Bring more excitement and closer games to basketball with player height–normalized basketball goals!


Basketball goals normally have a defined height that is the same for both teams. Generally speaking, a taller player (unsurprisingly) is at an advantage in getting a ball into the hoop.

The Issue:

As a result of this, basketball teams usually consist of exceptionally tall members of the population. However, it may be valuable [citation needed] to “democratize” professional basketball to all talented players.


Here, we propose to adjust the heights of each team’s target goal so that the taller team must also attempt to score at the taller goal. In Figure 1, we see an example of two teams with players of varying heights.

Fig. 1: Players on Team A are close in height: the tallest is height HA. Team B has one exceptionally tall player of height HB.

In order to remove the height advantage from the tallest player on Team B, we will increase the height of the goal that Team B must score in, as shown in Figure 2.

Fig. 2: The standard goal height (C) is increased by the height difference between the teams. In this situation, if Team B’s tallest player is 7 feet tall and Team A’s tallest player is 6 feet tall, then Team A’s goal would be exactly 1 foot taller (7ft – 6ft  1ft). Note that the shorter team gets the taller home goal.

Above, we defined the height difference as being the difference between the tallest players only, but average height (or some other metric) could also be used.

Overcomplicated Bonus Option:

It would also be possible to move the goals up and down dynamically (Figure 3) as possession changes—in other words, the goal would always be N feet taller than whoever currently has the ball.

Fig. 3: Maybe the goals could even automatically move up and down based on who CURRENTLY has possession of the ball, to level the playing field for everyone. This could result in additional excitement as powerful hydraulic-operated machinery is quickly raised and lowered (in the vicinity of players’ heads), as shown in this exceptionally realistic and detailed patent drawing.

PROS: Brings a new pool of players to professional basketball.

CONS: None whatsoever, everyone would definitely be in favor of it!