Uball is a take-anywhere, ultra compact, basketball hoop set
People have been casually playing football, soccer and ultimate frisbee on the beach and at picnics for decades, but basketball? Not so much. Now that's about to get a lot easier with Uball, a portable, easy-to-set-up hoop and backboard that even has its own unique game rules.
Like so many great, deceptively simple inventions, Uball was born out of a combination of passion and frustration. Tim and Molly Shields were basketball-mad kids, but on vacations, they always had to head away from the beach to find a court for the traditional game of two-on-two with their other two siblings.
Fast-forward to June 2018 in Mechanicsville, Virginia, when the pair decided that there simply had to be a way to bring the fun of the beach and basketball together. This prompted a trip to the hardware store for parts to build a rough prototype, which they subsequently took to the beach. Despite not even having a backboard, beachgoers were queuing up to play. It was then that Tim and Molly knew they were onto something special, and a new business was born.
Uball isn't just a way to finally bring the court to the people, it's a new way of playing basketball too. The rules of Uball are very simple and cleverly adapted to the nature of the playing surface. First of all, there's no dribbling (this is sand and grass remember), there's no out-of-bounds (which means you can take shots from behind the basket) and finally, more than two steps is traveling, but, you can pivot on one foot. Each basket counts as one point and whoever gets to 11 points first wins. Easy.
But back to the ingenious setup. The entire kit – that's backboard, rim, pole, pole pad and ground-screw – weighs just 30 pounds and it's a cinch to transport. The steel-framed backboard has adjustable backpack straps and a net to stow the rim and the balls, while the pole (also steel) and pole pad can be slung over your shoulder with the supplied strap.
Setting up the hoop – and taking it down – is also a breeze. First the ground-screw is twisted around 12-15 inches into the turf or sand (it has a removable handle to help), then the rim is attached to both the backboard and the top pole with two sturdy knobs. This is then slotted into the lower pole (to the desired height) and finally the whole thing is secured to the ground-screw.
Now, dimensions for the Uball hoop kit and balls are a little different to what you may be used to, but there's a very cool, very fun reason for this. The Uball net height maxes out at 8.5 ft (adjustable down to 5.5 ft), while the Uball basketball has a circumference of 25.5 inches (4 inches smaller than a standard basketball), or roughly the size of a volleyball. Yes, this means that the average person can finally palm the ball. So, what do you get when you combine an easy-to-palm ball with a lower net? Dunks. Lots and lots of mad, super fun dunks.
It's about time people got the chance to play basketball wherever they want. After all, it's one of the world's most popular sports, so it deserves to get a little more mobile. This freedom is at the heart Uball, summed up neatly in the brand's tagline – "Ball anywhere".
Learn more about the Uball here.