Whether you’re a coach trying to improve your players’ jump shots or whether you want to work on your shot without having to rebound a loose ball, a basketball return system is a must-buy item.
Basketball return systems are devices that can be installed on, above, or under the basketball rim or net, that utilize a mechanism that returns the ball back to the shooter, whether he/she misses or makes it.
In many cases, a basketball return system doesn’t even have to be installed on the net/rim of the hoop – many of these systems are nets that funnel loose balls back towards the shooter!
Basketball return systems come in many styles, shapes, or forms.
Regardless of the type of form the return system comes in, however, its effectiveness can’t be doubted – the ability to shoot a continual stream of shots without having to have a rebounder present is an impressive way to improve your jump shot.
Whether you’re a player or a coach, you know that having a great jump shot is a lethal weapon to take advantage of in a basketball game.
Finding the optimal basketball return system may be tough, due to the myriad choices and types available for purchase.
We’ve got you covered, however, with a comprehensive buying guide that includes not only tips to make a great purchase but 8 basketball return systems that will surely leave a positive impression on whoever uses them.
Buyer’s Guide for 2021
As we briefly touched on in the above section, there is a broad range of choices when it comes to the various styles of basketball return systems.
It’s important to know about not only the different types of return systems but the traits of each type that truly cause one to stand out. It’s important to know all of this information before you make an informed purchase, because of this.
Below, we’ve listed a detailed compilation of various specs and features to look for when you’re trying to figure out what basketball return system to purchase.
In addition to generally describing the feature, we’ll also list relevant advantages or disadvantages of each feature, when applicable.
Style of Return System
There are a variety of styles of basketball return systems available for purchase. The different styles aren’t clearly defined, so we’ve broken them down into categories to the best of our abilities.
This style of return system uses an attachable or non-attachable net that funnels the basketball back towards the shooter. This system is excellent because it covers a wide scope of angles, and is often easy to set up.
With many return systems designed in this way, you won’t have to install anything. They’ll simply sit on the ground, below the net.
Return Chutes are mechanical or non-mechanical return systems that can be attached to the bottom of your basketball net, which delivers made shots straight back to the shooter.
While this system can be quite handy, you’ll still have to run after loose balls and missed shots.
This style of return system isn’t for working on jump shots. Rather, it’s for working on rebounding skills. The rebound cap fits on the top of your basketball rim and looks like the bottom of an egg carton.
The bulb-like bumps on the top of the device make any basketball that falls down on it bounce off it, in a variety of directions. It’s the perfect tool for improving rebounding and boxing out, but it’s not the best for shooting practice or drills.
This aspect of basketball return systems is relevant to the catch net style of return systems. The rebound coverage refers to the maximum angle at which a ball can successfully be captured by the net and funneled back to the shooter.
Generally speaking, the wider the net the better the coverage. Additionally, the closer the top of the catch net to the bottom of the basketball goal, the better of a chance the net has of catching stray balls and sending them back towards your direction.
Finally, a basketball return system with good rebound coverage will allow multiple teammates to practice their shots on one goal, without anyone having to hustle for loose balls or air balls.
Having good rebound coverage is a pertinent part of a well-equipped basketball return system.
While most return systems don’t ensure that every shot attempt will be returned perfectly back to you, a catch net that’s high and wide will get you most of the rebounds back.
Tools Required for Setup
This can really make or break a buyer’s experience. Let’s face it: not many coaches or basketball players want a return system that takes time to setup. Nobody wants a return system that takes certain tools to set in place.
Look for return systems that have a tool-free setup!
Ease of Storage/Disassembly
Having a basketball return system that’s easy to store is one thing. Having a basketball return system that’s easy to both disassemble and store is another thing. You want both out of the optimal basketball return system.
For coaches, unless you’re coaching at the college level or above, unpacking and packing your team’s equipment after every practice is inevitable.
You won’t want a basketball return system that’s so tough to put away that it’s not worth setting up, to begin with!
Alternatively, you might have a spare hoop in the gym you practice in, that you can dedicate to devices such as basketball return systems.
If this is the case, disassembly and storage practicality probably isn’t a concern of yours.
Durability is huge when it comes to both the longevity and sturdiness of a basketball return system.
For both catch nets and return chutes, the durability of the materials used to produce the return systems can largely impact how often you can shoot for, as well as how long you can practice with them.
This is a pivotal part of a return system’s durability. If the system has to attach to the rim or backboard, you’ll ideally want it to be secured in a way that doesn’t let it fall off easily, in any way.
The securements should be tight-fitting and made of sturdy metal or durable plastic compound.
