Can you play basketball on grass | Pro’s & Con’s with Alternatives

Basketball is a game loved by most of the kids who want to jump, run, dribble, be with friends, aim towards a goal, and be happy. The majority of school and college campuses have basketball or multi-sports ground/court. But the problem is during the present pandemic time, the school, college, and other outdoor sports institutions have kept their grounds closed or partially open and parents are also not letting their kids go outside and play. But, that can’t stop an individual from playing basketball, especially, if there is an existence of a patch of land, lawn, backyard, or garden attached to the home. Many prefer playing basketball on grass.

Can you play basketball on grass?

Often, people think that placing simple tiles over the natural grass existing on the lawn will suffice. Again, many of you tend to skip the foundation completely and draw lines over the grass with paint while placing poles for basketball hoops in the grass. 

But, experts say that though you can play basketball on a field full of natural grass yet it is not a very practicable and workable idea. It is because grass or dirt may not be sufficiently dense for basketball dribbling. Dribbling is very essential for this game. The player won’t get the perfect bounce that concrete or wooden court can give. Hence, playing on raw grass or making a basketball court on grass may not be a great idea. 

Effectiveness of playing basketball on grass

If you are a basketball player and need to practice it daily, you can use your home’s backyard for the purpose. It will help you to become an expert. We will tell you how.

  • Grass can absorb energy. Hence, the player, that is, you have to pound the ball really well so that it can bounce high for effective dribbling. You can develop your dribbling technique and create a tough situation for your opponents.  
  • The strength and endurance of your muscles will be improved.
  • A surface with grass is not even. So, the basketball will bounce in unpredictable directions. It will let you acquire skills and knowledge of getting adapted to unpredictable bounces. Hence, you can produce better control while dribbling. 
  • A nice sunny morning or a mild afternoon on natural grass gives you mental calmness, peace and you will get a good reason to be outside amidst nature for a certain time.

Benefits you can get by playing basketball on grass?

There are many that you will love to know. It will inspire you to make your basketball court on grass for daily practicing and enjoying with family and friends. 

Natural Grass court is easy to maintain:

Natural grounds full of grass are self-repairing. You don’t need to call experts to fix the damaged area. Natural grass will grow on their own without much care and is cost-effective. You just have to do mowing, use fertilizer, and use grass seeds for keeping your lawn or garden naturally beautiful.

Cleaning natural grass lawn is very simple:

A grass lawn automatically recycles various things such as leaves, scattered food, and drinks, saliva, paper, etc. Maintaining a lawn full of grass is less taxing in comparison to artificial surfaces. 

Natural environment is best for health:

Grass gives you a cooler surface to play basketball compared to concrete, artificial turf, or asphalt. Grass absorbs carbon dioxide, produces oxygen, and improves air quality. Most importantly, grass has the natural ability to absorb rainfall and filter it. It helps in improving groundwater and lowers soil erosion.

You can have an excellent mood:

Nothing can compare with the smell of freshly cut grass. You will be in a good mood if your lawn looks pleasant with green grass. Walking and playing on natural soft grass makes you feel well. 

Best experience as a basketball player:

You will get excellent traction while playing on natural grass. You will less likely to suffer from injuries as the soft cushiony grass and soil will give the needed protection if you fall suddenly. The impact laid on your knee during basketball playing will be lessened due to the layers of resilient grass.

Related Read: How do basketball players grow so tall | Can basketball make you taller?

With every pros, there always come certain cons. 

Disadvantages of Natural grass lawn or backyard:

  • The natural grass lawn needs timely maintenance. You have to know about mowing, watering, fertilizing, etc. Otherwise, you have to call an expert who has knowledge of maintaining a beautiful land filled with grass. The second option is costly. Also, getting a damaged lawn back in shape needs more time than an artificial lawn.
  • You have to use pesticides to keep the grass in good condition away from flies and insects which is not eco-friendly.
  • Kids and pets can leave a muddy and discolored basketball court due to the presence of natural soil, water, and dirt. It will take much effort to get back the backyard as it was before overuse.

To avoid the disadvantages of natural grass lawn or backyard, you can use artificial grass and make your basketball court good-looking, durable, and slip-resistant. 

Playing basketball on artificial grass:

It is a trend to use artificial grass to make a sports field as it is known to be environmentally friendly due to low carbon emission. In fact, a basketball court made with artificial grass has shock absorption capability. The non-slip design with zero cracks craves attention. Moreover, the installation process is extremely easy and the maintenance requirement is typically low. To answer the question regarding how to play basketball on grass or backyard, you can truly rely on superior quality artificial grass for high field performance. 

In fact, there is no need to change or bring alteration to the rules of playing basketball. Rather, a basketball court on grass that is artificial gives you the chance to enjoy the feel of cushiony grass mingling with the similar convenience of a concrete basketball court minus the demerits of an organic lawn containing soil, dirt, and original grass. 

