How to Find Local Indoor Basketball Gyms
Outdoor courts are wonderful, but nothing is better than shooting hoops indoors on a real wood court. We don’t always have access to these courts. We wanted to give you a guide on how to locate these courts in your area. Indoor courts are the best place to play, in our humble opinion!
Most of the options will be free, and a couple will be low cost. The upkeep of these gyms usually make them tough to access for the public, but our guide will get you started.
Parks and Recreation
Your local county Parks and Recreation division most likely has Community Centers or Schools that they open to the public. These open gyms are usually for a set amount of hours, but these schedules are almost always online.
In my area these gyms are elementary school gyms opened to the community, so you might have to bring friends to play with. They are advertised publicly, so there may be a crowd as well.
These gyms are usually staffed by a county employee, but do not just drop your children off to play unless they are of a certain age. These workers could be become overwhelmed if there are a lot of people using the facility.
Overall this a great, free option for some hoops!
Almost everyone has a YMCA facility near them and this organization does a lot to help the community. Most offer some kind of gym memberships, and most also have indoor courts.
The great thing about the YMCA is that you can be provided a membership at little to no cost if you don’t have the money. The YMCA is supported by donations as well as paying members. If you are in a low income household, this could be an option for you.
The facilities at each YMCA can vary wildly, and you would have to visit your local one to get an idea what the court is like. The staff at each YMCA is also very different.
We recommend visiting your local YMCA and ask for a guest pass or a tour. You’ll get an idea if you’d like to play ball there.
Health Clubs and Gyms
Health Clubs and gyms sometimes offer full court indoor gyms along with all those weights and treadmills. You’ll have to research the gyms closest to you, but these are usually well kept and also offer leagues and open gym times.
However, these clubs and gyms are usually for profit. You may be able to get a guest pass for a day or week, but usually these places will require a membership. If you are a parent, it may be worth it for you to have a membership because your child won’t add much cost.
Having access to an indoor court at almost all times is invaluable. Teaching the game of basketball and letting your child work to improve is easier indoors.
Although this could be costly, the staff will be attentive and friendly(generally) because they want to earn your money.
These will be a lot tougher to find, but sometimes in old schools that the county or city no longer uses, they will allow for the public to play in these gyms. They also might have community leagues or tournaments.
These indoor courts aren’t as easy to find due to them not being advertised by a central organization.
The upkeep on these courts may also be on the rough side. However, they are usually free to play and offer open gym times. Ask around your community to see if this type of gym exists in your town.
Reach Out at School
If you are still in school, particularly middle, junior, or high school, you might have the opportunity to join the school team. This may also give you access to the school gymnasium in after school hours or even during the offseason.
Chances are, your coaches are going to want you working on your game as much as possible and will allow you access to the school’s facility. This benefits them as much as it does you.
Gather the other players on the team and get some pick up games going. You could use some alone time to get your skills progressing, also.
These courts are usually very well maintained and you will already be familiar with the facility. Ask a coach or teacher if this can work for you.
If you are not a student at these schools, it would be difficult to get access without having an inside connection. It’s not impossible, it’s just more difficult.
Your local neighborhood church could have a wonderful indoor court that would be very convenient, however even if you are a member it may be tough to get access.
Some churches may offer kids leagues or even adult leagues, but generally they are closed off to the public for open gym. Unless you have an inside connection, it may be difficult to find open church gyms.
The reason churches don’t open to the public is that they don’t want to be liable if someone gets hurt and they don’t have employees to watch and police the public that come in.
Truth is, it is quite an undertaking to open your gym to the public. Churches don’t have the manpower to watch the court.
Which brings us to our next point.
Respect The Gym
No matter which gym or indoor court you are able to use, respect the space and respect the folks who are nice enough to open this place to the public. Basketball can get heated and competitive, but that doesn’t give you the right to argue incessantly.
- Keep the game fun for everyone involved.
- Don’t fight over little stuff.
- Let a shot determine a dispute.
- It’s not the NBA Finals, there isn’t enough on the line to lose your temper.
- Don’t destroy equipment. Respect it and it will be there next time.
Respect these spaces and you’ll reverse the trend of places not wanting to open to the public. It may not just be you, but if you know someone who this affects, share this post.
We can all make the game more universal and fun for all.
Hopefully our guide has given you the knowledge to get out there and find the indoor court of your dreams, or at least one that will allow you to put in the work to get better! Outside courts serve a purpose, but indoors is where you can hone your skills. You can simulate game time scenarios without the wind affecting your shot.
This guide doesn’t cover every single gym type out there. We’d like to hear where you like to play. Do you have any ideas on indoor courts that are inexpensive and available to the public?
Keep shooting and we’ll see you in the next post!