Everything you need to know before purchasing a basketball

Like every craftsman needs the right tools, so does every athlete need the right material for their sport. Basketball is no exception. It might seem simple or even banal but there is more to a basketball than being round and orange.

The size

Basketballs come in different sizes depending on who wants to play with them and how experienced they are. The sizes range from size 1, small and light for kids between 2-4, and goes up to size 7, the big and heavy balls that professionals use in college basketball and the NBA. A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking the bigger the better. It is better for the kids development if you buy the appropriate size for their age.

But before buying a basket ball one must know about a few important aspects which are as follows:


There are so many different manufacturers out there and don’t always have to go for the more expensive, established brands. But a good basketball should have a few basic features.

· Waterproof: A basketball should be water proof and not absorb any moisture, so that dampness or precipitation do not hinder, or slowdown, the game.

· Resistant: The ball is going to go through a lot of rough treatment so it shouldn’t give in if it is a little too warm, or start losing its color.

· The surface shouldn’t be slippery, it should be grained and offer friction.

· Round: It might sound funny but you will be amazed how many cheap balls are not round.

Age and gender

As mentioned before, there are big differences in size and weight when buying a basketball. Up to around 12 years old, age is the main factor after that the gender might make a difference on what size ball you want to buy.

The cover material

Basketballs are mainly made of

· Leather

· Composites

· Rubber

Which material you use depends mainly on where you want to play.

Natural leather is one of the more expensive materials and is only used for indoor courts. Leather is the traditional cover material for basketballs and is still used in the NBA.

The downsides are the price, durability and leather basketballs usually have to be broken in to get the right grip. Synthetic leather was used in the NBA at some time, it has the same looks, is more durable, is much cheaper and doesn’t have to be broken in. But manufacturers couldn’t convince the players and the NBA went back to leather balls.

Outdoor Basketballs need a good grip and need to be durable, that’s why they are always made of rubber or composite rubbers. It is easier to make a more grip steady surface that won’t corrode that easily with synthetic materials. There are also indoor basketballs made of composite rubber but it isn’t advisable to use a leather ball outside on concrete courts.