Strengths of artificial turf for playing basketball:

Environmentally more friendly:

Turf requires water to remain at its best condition, but the amount of water is considerably less in comparison to a natural grass lawn. As per Act Global, people can save approximately 2,200 gallons of water every year for each square meter of natural grass replaced with turf. 

Not only this, turf doesn’t need any fertilizer or pesticide for being in the best condition. After all, these harmful chemicals lead to water pollution that is an alarmingly growing concern of today. Also, artificial basketball courts have no fear of producing poisonous emissions led by industry-grade mowers and other equipment. 

You will undoubtedly get the best return on investment:

Synthetic turf is much more affordable than natural grass court and it gives a higher return on investment. Act Global says that synthetic turf involves three times less cost of maintenance as well as installation per event than a natural grass field over a period of 20 years. 

Artificial grass is versatile and long lasting:

Natural grass gets deteriorated due to its organic nature if used more than 20 to 24 hours every week. Whereas, you can use turf for approximately 3,000 hours per year that makes it more than three times versatile than natural organic grass. Also, if you live in an urban area, artificial grass is best for your basketball court. 

Additionally, turf works great in zones where drought is common. Your basketball court on grass that is not real will tolerate any extreme weather like heat or cold with ease, whereas natural grass dies in very cold or hot climates. 

Artificial grass is safe and good for performance:

There is no problem in the performance of basketball on synthetic turf if the quality of the turf is good. 

Advice: Never use low quality artificial turf for creating your own basketball court. Stay away from the risk of injuries by slipping and falling, and frequent maintenance which low-quality turf can demand. 

Can you use alternatives for creating a solid basketball court in your backyard?

The answer is ‘Yes’. 


When it comes to professional basketball courts, concrete is regarded as the first choice. It is extremely long-lasting and delivers the best performance. A typical concrete pad concerning your backyard basketball court usually contains a 4″ pad and steel-reinforced rebar along with saw cut expansion joints. You must be sure that the concrete used is level and contains a minimum slope.


 Another alternative is asphalt. It is less expensive than concrete. Installation is very easy. It works well in those places where there is no chance of large tree roots growing under the basketball court. Again, you have to be sure that the asphalt used to build the court is level and has a minimum slope.

Compacted stone:

Apart from building your personal basketball court on grass, you can use compacted stone. It is the most affordable option of all. But, it needs periodic maintenance like backfilling and re-compacting. A compacted stone basketball court is very beneficial if your lawn or backyard has impervious cover restriction and limited access. It also creates zero problems if you need to remove the court at some point in time. Use timbers for preventing erosion. Also, place a superior quality landscape fabric or geotextile over the finished base for restricting weed growing. Furthermore, it stops dust from coming up.

There are certain risks or cons that are associated with concrete or asphalt court:

Jumper’s knee:

If you continue playing basketball on a concrete or asphalt court, the risk of injuries is there. Certain conditions like ‘jumper’s knee’, also called ‘patellar tendinitis’ can occur. Playing on hard concrete or asphalt lays repetitive stress on quadriceps or patella. So, you will suffer from excessive pain at your knee’s frontal part and inflammation or degeneration of the patella tendon.


If you play basketball on solid concrete or asphalt, you will experience extreme traction. It will increase the likelihood of knee sprains, turf toe, ankle sprain, etc. So, you may have to discontinue playing basketball and can suffer from walking difficulty.

Guiding you on building your personalized basketball court on grass:

At the very beginning, you have to decide if you want a full-sized court or a half-sized court. It will totally depend on the size of your backyard. In case you want a court as per NBA or NCAA regulation, then that size must be 94ft x 50ft. The court in high school measures 85 ft.  The backyard of your home should have ample space to fit either of these sizes. 

If the question concerns how to play basketball on grass or backyard, the main thing to consider is building a basketball court on the grass. So, you have to purchase certain materials like flooring things, hoops, and court stencil kits like spray paint and masking tape which are needed for creating the lines on the court.

You can purchase specialized tiles that come with painted lines and edges. It will save you from the hurdle of painting lines on the court. These tiles are considered comfortable for the knees. Also, your basketball court will appear more professional. 


Playing basketball on grass is extremely advantageous for a healthy lifestyle. Installing a basketball court on the grass in the backyard will help the entire family spend quality time together actively. If you choose an artificial grass court, opt for the best quality with a patented interlocking system. Check if the court is being constructed using ¾” shock-absorbing tiles. It will lower muscle fatigue and you can practice for a longer time. 

Customize your basketball court. Grass courts are at least 50% cooler than concrete and asphalt courts. With efficient practicing, you can improve your capability as a player. Grass courts need less maintenance and look natural complimenting your house.