Soccer Ball vs. Basketball: What’s the Difference?

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Being a well-rounded athlete can sometimes be confusing, especially if you need help deciding which sport to focus on more. Indeed, debates over soccer ball vs. basketball are gaining attention these days. It proves that these sports are two of the most famous leagues in the world. 

Although different sports balls differ in size, it does not make one inferior to another. Whether you are an enthusiast or a rookie, basketball and soccer similarities and differences are interesting topics. The rest of this blog will explain all the astonishing facts about these sports, so read through them to learn more.

What is the Difference Between Soccer Ball and Basketball BallWhat is the Difference Between Soccer Ball and Basketball Ball?

Basketball and soccer are just some of the biggest sports of all time, and you will see people actively playing these activities wherever you go. If you are still planning to play these sports, you may be very particular about the instruments they use because they play an essential role.

These sports use different instruments, and people sometimes mistake the type of instruments they use as the basis for their difficulty. Hence, people choose one over the other because they think it is easier or more challenging. 

Nonetheless, the importance of knowing the difference between a soccer ball and a basketball ball is to understand why they are designed to have such a size. Thus, improving your interest and passion in the long run.

Going back to the topic, the apparent difference between these two ball types is their size. Basketball uses more giant balls than soccer, considering these sports require different muscle groups to perform moves.

Soccer games need so much strength in the lower extremities, so a right-sized and not-too-big ball is practical. On the other hand, basketball games involve upper extremities and may need more giant balls to maximize strength.

Different Basketball Sizes and Soccer Ball Sizes Comparison

To learn more about soccer ball vs. basketball size differences, the basketball ball size chart below will give you the numerical data and standard sizes based on the data from Spalding and Nike

Age Range Basketball 

(Ball Circumference)


(Ball Circumference

12 years old and above (Adult) Size 7 

(29.5 inches or 75 centimeters)

Size 5

(27 to 28 inches or 68 to 70 centimeters)

9 to 12 years old


Size 6 

( 28.5 inches or 72.5 centimeters)

Size 4 

(25 to 26 inches or 63.5 to 66 centimeters)

Below 8 years old


Size 5 

(27.5 inches or 69.9 centimeters)

Size 3

(23 to 24 inches or 58.5 to 61 centimeters)

Basketball Weight and Soccer Ball Weight Comparison

Ball weight is also essential to understand their functionalities in the game. There is a reason why soccer balls weigh slightly lighter compared to basketball balls, which you will understand in the following sections. Below is the numerical comparison of these two types of balls, according to the Wilson and Soccer Handbook data.

Size Classification Basketball 




Size 7 Basketball/ 

Size 5 Soccer

623.69 grams 410 to 450 grams
Size 6 Basketball/ 

Size 4 Soccer

566.99 grams 350 to 390 grams
Size 5 Basketball/

Size 3 Soccer

396.89 to 453.59 grams 300 to 320 grams

Although the differences in size and weight in size 5 soccer ball vs. basketball size 7 are apparent, it does not mean that soccer is inferior. It would be best to remember that they use different muscle groups, which also exert varied energy.

What Bounces Higher_ Basketball or Soccer BallWhat Bounces Higher: Basketball or Soccer Ball?

The debate about soccer balls vs. basketball does not end on the size and weight alone because curious sports fans are also interested in their bounciness. You may already have preconceived notions that basketball takes the lead in this aspect.

While it is true that basketball balls bounce higher, their difference is not huge at all. They are expected to be bouncier because it takes more force to manage them if they do not bounce at the right amount. Also, dribbling in basketball involves a lot of bounces compared to soccer.

On the contrary, being too bouncy in soccer means difficulty trapping and controlling the ball because they are expected to move faster when a little bit of bounce is added.

Therefore, basketball balls need to be bouncier because of the nature of the game itself. Soccer balls also need the right bounce for players to have more control over them.

Features of Basketball vs. Soccer BallFeatures of Basketball vs. Soccer Ball

Although both ball types differ in weight and size, they share the same features at some point. Below are basketball and soccer similarities and differences according to their characteristics.

  • Material

Soccer and basketball balls use synthetic or leather materials depending on basketball specifications. If the game is indoor, leather types are ideal. Meanwhile, synthetic materials are efficient and cost-effective since they work well on only surface tension. They are also designed with inner layers for better absorption of shock and weight.

  • Shape

Another critical feature to look at is the shape. Basketball use balls with a spherical figure to have a uniform impact and response to pressure no matter which part is hit. Meanwhile, soccer balls have a truncated icosahedron shape.

  • Design Patterns

The prominent design pattern that soccer balls have are the 32-hexagon pattern. Meanwhile, basketball balls are iconically known for their 16 rectangle patterns etched on the surface.

Basketball was Originally Played with a Soccer BallBasketball was Originally Played with a Soccer Ball

Before basketball balls were invented, players used soccer balls in their games—imagine the discomfort and challenge they had to endure. The main challenge they had to deal with was the laces that soccer balls originally had. 

These laces were not a problem for soccer since they played on grass fields. However, basketball could have been better since it required so much effort to dribble and pass with hands. Due to this problem, basketball pioneers figured out a solution by inventing laceless basketball for both soccer and basketball. 

In the 1950s, orange basketball balls were made and replaced with the original brown balls. This time the bounce was better, and the start of the era when dribbling was highly regarded. Hence, basketball players no longer had to experience so much challenge to control the ball.

Therefore, basketball is heavily influenced by the disciplines of soccer—except that players need to use their hands instead of their feet. Although they had to use soccer balls back then, they could understand more technicalities like ball bounciness. These innovations are what separate soccer balls vs. basketball now.

Wrapping Things Up: Soccer Ball vs. Basketball: What’s the Difference?

Ball sizes are crucial in any ball game because they serve as the instruments to make points. Hence, players spend years mastering the art of controlling these balls and positively contributing to their team. Two of the most famous sports that use balls are soccer and basketball. Now, what is the difference between soccer ball vs. basketball?

The notable difference is their size. Basketball balls are slightly bigger and heavier than soccer balls, which is understandable since they need more air to achieve an ideal bounce. In like manner, basketball balls are bouncier because it would require basketball players to put in more effort and energy if it lacks the right amount of bounce. 

If you wish to play both sports, you must remember that ball sizes are not the basis to see whether you can do well in your preferred sport. It is just a matter of the right mindset, proper training, and dedication.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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