Athletes who have to travel all over the country or even the world usually care for their equipment in a way that a mother does for her child. That is because sports are the lifeblood of any athlete or sports enthusiast. In that regard, basketball players tend to travel a lot whenever tournaments are held in other states. Of course, they have to bring their basketball with them during their travels.
For athletes who need to travel by plane whenever traveling by road takes too much time or is impossible, you might be wondering if you can carry your basketball with you in your carry-on baggage. After all, the TSA tends to be quite strict regarding what you can or cannot carry. So, can you bring a basketball on a plane? That is a question we are here to answer.
Can You Bring a Basketball When Flying?
When it comes to the life of an athlete or a sports enthusiast, traveling tends to be quite a common occurrence because of how athletes tend to compete in different places around the country or even the world. Of course, when traveling, an athlete needs to carry along their sports equipment because of how important their gear is when it comes to playing sports. The same can be said about basketball players, who often compete in different cities year in and year out.
As common as it may be for a basketball player to be traveling from one city to another, it is not uncommon for them to fly on an airplane, especially when traveling by road is a bit too hectic or impossible to do. And most people know that traveling on an airplane tends to be a lot stricter than traveling by road because of the different restrictions that the TSA has regarding what you can or cannot carry on the plane.
That said, for basketball players out there, you might be wondering if you can carry your ball with your carry-on baggage whenever you are in an airplane. After all, there are plenty of different things that the TSA prohibits you from carrying with your carry-on baggage. That is why there are some pieces of sports equipment that athletes may need to check-in before flying.
The good news is that the TSA allows you to bring your basketball with your carry-on baggage whenever traveling by plane. And even if you do not want to carry it with your carry-on baggage, you are also free to keep your ball with your checked bags.
But since many athletes at the high school or collegiate level tend to try to save money by minimizing their baggage allowance, they usually have to carry their equipment with their carry-on baggage. And, as mentioned, the good news is that the TSA will not prohibit you from bringing a basketball on a plane.
Inflated or Deflated Basketball on a Plane?
Now that you know that basketballs are not prohibited items on a plane, you are thinking about carrying your basketball with you on your next flight. Then again, you might be wondering if you should keep your basketball inflated or if you should deflate it before your flight.
It does not matter whether a basketball is inflated or deflated as far as the TSA is concerned. There are no rules regarding an inflated basketball as carry-on baggage in an airplane. Of course, deflated basketballs are not prohibited as well. In that case, it now becomes a matter of preference on your part because the TSA is not specific as to whether your basketball should be inflated or deflated.
However, because you want to keep your basketball safe in the overhead baggage compartment during the flight, it is best to deflate it before you travel. The reason is that an inflated basketball will easily roll around in the baggage compartment and may end up getting lost. On top of that, unless you have a very spacious bag, it is very difficult to stuff a basketball in a bag. You also do not want to feel the inconvenience of carrying around a fully inflated basketball alongside the rest of your luggage.
On the other hand, a deflated basketball is much easier to carry because you can simply stuff it inside your bag and your other things. It is much more convenient for you to carry a deflated basketball because it does not take up a lot of space and will not roll around. So, while it is up to you to keep your basketball inflated or deflated it before the flight, it is much better to deflate the ball instead. You can simply pump some air back into it in the hotel room after the flight.
How to Pack an Inflated Basketball on a Plane
If you need to carry an inflated basketball on a plane for whatever reason, you do not have to worry because there is a convenient way to pack it without the risk of losing it. Of course, it involves using a big enough bag to carry a fully inflated basketball.
1. First, you need to know the airline’s measurements for carry-on baggage because there might be a chance that your inflated basketball is too big to carry. If not that, stuffing the basketball in your bag might make your bag too bulky that it will no longer fit the baggage compartment inside the plane.
2. Once you have the abovementioned covered, the next thing you need to do is use a spacious bag to fit a basketball. There should also be enough room around the basketball for you to cover it with your clothes. Covering it with your clothes allows you to keep the ball cushioned in case of turbulence.
3. When closing the suitcase or bag, you mustn’t put too much effort into closing it. If you have trouble closing it, the suitcase or bag is too stuffy for your inflated basketball. You would know if closing it is too difficult when you have trouble zipping the suitcase or bag closed.
If closing or zipping your suitcase or bag is too difficult, use a bigger suitcase or bag. However, if you do not have anything bigger, you might want to give up on carrying an inflated basketball and just pack it with your baggage deflated. You can simply inflate it later on.
4. Finally, make sure that you carry the needle with you because you might have trouble at the checkpoint. Normally, the TSA should not bother you if you carry an inflated basketball. But there might be some instances when you might have to deflate it on the spot for whatever reason.
How to Pack Deflated Basketball on a Plane
We said that packing a deflated basketball is the preferred way of carrying a basketball on a plane. However, there is also a good way of packing a deflated basketball to make sure that you maximize the space in your carry-on baggage.
Before you pack all of your other things, you must pack your deflated basketball first. Place it at the bottom of the bag and create a bowl with it to stuff more things inside the bag. Make sure that you keep anything sharp or pointy away from the ball so that it stays in top shape during the flight. You do not want anything puncturing a hole in it during a particularly rough plane ride.
Can You Bring a Basketball Pump on a Plane?
We mentioned that you should bring a deflated basketball with your carry-on baggage when traveling with your ball. Doing so will make it easier for you to carry a basketball on a plane without sacrificing baggage space and convenience. But, of course, you would have to pump some air into the ball shortly after landing. That being the case, can you bring a basketball pump on a plane?
The TSA seems to be silent in this matter because there is nothing in the rules of the TSA that says you can or cannot bring a basketball pump on a plane. Absent any prohibition regarding the matter, then it only follows that there should not be anything wrong with bringing a basketball pump with your carry-on baggage.
On top of that, the TSA expressly allows you to bring a bicycle pump with your carry-on baggage or with your check-in baggage. Considering that bike pumps are similar to basketball pumps, you can bring the latter with you on an airplane.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Bring a Basketball on a Plane?
Basketball and the other popular sports all over America form the lifeblood of the country’s entertainment industry. That is why the TSA knows that basketball players and other athletes usually travel around the country to compete in different states and cities. As such, the rules regarding what you can bring on an airplane cater to an athlete’s essential equipment. And that is why there should not be anything wrong with carrying a basketball on an airplane.
Did you find this post helpful? Then you may also like our other basketball FAQ articles here.