# How I made a basketball hoop that always goes inApril 21, 2020 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I've wondered if it is possible to make a basketball hoop where the ball always goes in. Imagine throwing a ball and if it hits the backboard it somehow gets directed into the hoop. Thanks to physics it isn't quite possible to make ALL possible shots go in though you can make a hoop where the ball goes in a lot more often. [SLYT, 22 minutes]
posted by Etrigan (16 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Minimum buy-in for H-O-R-S-E just went way up.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:16 AM on April 21, 2020

Huh. I expected it to be a standard hoop with Trae Young defending it.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I watched the whole thing but it still looks like magic.
posted by swift at 7:41 AM on April 21, 2020

It's a 3d parabola with the focus at the hoop right? What's funny is the from the front you can hardly tell.
posted by GuyZero at 8:08 AM on April 21, 2020

It's parabola-ish. In the video he explains that some adjustments had to be made to account for gravity and the fact that the ball deforms when it impacts the backboard.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:35 AM on April 21, 2020

I shuddered at "I don't know who Monte Carlo is but.." I imagine folks with less self-restraint than me will descend / have descended upon the downvoted comments.

Gotta get some eyes on that Python code though. Very fun. Love the variable named `hoopy`
posted by supercres at 8:45 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

*first few test shots all bounce off the front rim*
Me: Oh no he modeled the ball as a point, didn't he
Video: Whoops I modeled the ball as a point
posted by ckape at 8:55 AM on April 21, 2020 [14 favorites]

Awww. I thought it was actual basketball. How I made a basketball hoop that always goes in ---> Backboard is actually a funnel.

I love inventiveness but that's essentially all this is. If it isn't an actual backboard and set up as an actual bball hoop would be, if it isn't using a regular sized basketball with basketball properties, it's kind of a stretch to then say "I made a basketball hoop that always goes in". Once you're not using anything close to an actual basketball, once you're not using a basketball hoop that's not close to the size of an actual hoop, once you're curving multiple sides of the backboard... you've set up some kind of cute thing that's fun, but just take out the resemblance and say you made a small orb go through a ring with a half funnel with great regularity.

Basketballs in real life, take funny bounces. Ask Joel Embiid & the Sixers. Fun stuff here, just got let down after reading the title and thinking he'd done what he said on the tin.
posted by cashman at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, when I saw this come up in my youtube suggestions, I figured it was just a different application of Mark Rober's Dartboard. Imagine my surprise that it's not!
posted by Kyol at 9:42 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Remember ALIEN Resurrection? Remember the scene where Sigourney Weaver tosses the basketball over her shoulder, without looking, and it goes right in? They scheduled hours for that shot...she nailed it on the first take.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:52 AM on April 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

So back in 2010 I got into this online game but found it frustrating so I wrote a helper app that provided a HUD overlay that completed the parabola.

My username was I Never Miss, and man did I piss people off.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 11:27 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

> Remember ALIEN Resurrection? Remember the scene where Sigourney Weaver tosses the basketball over her shoulder, without looking, and it goes right in? They scheduled hours for that shot...she nailed it on the first take.

Sixth take actually, if this site is to be believed. Still awesome.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:34 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I shuddered at "I don't know who Monte Carlo is but.."

I cheered actually, just because I'd been thinking I wasn't confident enough in knowing how to solve the physics of that and I'd probably end up cheating by throwing the computer at it with a Monte Carlo method. And then he said the thing!
posted by traveler_ at 1:08 PM on April 21, 2020

I bet some NBA players would be interested in this right about now.
posted by srboisvert at 6:26 PM on April 21, 2020

Nifty, but heavy on the geek. I'm down (I can talk Monte Carlo, I know focus from a directrix...) but even still leaning into all that for the first 10 minutes sorta wore me down.

Contrast: sidebar suggested I look at a bladeless wooden fan.

There, I'm deep into the power tools within the few couple minutes. Computers are pulled into the woodwork: intersecting cylinders, approximating circles. But that all feels minor compared to the focus given to trial-and-error (fitting the housings together, getting the fan to work). That, plus skilled woodwork and artful time-lapse... a great video!

My critique is not fair: he's looking at a new problem, I'm enamored with someone tackling something that's already done (albeit in a new medium). So it's more a reflection on my state-of-mind presently: there is satisfaction in seeing someone wrestle with trial-and-error vs. a step-back conceptualization (how can I create this new type of backboard??!?). Suppose since here I am wrestling with the trial-and-error of new schedules, routines, etc? (There is a remarkable shot, ~18:30, where he actually time-lapses the trial-and-error -- back-and-forth from the belt sander to the shop table, again-and-again)

Prolly that is too deep a take... maybe it's simply power tools > code for me. Meh, all I know is that when I'm back on the court with my buddies they'll laugh at my if I bank a shot in.
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:40 PM on April 21, 2020

Apparently he heard all of your complaints and has built version 2.
posted by ckape at 3:16 PM on May 11, 2020

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