Playing with a ball that’s too big or too small often leads to poor technique and bad shooting habits.
You would also want your ball to be durable enough to withstand the type of environment and court you play in.
Read on to learn more about the different types of basketballs and how to choose the right one for your next game with family and friends!
Basketballs can be made from different materials such as traditional genuine leather, synthetic leather, composite leather, rubber and technical plastics.
Depending on whether you are going to practice playing basketball indoor or outdoor, the type of materials you choose can make a difference.
For indoor and regular players, opt for a genuine leather ball that will provide a good game on the wooden and synthetic flooring used in indoor basketball courts.
But be aware that a leather ball may be slick when first used and generally needs to be “broken in” by being practiced with before using it in an actual game.
And because of the materials used, a good indoor basketball will generally cost you more than an outdoor ball.
Outdoor courts usually have a rougher surface made from tarmac, asphalt, concrete and gravel.
To withstand the abrasive ground, a basketball made of rubber or technical plastics are more resistant and durable. The rubber material is not slippery but it can feel heavier and harder than an indoor ball.
If you want to practice both indoors and outdoors, choose a synthetic leather as they offer good feel, touch and grip while being durable enough to withstand dirt, moisture, and other elements, ultimately extending the life and playability of the basketball.
Basketballs also come in a variety of sizes depending on the age and gender of the player, so it’s important to get the right size according to your needs.
Playing with an incorrectly sized ball can have long-term negative effects on a player’s technique.
When younger players use a larger basketball, they will usually compensate for the incorrect weight by shooting with both arms or dropping their shoulders, thus developing a bad shooting form and getting in the way of good technique.
Additionally, different leagues have various restrictions regarding size, material, and colour for game balls that they permit.
Learn more about the different sizes:
- Novelty-sized, or a 'micro-mini' basketball that is suitable for children aged 2 - 4 years old.
- Has a circumference of 16" (40.6cm) and weighs 230g.
- Novelty-sized, or 'mini' basketball that is suitable for all ages, particularly for children aged 4 - 6 years old.
- Has a circumference of 22" (55.9cm) and weighs 280g.
- The standard basketball size for both boys and girls aged 7 - 10 years old.
- Has a circumference of 27.5” (69.5cm) and weighs 480g.
- Suitable for girls from 10 years old, and the official size of the WNBL (Women's National Basketball League).
- Also suitable for boys aged 10 - 12 years old.
- Has a circumference of 28.5” (72cm) and weighs 570g.
- The official size of all adult basketballs, suitable for male basketball players aged 12 years and over.
- Has a circumference of 29.5” (75cm) and weigh 620g.
Aside from the twp pointers as mentioned above, you should also ensure that any basketball is inflated correctly, as a ball that is overinflated or underinflated will affect the playing experience.
The recommended pressure will be marked on the ball itself.
Ideally, you should use a pump with a pressure gauge for precise inflation.
At Decathlon, we believe that sport is for everyone. And we've kept our prices low, too!
As for more competitive players, we also offer FIBA-approved balls - so there really is something for everyone!