Eli5: What makes double-rimmed basketball hoops so incredibly unforgiving compared to single-rimmed ones?

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Eli5: What makes double-rimmed basketball hoops so incredibly unforgiving compared to single-rimmed ones?

In: Physics

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Double rims don’t flex. If you grab onto a double rim at an outdoor court it will be completely rigid. Single rims, ones generally found at high schools or rec centres, will flex when you pull down on them – then spring back up into place.

It’s because of the amount of energy it dissipates when the ball hits, causing a more violent rebound the harder the object. A hard surface will rebound anything that touches. A soft surface will absorbe some energy and let the ball stick around a little longer, o even deform and help the ball find its way through it.

**Example time!**: You are driving a futuristic race car, at very high speeds. The race track narrows a lot at one point and there is a chance your car is going touch the wall on one of the sides if you don’t aim perfectly. 3 scenarios can happen:

**1.-** You go through the narrow section clean, without touching any walls. Great, but this is a remote possibility.

**2.-** Even if you are an experienced pilot, some wind hits you and the left side of your futuristic vehicle touches the wall. The wall is just a safety metal structure, and bends a little, just like your chasis, that is bendable, so you get out of the narrow section with an ugly scratch, but alive.

**3.-** You barely touch the wall, even less that the previous scenario, but the wall is made of reinforced steel, non deformable, so is your heat-proof ceramic chasis. You instantly rebound violently between walls, losing hull integrity and exploding in a thousand pieces.

**Conclusion**, a deformable hop won’t rebound the ball so often as a rigid one, in which you need to aim for a perfect clean shot (or low angle impacts that let the ball run on the surface without rebound)