A Complete Guide To Basketballs

You might have the greatest basketball system in the world. But it will be incomplete if you don’t have the right ball to go along with it. Here’s everything you need to know about

Basketball Sizes

Note: I should make a chart for this section explaining the different sizes

Basketballs meant for outdoor play come in three different sizes: Size 5, Size 6, and Size 7.

Size 5 balls, also sometimes called “Youth” basketballs are 27.5 inches in circumference. They are mainly used by children nine and younger.

Size 6 balls, also sometimes called “Mid” or “Women’s” basketballs are 28.5 inches in circumference. They are mainly used by females nine and older and males from nine to 12 in age.

Size 7 balls, also sometimes called “Official” or men’s basketballs, are 29.5 inches in circumference. They are mainly used by males aged 13 and older. This is the official sized basketball of the NBA.

Basketball Materials


Typically the most affordable basketballs are made of rubber. While these are at a good price point, they are sometimes sippery and don’t provide as good of a grip as composite basketballs.

Microfiber Composite

A step up from the ruber basketball are basketballs with a microfiber composite exterior. This is a high tech combination of both natural leather and synethic materials. These balls are ideal for either indoor or outdoor play. For most home basketball players who want to play on a home court or in their driveway, than this is the best choice.


Leather is the most expensive basketball material, and it also commonly found on balls used by elite players. For example the official NBA Ball and the Official FIBA Ball, which is used by olympic basketball players are both leather.

However, there are two things to consider when buying a leather basketball. Firstly, leather is only appropriate for indoor courts. The dirt and small pebbles that are commonly found on concrete or blacktop courts can harm the leather exterior of these basketballs. Secondly,

Novelty Basketballs

In addition, there are lots of multi color basketballs, basketballs that look like player jerseys, and even mini basketballs. Get these balls if you want to own something fun, but they aren’t ideal if you want something that will really give you a pro-like feel.


There are an overwhelming number of basketballs to choose from. If you have some difficulty sorting one from the either for use in your home court, would like to offer these reccomendations.

Spalding Never-Flat Indoor/Outdoor Composite

This ball is unique in that it is the only basketball guaranteed to stay inflated for an entire year. Spalding feels comfortable making that guarantee because they have developed some neat technology to prevent punctures and other things that might cause air to escape from the ball. Combined with the very grippable composite exterior and moderate price point, this ball is one of the best deals for home basketball courts.

MacGregor X-6000 Indoor/Outdoor Synthetic 29.5 Men’s Basketball

Looking for a good synethic basketball at a decent price point? Checkoing the MacGregor X-6000 basketball. It’s probably not a name you have heard before, but they offer a good ball at a good price.

Wilson NCAA Composite Basketball

Another good choice is the Wilson NCAA Composite Basketball. It’s nothing fancy. Just a good, durable ball that will heav you playing for hours.

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