The 'hoop-la' over Claymont basketball poles

CLAYMONT, Del. - September 17, 2010

"Every time I can't play on the computer or watch some TV, I usually come out here after homework," 9-year-old Samantha McCafferty said.

Playing hoops is something Samantha and her family enjoy, but soon that pastime, at least right outside their home on Hilldale Court, will have to end.

"It's stupid with America's problem right now with obesity, but it's like 'we're going to take away the one activity you can do,'" 16-year-old John Haney said.

The family is angry after receiving a letter from Delaware's Department of Transportation demanding their hoop be removed because it's in direct violation of the state's Clear Zone Law prohibiting hoops, trees, and other objects from being within seven feet of the pavement's edge.

"You've been here for half hour, have you seen any cars come up down the street? We're in a cul-de-sac, one mile from any main road on either direction; I moved here because of the basketball pole," homeowner John McCafferty said.

They have 14 days to remove the hoop otherwise DelDOT will have to do it themselves and slam them with the bill.

7 other neighbors are in the same predicament including Linda Nuttle who's had her hoop for decades.

"I understand it's the law, and you have to follow the law, but do it to every basketball court in Delaware," Nuttle said.

The irony of it is DelDOT spokeswoman Sandy Roumallat says the law only gets enforced when a neighbor complains.

And rumors are one disgruntled neighbor whose car got hit by a basketball a few times sent the anonymous complaint.

Residents say they're not giving in.

"I just put up a brand new net and I'm going to fight them; I'm going to continue this fight and I think this is an obnoxious way to spend our tax dollars and now it's going to get more expensive,"McCafferty said.

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