The material that a basketball return system is composed of is quite important. For catch nets, you’ll want a netting composed of durable, element-proof nylon or polyethylene.
That’s not to say that you’ll be using your return system in the rain; rather, it’s relevant to the conditions inside the gym or facility you’re playing in, which can be humid.
As far as return chutes are concerned, you’ll want a material that’s either metal or durable plastic. Anything else might break, something you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
This is an important feature to look for in any basketball return system. Not all return systems are created equal, and some are more susceptible to breakage than others.
Even with the best basketball return systems, malfunctions could occur, or it could break while being shipped. Long story short, you never know what could happen.
When it comes to something, such as a basketball return system which absorbs contact from balls constantly, it’s better to have a warranty.
You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for warranty options. Many basketball return systems provide free, 90-day warranties while others might require the buyer to purchase a warranty if they want to protect their purchase.
All of the above items are important assets of basketball return systems, assets that should be considered before making your final purchase.
Not only are they signs of a great basketball return system, but they’ll help contribute to your ability to make a logical, safe, and satisfying buy! Now, we’re going to examine eight of the best basketball return systems, starting with the best one!
Best Basketball Return Systems Reviews
1. Tekk Trainer Rebounder Goal
The Tekk Trainer Rebounder Goal is a wonderful asset to any coach or player’s training arsenal.
It’s built to last, has a ton of rebound coverage, and is easy to set up. As far as coverage is concerned, envision this: the average width of a basketball hoop’s backboard is just under six feet.
With the Tekk Trainer basketball return system, you won’t have to worry about any of your shots flying off in the distance – its wide-angle will guarantee most of your shots return to your hands, in seconds.
Other advantages of this handy system include its build, its versatility, and its ease of assembly and storage. Its frame is constructed from steel, and its catch net is composed of hardy polyethylene weaving.
It can be easily stowed away. There are two disadvantages with the Tekk Trainer – the net could be a little bouncier, and the height could be taller.
When balls bounce down on it they might roll, as opposed to popping up in the air. Since the height of the net can’t be adjusted as high as other catch nets, the ball might fly into the distance if you shoot a shot too low, or if you shoot an airball.
- Wide rebound angle
- Versatile for other sports
- Durable net
- Net isn’t as bouncy as other nets
- It doesn’t have the height of other catch nets
2. iC3 Basketball Shot Trainer
While most basketball return systems utilize either a catch net or a return chute, the iC3 Shot Trainer takes elements from each type of system and fuses them together in a sublime fashion.
This unique return system has a net that extends from the base of the net to beyond the top of a net, in a cylindrical manner. Below the catch net and the basketball net is a return chute, which can be adjusted to the direction of your choosing.
The first advantage of this basketball return system is clear: You’re guaranteed a total return of any shot you take, whether you make it whether you miss it.
In addition to this advantage, the iC3 trainer enables shooters to make fast, repetitive shots due to the return chute, which can be adjusted to the angle that you desire.
There are a couple of disadvantages you’ll want to take note of. First, the assembly is easy, but taking the device down can be cumbersome. The apparatus is also difficult to store away.
- Guaranteed ball return, even if you miss a shot at an odd angle
- Return chute can be modified for different angles of shots
- Perfect for shooters to develop rhythmic shots with arch
- Hard to disassemble for storage
- Hard to take apart once it’s on top of the rim
3. Rukket Basketball Return Net Guard and Backstop
Rukket is a moderately priced but very effective return system that is focussed on defense. That is, it defends against your ball going into the landscaping, neighbor’s yard or the road!
The Achilles heel of products such as the Rukket is that when your ball does connect with the hoop or backboard, it’ll be off in some direction that the Rukket won’t be!
This style of return guard is best for stray passes or shots that head towards the hoop but miss the backboard and hoop altogether. If that’s a real possibility, then have I got the product for you!
This Rukket can be set up in minutes (so says Rukket) and it can accommodate just about any hoop height from 7.5 feet to the regulation 10 feet.
It features a 7-ply knotless netting and the poles themselves are fiberglass for longevity and no rust.
You can fold it up and take it with you in the carry bag, so portability is a consideration for Rukket’s engineers, and they’re so confident about this product, Rukket offers a lifetime warranty!
- Great rebound coverage
- Easy Setup
- Good warranty
- Stands aren’t durable
- Doesn’t withstand the force of long-range shots
- Not well-grounded
4. SKLZ Solo Assist Basketball Rebounder
The SKLZ Solo Assist Basketball Rebounder is more of a passing tool than a rebounding tool. That being said, it can function as a basketball return system, especially if you have a shot that’s well-developed.
