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A Look Back: The Evolution from Manual Rebounders to Advanced Return Systems



Basketball is one of the most fast-paced and dynamic games that demands players to continuously upgrade their skills and boost their shooting accuracy. To help players with this, manual rebounders were created to elevate the practice regimen of players and provide them with innovative training. Over time, manual rebounders evolved into advanced shooter basketball machines to provide better training to players.

History of Manual Rebounders

The first manual rebounder, known as the Gun, was introduced in 1998 by John Joseph; however, the first purchase was not made until 1999. The University of Florida bought the first basketball guns for students in 1999.

Around 28,000 manual rebounders are being used in colleges, high schools, and training institutes as of 2020. These rebounders came with an adjustable collection net that ensured that players created the right arch when shooting the ball from different angles.

A non-automated rebounder was also founded in 1984 which used tracks to send the ball back to the player. The Gun, however, uses a shooting mechanism to return the ball to the players at a set speed and time enabling them to take up to 1800 shots per hour. You can take up to 200 shots in a span of 10 minutes which improves their speed and efficiency.

Integrating Digital Pad and Tracking Systems

The basic model of rebounders introduced in 1998 only came with a timing device to help players assess the speed and distance of their ball return passes. It also provided a ratio of made shots to total shots to help players understand their improvement over time.

An upgraded Dr. Dish shooting machine price model was introduced in 2009 which integrated several new digital features for improved training and performance. This advanced rebounder came with a touchpad and a time delay button. Nowadays, players can set a specific number of passes from a particular spot before moving on to the next position. You can also access records of your attempts, makes, misses, and percentages, copy them to your device, or take printouts for future reference.

Taking Basketball Training to the Next Level

The most advanced model, the Gun 10k, was launched in 2017 by John Joseph. This cutting-edge rebounder is facilitated with a touchscreen where you can set a designated time-delay between each ball pass.

This advanced return system has a high-accuracy shot counter that enables players to track every shot successfully netted as well as every shot missed. It also features out-of-order passing and in-workout metrics that show takes, streaks, makes, and shooting percentages. Moreover, you can also choose the order in which the rebounder passes the ball to other locations to perfect your ability to shoot from multiple locations.

Basketball training, especially repetitive drills, can get pretty monotonous. To tackle this issue, the Gun 10k has a built-in Bluetooth speaker system that you can link to your phones and listen to music, podcasts, or audio books while working out.

It also has a robust tracking system that allows players to track their performance through an app. This allows players to analyze their performance and create their own drills to boost their shooting skills.


Whether you are a beginner player or a pro-level one, advanced return systems can always help you further enhance your training. You do not have to waste time chasing and retrieving the ball each time you shoot, to begin with. Moreover, the equipment lets you experiment with various shot types, build drills, hone your shooting accuracy, and develop teamwork. These advanced systems greatly aid in imitating high-intensity game situations as well.

From just facilitating athletes to shoot their balls to tracking every move and competing with other players, rebounders have greatly evolved. Players can now enhance their shot speed, precision, and versatility by working on their performance stats and building their own drills. If you’re wondering which company or brand to go with, Dr. Dish and Shoot-A-Way are the two leading manufacturers of rebounders.

Both Shoot-a-Way and Dr. Dish basketball shooting machines have been the torch bearer in the rebounder industry starting from non-automated rebounding systems to highly advanced rebounders.

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