Whether you are playing basketball on the street, in school, or a professional game, there is some essential equipment that is required. The most important things required for playing basketball are the hoop to shoot, court markings, and, obviously the basketball. There are some things to look for while buying a basketball.

There is not only one type of basketball available in the market. The players make use of different balls for playing basketball. Some of the balls are suitable for indoor courts that are indoor basketball, while some are suitable for outdoor courts that are outdoor basketball.

The biggest change in basketball is on the basis of the leather used. The balls that are made of composite leather materials are ideal for outdoor courts, and the balls that are made of genuine leather are ideal for indoor courts. 

Basketball has become very popular in the past decade. The people playing basketball has increased a lot more than before. If you are playing basketball, then this is the perfect basketball buying guide for you before purchasing a basketball. After reading this guide, you won’t have to ask — What to look for in a basketball?

Let us have a look at the types of basketballs available in the market. 

1) Types of Basketballs

There are mainly three types of basketballs to consider while purchasing a basketball. Every type has its own characteristics. If you are wondering what are basketballs made of, and then you will find your answers below.

The only difference you will find is in the basketball material that is used.

▸ Rubber Basketballs

These are the least expensive basketballs that you could get. Rubber basketballs are an ideal choice if you play basketball outside or on concrete. The only limitation of rubber basketballs is that they get egg-bumps in them after they are used for a long time, or if they are mistreated in any manner.

This will hamper your progress by impacting your performance. You will have to get a new ball after that. Rubber basketballs are considered to be the perfect ones for kids.

▸ Leather Basketballs

Leather is an excellent material. Leather is used in the most expensive basketballs that are in existence, and these are the only basketballs being used on the indoor courts. You must not purchase a leather basketball if you are considering using it outside often, because it would ruin the feel of the ball.

The best part about leather basketballs is that they tend to feel very good when kept in one’s hand after the packing is removed at first. These are the most commonly liked basketballs.

▸ Composite Basketballs

Composite basketballs are made of faux-leather, and they rank in the middle in terms of pricing. If you are a player who plays on both inside and outside courts and is looking for a ball that looks and feels like leather one but also does not get ruined when played on concrete, then this is the perfect fit for you.

Most of the people consider buying these balls because they look as good as leather basketballs and also feel the same. The benefit is that it costs less.

There are several ways in which a basketball is made. It is important that you choose the ball that suits you the best.

Related Read: Top 12 Best Spalding Basketballs – Indoor & Outdoor Basketballs 2020

2) Sizes of Basketballs

basketball size guide

Basketballs are available in different sizes, and this adds one more list of options for you to choose from. The typical basketball sizes available in the market are listed below.

▸ Full-Size Basketball (29.5”)

This is the biggest size of basketball available in the market, and it is also the official basketball size for the NBA. If you are a grown-up, then this is the ball that you need. Most of the people use this size of basketball while playing in parks or at gyms. This can also be called regulation size basketball. In the NBA, the men’s basketball size is full size only.

▸ Women’s Size Basketball (28.5”)

This is the standard basketball size for women. It is an ideal one for the women who are looking forward to starting playing. You won’t find much difference in the size of men’s ball and women’s ball. The main difference is visible in the basketball diameter and the weight of the basketball.

▸ Kid’s Size Basketball (27.5”)

This is the best basketball for kids. These balls can be used by the kids in basketball hoop machines and arcades. These balls cannot be used in hardcore competitions, but they are meant to have fun with.

The professional basketball size is the full size that is used in the NBA for hardcore competitions.

3) Price Range of Basketballs

The price range of basketball varies as per the material and brand. The lowest-priced basketball available in India is Raisco Silky Basketball, which is of Rs.167. The most expensive basketball available in India is a Cosco Acra 48 inch, which is of Rs.22687.

4) Weight of Basketballs

The next question coming in your mind would be — how much does a basketball weighs and you will be able to get your answer here itself. The weight of the men’s basketball used in NBA is 22 ounces, and the weight of the women’s basketball is 20 ounces.

5) Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

The type of basketball that you are going to purchase will depend on where you want to play with it. If you are mostly playing on the streets, then it would be a waste of money to purchase a good indoor basketball. The reason behind it is because the lifespan of leather basketballs is shortened when it is used to play on cement or concrete.

If you are mostly playing in the indoors, then the best indoor basketball could be a great choice for you.

Leather basketballs are the perfect choice for indoor basketball, while rubber basketballs are the best choice for outdoor basketball.

If you are playing basketball indoors as well as on the outdoors, then you should invest your money in the composite material basketballs. This ball could be used to play in the indoor courts as well as on the outdoor courts.

6) Best Basketball Brands in India

There are several companies manufacturing basketballs in the market. If you are very much into basketball, then it is preferred for you to purchase the best basketball. It will help you to enhance your performance and take it to the next level. 

Let us have a look at the best basketball brands in India.

  • Nivia
  • Spalding
  • Cosco
  • Sportigo
  • Kaizen
  • Adidas


By reading this basketball buying guide, you will come to know that there are several factors to consider while purchasing a basketball. There are various options to choose from.

  • The difference between an indoor basketball and an outdoor basketball must be clear in your mind.
  • You must be clear in your mind whether you want to purchase an indoor or outdoor basketball, depending on the place where you will normally be playing.
  • Make sure that you have thought about your requirements and the budget before going out for purchasing a basketball.
  • You can ask your friends and even search online for people’s reviews so that you end up choosing the best one.

FAQs Related to Basketball Guide

Q. Will more air in a basketball bounce higher?

Yes, the basketballs with more air will bounce better because they possess more air pressure inside them.

Q. Is it bad to use an indoor basketball outside?

You can use outdoor basketball on the indoor courts. But, you can’t use an indoor leather basketball on the outside courts because the concrete surface will scratch and damage the surface of the basketball.

Q. How do you know if a basketball is fully pumped?

If you do not have a pump that has a pressure gauge to measure the air pressure, then you can use this method to judge the basketball. You have to hold the ball in front of your eyes and then drop it. If the ball bounces back to the buckle of your belt, then it could be called fully pumped.

Q. How long should a basketball last?

The lasting capacity of basketball will totally depend upon your usage. The lasting capacity of a low-quality outdoor basketball is approximately two months.

Q. What size basketball should I buy?

For a girl or boy of age 9-11, size 5 basketball should be used. For a boy of age between 12 -14 and the girls of age 12 and up, size 6 basketball should be purchased. For the men of age 15 and up, size 7 basketballs should be used.

Q. Do basketballs need to be broken in?

It depends on the basketball that you have purchased. Some basketballs have to be broken in while some do not. The meaning of breaking in is to wear down the basketball to a point where you can get a good grip, and it gets easier to control the ball with your hands.

Feature Image: Pixabay


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