon nets that will stand up to any level of competitive or recreational play setting. And don’t forget our optional accessories! Gared basketball systems can be outfitted with backboard padding, pole padding, and base pads to protect players from injury.


Contact Gared today at 1-800-325-2682 or email us at customerservice@garedsports.com for more information on our residential basketball systems, or to find a dealer in your area!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Winterizing Outdoor Sports Equipment

Winterizing Outdoor Sports Equipment

Proper maintenance of your outdoor sports equipment shouldn’t happen only in the spring and summer months! Ensuring that your facility’s outdoor equipment is prepared for winter’s extreme temperatures and excessive precipitation is sure to save your facility time, money and hassle! Check out these helpful tips from GARED to keep your sports equipment lasting longer and looking new for years to come!

Prior to the start of winter, it is important to inspect all of your sports equipment to assess its condition. Look for cracks or rusting in steel or aluminum equipment, splinters in wood products, chips or breaks in glass, and tears or rips in padding or other foam products. Then check all hardware for proper tightness and evidence of rust. Also, we suggest lubricating all moving parts such as pulleys, actuators, crank handles, and wheels with grease or oil to prevent rust caused by excessive moisture, snow, sleet, or ice. Promptly repair any problems or replace the equipment to prevent the damage from getting worse during the harsh weather elements of winter.

If your outdoor equipment is portable or installed in ground sleeves, one of the easiest ways to keep it from getting damaged during the winter months is to move it into an indoor storage area. If your equipment is installed in concrete or not easily transportable, consider covering it with a large tarp or heavy-duty plastic and secure with zip ties, straps, ropes, or bungee cords to protect it from cold temperatures and precipitation.

Temporarily removing padding and accessories from your outdoor sports systems is a simple way to keep it from getting ruined during the cold season. Some of the most common removable types of accessories include nylon or poly netting (found on basketball rims, soccer or lacrosse goals, tennis and volleyball systems, and outdoor batting cages), net clips and hooks, removable basketball rims, pole pads, backboard padding, crank handles, flags, cones, tetherballs and ropes, and volleyball boundary markers. These accessories are typically easy to remove and can be re-installed quickly when spring arrives. If your accessories do get damaged, rotted, or ripped during the winter months, call GARED for inexpensive replacement accessories, most of which can be shipped in 24 hours. We offer a comprehensive selection of outdoor accessories for just about any outdoor sport!

Perhaps most importantly, do your research and prepare as much as possible before purchasing your equipment. Be mindful of changing weather patterns and consider the location where the items will be installed. Will your equipment be susceptible to direct sunlight without shade, high winds, or even flooding? If so, it may be necessary to look at alternative locations. In addition, make sure to buy steel products that have been galvanized at the factory whenever possible. Steel that has been through the galvanization process has increased durability and protection to withstand cold temperatures and moisture. Also confirm that the manufacturer uses zinc-plated hardware on its outdoor products. GARED uses only hardware that is zinc-plated because it is stronger and more protected against rust and corrosion. Finally, consider adding a powdercoat finish to your outdoor system for even further protection again weather elements and extreme temperatures. GARED offers optional powdercoating in a wide variety of attractive colors to match your park, playground, or school colors.


For additional information on evaluating your outdoor sports equipment, visit GARED’s website at www.garedsports.com. Here you can download our PlayRx™ Equipment Evaluation Form, which is an easy checklist to assess your indoor and outdoor sports equipment in the winter and all year round!