Behold, the Old Barn that Was Transformed into a Basketball Court
When they saw how their friends made an old barn the perfect space for a pickup game, this family decided to do the same.
Farm & Ranch Living Magazine
We got the idea to put a basketball hoop in our hayloft after we visited Mennonite family friends of ours one New Year’s Day. There was no television at our friends’ house, but they did have a basketball hoop in the barn that kept everyone entertained. The following Valentine’s Day we bought our first hoop, and put it in the barn.
Basketball is a big deal here in Indiana. Before the barn hoop, our children would play using a tiny plastic goal in their bedroom. The kids’ game would shake the whole house as they bounced off the walls. It was a big relief for me when the basketball hoop moved into the barn.
The kids, their friends and our family shot hoops in that hayloft through the cold and rain just as easily as the hot summer days.Farm & Ranch Living Magazine
Hours practicing in the hayloft led our sons to play high school basketball, but they weren’t allowed to play organized team games unless it was a school-sponsored event. So the team would assemble to play “barn ball” in our hayloft. Pickup games got intense, with close scores and no referees to make calls.
During one game, one of our sons drove to the basket, stepped off a wall beam, and dunked the ball to win the game. The opposing team called foul and said the beam was out of bounds. My son replied with a short but definitive response: “This is barn ball.”
There have been many hours of barn ball in the rafters since we installed that hoop. The first one was a gift from my husband and me to our three children, but our sons put up the second and third hoops on their own.
Hayloft basketball is still a party favorite, especially at our annual autumn gathering for city friends. They’re always disappointed when the court is filled with hay.
That happened this past Fourth of July, too, when we hosted our family reunion. The kids couldn’t get up there because we had hay on the floor. My older son said, “The only thing you can do in the haymow is fall out.”
I love my barn. It’s a simple one, but I’m often amazed by the craftsmanship of the men who built it in the 19th century. Now my grandchildren beg to go up to the hayloft court to tip off another generation of barn ball. It’s truly a family space.