Most of my internet googling seems to come to the same conclusion.

That being said I’m sure we all have seen it happen where two or even three balls get caught in the net at the same time. I would say because these calcs assume at exactly the same time they don’t take into account the downward force that may cause the balls to be able to squeeze through or the fact that if one ball is a tenth of a second a head of the other ball they can both get through.

Anyway these are all technicalities and the whole premise still rings true that the hoop is a heck of a lot bigger than most people think and the margin for error and still swishing a shot is very large if you have a good downward trajectory on your shot.

Today so many kids shoot these line drive wrist flip shots that have no margin for error and then wonder why they can’t shoot 50% from the line (many NBA players included) – 90% of the time its the trajectory of the shot.

Shameless plug for Tom Nordlands Swish method of shooting here – shooting really is that simple.

]]>Those calculations are also assuming that all of the basketball are in there at the widest point. Maybe the basketballs are sitting in the hoop, but not at the widest point? I’m curious. I might have to test it out myself.

But like you said, that’s not the point of the article.

]]>First, it is incorrect to state that 5 basketballs will fit in a hoop.

Area of hoop = pi * (radius ^ 2) = pi * (9 ^ 2) = 254.47 square inches

The radius of a men’s basketball (29.5″ circumference) = circ / pi / 2 = 4.70

Thus, the circular area of a men’s basketball = pi * (4.70 ^ 2) = 69.40 square inches

Therefore, the theoretical number of basketballs which can fit into a standard basketball hoop = 254.47 / 69.40 = 3.67

Thus, the area of a hoop is 3 2/3 times the area of a standard men’s basketball. Of course, because of the actual shape of the ball, 3 basketballs can’t go through a hoop at one time.

In fact, I don’t believe 2 baskteballs can go through the hoop at a time. The diameter of a 29.5 baskteball is 9.39 inches, which is a bit more than 3/8 of an inch greater than half the diameter of the 18 inch hoop. A women’s ball (28.5) has a diameter of just a hair over 9 inches (9.07 inches), so 2 women’s balls won’t quite fit either (unless you give a bit of a shove).

Of course, all this is secondary to the main point of the article, which is an important point: shots with decent arc have a better chance of going in than flat shots.

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