When it comes to buying a basketball, things might not always be as straightforward as they seem. With lots of basketball brands like Molten, Baden, Spalding, Nike, Wilson and Adidas, indoor and outdoor versions, and a range of sizes to choose from, you should consider what you need your basketball for in order to buy the right kind.
Here’s just a short guide to what to consider before purchasing your basketball.
Indoor / Outdoor Basketballs.
There are 3 main types of basketball. Indoor, outdoor and indoor/outdoor. If you just want your basketball for playing round the local park or courts, then an outdoor type will certainly be more durable on the tougher playing surfaces, and last longer in the long run.
If you want a basketball for training on a proper indoor court, then an indoor ball will be more tactile and suited to the smoother indoor court surface.
If you just want an all round basketball that you’re happy to get dirty, but can also use indoors, then opt for in indoor/outdoor ball. They’ll be tougher than your average indoor ball for sure.
There are lots of brands of basketballs, such as Molten, Baden, Spalding and Nike, to just to name a few. When it comes to choosing a brand of basketball it really comes down to personal preference.
You might have played with a Baden basketball at your local basketball club and liked the weight and how it felt in your hand, and therefore want to buy one of your own, you might be a big BBL fan and want a Molten GG7 basketball to play like the pros, or you might be a huge NBA fan, and therefore want to go with the big US brand, Spalding.
Along with the brand, there’s also the price to consider. £30 – £40 is pretty standard for a good quality basketball, although you can easily pay above and beyond £60 for top of the range balls, and down to £10 for a very basic rubber basketball. If you only play basketball a few times a year, it might not be worth spending a lot on something that isn’t going to get used very often, but if you play every week, you’re also not going to want to get something cheap that will need to be replaced in a couple of months.
There are 3 main basketball sizes to consider, size 5, size 6 and size 7. The size that suits you best tends to depend on age and sex generally.
Size 5 is designed for younger players, up to around 11 years of age. The ball has a circumference of 27.75″ and weight of around 18oz.
Size 6 is designed for players up to around 16 years of age, and is also used in the women’s game due it’s smaller circumference and weight compared to the size 7 ball, which is used in the mens game. The ball has a circumference of 28.5″ and a weight of 20oz.
Size 7 is designed for players aged 16 and above, with a circumference of 29.5″ and a weight of 22oz.
A good reason to get the right size ball is that, if you are going to be involved in basketball league matches, then you should practice with the right size ball for that league. Otherwise your muscles and grip will become accustomed to a certain size and weight, but when you play in a game you may end up playing with a heavier, or lighter ball and therefore your shots, passes and dribbling will be slightly off.
It’s important for younger players to also play with a small ball, as the better grip and more manageable weight will ensure that they can develop their skills and confidence more easily.