They’re known by a variety of names: gym wall padding, wall pads, wall mats, protective padding, athletic pads and more. No matter what you choose to call them they’re instrumental in providing an added layer of safety for basketball players on the court and a key feature of nearly every public or school gymnasium. Carefully constructed and designed for impact, wall padding and other types of sports mats are a worthwhile investment for any place that features a court with a lot of player activity.
Even in friendly games players can trip up and run or fall into a post or wall. Considering that most gyms are comprised of solid cement blocks and feature steel poles, impacts can be very painful and dangerous. The dense foam core of the safety mats and pads help to cushion against the impact so players avoid major injuries to the head or other parts of the body.
But impact safety isn’t all that these pads are good for, especially wall padding. The padding adds a bright splash of color to the gym to showcase the schools colors and emphasize hazards to players. The vinyl protective covers are also waterproof and easy to clean and sanitize to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Wall padding can also be customized to include printed images of the teams name and logo for added school spirit during events. The foam core also absorbs sound, helping to quiet the noise of indoor gyms and reduce echo of games or even when the gym becomes the stage for the school band.
Wall padding, and basketball court safety pads specifically, all use the same material. They have a firm foam interior with durable vinyl plastic covers that are made to take a fair bit of abuse. The vinyl material is often tested for tearing and damage, ensuring that the covers can handle years of wear and tear. The foam core is generally made out of polyethylene and polyurethane that can be ordered in different densities and thicknesses depending on the need. Many wall pads are even designed with a wood backed panel, known as a waferboard, which is mounted to the wall to make sure it doesn’t move.
For basketball the standard wall pads are about 1 ¼ to 2-inches thick with a 3.5 lb density for their foam interiors. With the waferboard used for mounting that’s about an extra 7/16 inch width to the wall padding. These pads are mounted onto the wall behind the basketball hoop to help protect players that may be shoved or run into them. For NBA standards the protective wall padding usually covers the whole goal area of the wall which is about 16 feet although schools and other indoor courts sometimes custom order padding that covers just the area near the hoop.
That’s a lot of wall to cover, but it’s all in the name of safety. Anyone who’s seen a basketball game can tell you that sometimes it gets a little intense and aggressive on the court so it’s always good to have safety padding present around high action areas, especially the goal posts. The padding designed for the posts features the same dense foam core and vinyl protective covers as other safety pads. In fact, many safety pads are all weather and can be used for both indoor and outdoor courts thanks to the vinyl plastic covers, helping to reduce some of the costs if you purchase easily removable gear.
So if you’re a member of the PTA or even just a fan of the local school’s team, don’t forget how important the safety padding is for the players and students. It’s well worth the investment to get quality material that will last for years of injury free play, and to make sure that your current padding and mats are in good condition. Make sure that your local school replaces any worn out or damaged mats to help keep the players and students safe. The parents and the players will thank you for it.
Every school needs quality safety padding to help protect their students while they’re playing. For assistance with quality and custom designed safety padding for whatever you need, check out All Court Covers.