A huge advantage of this basketball rebounder/passer is that it’s compact and convenient for assisted rebound drills. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t take up that much space, wherever you decide to set it up.
Weighing in at fifteen pounds, you can easily take it wherever you travel. It comes up short with respect to its rebound coverage, which is quite small compared to other basketball return systems.
The net itself can be a tricky part of the setup which is, for the most part, a breeze. Long story short, the SKLZ Solo Assist Basketball Rebounder is a small, easily-set-up, return system that does okay, compared to other return systems.
- You’ll have the ability to practice passing in addition to basketballs being returned to you
- Relatively easy setup
- Compact, lightweight, and easy to store
- Poor rebound area
- Net can be a hassle to properly install
5. SKLZ Kick-Out 360 Degree Ball Return System
If you’re looking for a simple return system that’s easy to install and get going, the SKLZ Kick-Out Ball Return System is the system for you! It delivers shots you make right back to you, at the angle you choose to have it positioned in.
Other advantages include its ability to rotate in the desired direction you want the ball to be sent to you, and the overall durability of its plastic material.
Some negative features to note are in relation to the device’s rotation, which isn’t grounded – the return chute will simply spin in whatever direction the ball’s momentum takes it in!
It only returns shots that are made, which is a disadvantage if you’re trying to improve your jump shot from an area you’re not comfortable shooting from.
- Easy to setup
- Composed of durable plastic
- Not hard to take down
- Doesn’t return missed shots or stray balls
- Non-grounded rotation: spins where the ball’s momentum takes it
- Return of balls can sometimes be reduced to a slow dribble, rather than a kick out pass
6. Spalding Back Atcha Ball Return
The Back Atcha return system is a simple and effective way of returning your free throws, directly to you. It’s durable, cheap, easy to install, and perfect for nailing down the simple shots.
It simply attaches to the bottom of the hoop’s frame, while being positioned below the net. It directs the ball in the appropriate direction, due to the way it’s positioned.
While it’s a great tool for working on your free throws, you might be frustrated with the fact that you can’t really work on other shots. It doesn’t change direction, either.
- Easy to install
- Brings free throws right back to you
- Doesn’t return missed shots
- Doesn’t change directions
7. Goaliath Basketball Return System
The Goaliath Basketball Return System is an interesting take on a basketball return system.
Its setup is similar to other catch nets in that it extends to the bottom of the basketball goal, and has a width that’s slightly wider than the width of the average basketball backboard.
The difference is that it’s grounded in place by heavy-duty anchors. It also physically attaches to the bottom of your backboard, a creative way to utilize a catch net. As far as the effectiveness of the catch net itself, it could be better.
While the concept is innovative, to say the least, the materials that Goaliath uses to both attach the net to the bottom of the backboard and keep the net grounded are of poor quality.
You might have to do some DIY grounding and attaching if you want to use this return system for more than a couple of days.
The net also isn’t the best – a ball that comes down with a ton of momentum can cause it to move from where it’s initially grounded.
- Nice concept
- Easy to setup
- Prevents air balls from escaping behind the backboard
- Poor material quality
- Poor attachment to backboard and grounding
8. Goalrilla Basketball Yard Guard
Goalrilla offers an enviable system that defends against stray airballs and specifically, balls that either bounce off the rim or are otherwise thrown (as in a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 match) beyond the reach of a player and into the street!
You’ll gain safety and efficiency of time to your practice. Did we mention that it helps to preserve landscaping too? Once it’s installed, you can still adjust the height which can reach up 9 feet while the width is over 12 feet.
The Goalrilla folds up easily against the goal upright and you can hardly see the folded system. It has a pretty tough construction profile with steel poles and heavy nylon net. The 90-day warranty offers some peace of mind.
- Your shots will be returned to you, for the most part
- Air balls won’t go behind your basket
- Limited warranty
- Reports exist of items being damaged on arrival
- Insanely high price!!!
Final Conclusion & Takeaways
We’ve reached the end of the road, folks! All of the above basketball return systems are effective, while some may have flaws. So, what’s the takeaway from everything we just went over and all of the products we just reviewed?
We’d say that you’ll want a basketball return system that combines elements of return chutes and return nets, such as the iC3 Basketball Shot Trainer. Surface area is especially important, and you’ll want the most surface area for optimal ball return.
As far as surface area is concerned, the Tekk Trainer Rebound Goal is one of the best return systems on this list. In addition to surface area, the durability of the return system is a crucial factor to consider before making your final purchase.
We’d recommend the first two choices if you’re looking for effective ways to improve your shot. Whether you’re a coach or a player, the effectiveness of these two systems is, undoubtedly, noticeable.