What Size is an NBA Basketball?

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Have you ever wondered what size is an NBA basketball? Sometimes our curiosity leads us to some questions that turn out to be quite significant. We think this may be one of them. Have you ever picked up a basketball and notice that the size or weight is different from what you are accustomed to?

Inevitably this would lead you to ask why this ball is different from the ones I’ve been using. That then would cause you to think about the different basketballs in terms of their sizes and weights. The size of a basketball is quite crucial as it relates to who is using the ball and when (in what league) they are using the ball.

Today, we will be providing you with all the information you need to know about basketballs, their sizes, weights, and uses.

Is there a Standard Size Requirement for an NBA Basketball to HaveIs there a Standard Size Requirement for an NBA Basketball to Have?

The NBA is one of the most organized leagues in any sports in the world. The NBA is the highest level of basketball competition available to be viewed and played. Surely, at this level of competition, nothing gets done by chance.

Surely there is a standard when it comes on to one of the most important equipment used by this league. So, to answer your question, yes, there is a standard size for basketballs being used in the NBA. Just like you, if a professional basketball player that has been using basketballs for almost all their lives, picks up a ball that is different from a game ball, they will notice the difference in its features.

A basketball with a different size could cause a professional player to adjust how they use it to get the same results. It is imperative that there is a standard requirement for basketballs being used in the NBA. The NBA uses a basketball that is 29.5 inches in circumference. This basketball is known as a size 7.

What Should be the Weight of an NBA BasketballWhat Should be the Weight of an NBA Basketball?

The weight of a basketball can severely change its trajectory when it is passed or shot. If you take shots with three basketballs that are of different weights, yes, there are basketballs with different weights, you will notice that your shot will not go to the same place without you making adjustments to compensate for the weight difference.

What Should be the Weight of an NBA Basketball

Similarly to taking shots, when attempting to make passes over certain distances with balls of different weights, changes will be required to get the pass on target all the time. Some players find it easier to shoot heavier basketballs because it’s easier to aim these basketballs. They also maintain their trajectory longer than those that are lighter.

On the other hand, you may have some players that prefer lighter basketballs because they are easier to control when dribbling. The NBA has a standard when it comes to the weight of basketball. This way, no player has a competitive advantage or disadvantage if they put in the work on the training ground. The NBA uses a fairly precise pressure regulation. NBA basketballs must be inflated at 7.5 to 8.5 PSI.

Do College and High School Leagues Use the Same Size of a Basketball How About the WNBA's BasketballDo College and High School Leagues Use the Same Size of a Basketball? How About the WNBA’s Basketball?

At the Collegiate and High School level, the basketball size is size 7. This is the same as the NBA. This basketball measures 29.5 inches in circumference. This size basketball being the standard for the high school, college, and NBA league, allow players to get accustomed to the ball at an early stage without having to make adjustments as they progress through the Leagues.

Most basketball leagues around the world use the same standard size 7 basketball so, if you go to your gym or local ballpark, the basketball you will be using to play pick-up games is likely the same size as the one used in the NBA.

The WNBA is a bit different. Generally, women tend to have smaller hands than men. A basketball that is appropriately proportioned to the size of your hand is typically easier to manipulate. With that said, this is one reason why the WNBA uses a slightly smaller basketball than the men’s league.

The WNBA basketball size is a size 6. A size 6 basketball measure is 28.5 inches in circumference. If men use this basketball, they will notice the difference even though it is quite small. A difference in basketball’s size will affect how the basketball is held, which affects everything you do with the ball after you hold it.

Because the ball is smaller, women with smaller hands than men can be more efficient in games.

How Important It is to Have a Proper Basketball SizeHow Important It is to Have a Proper Basketball Size?

The size of the basketball that is being used by an individual is extremely important. The weight is equally important as well. The basketball is controlled by a person’s hand throughout games, so a basketball should be in proportion to the average hand size of the group it is being manufactured for.

Smaller basketballs are typically harder to control when shooting if larger players use them. You may be wondering how this is true if your hand would cover more of the basketball’s surface when the ball is smaller. Let’s reason it out for a minute.

If your hand covers more of the ball’s surface, it does not make it easier for you to take a shot with that ball, because the mechanics involved when taking a shot do not require the use of your entire hand.

To shoot the ball efficiently, your fingers must be strategically placed at specific areas on the basketball. For this to happen, there needs to be sufficient space on the ball for you to set your fingers. Ask yourself this question. Why are smaller players typically better shooters than bigger players? The answer is simple. Smaller players generally have smaller hands than bigger players. Because bigger players have bigger hands, they have it harder to control the basketball.

How Important It is to Have a Proper Basketball Size

On the other hand, smaller players have more space on the ball to place their fingers accurately when taking shots. We are not saying that bigger players can’t shoot the ball accurately. You do have big players that are great shooters.

However, this is much harder for them to accomplish. It takes a lot more time and effort than it would for smaller players to become great shooters. On the flip side, if the basketball is too big for the player, then it is equally difficult for them to control. Imagine taking your child to the park and giving them a size 7 basketball to use.

It will be visibly evident that the child struggles to dribble, shoot, and pass the basketball because of its size and weight. Using a basketball that is too big will definitely affect how a player performs on the basketball court. We hope that explanation helped you to understand why it is important for players to have the correct basketball to play with.

Recommended Basketball Size by AgeRecommended Basketball Size by Age

You do have some players that are blessed to grow more than the average size players, but for the most part, players within a particular age group generally have similar body sizes. Because of this, basketball can be manufactured at standard sizes for age groups. Let’s take a look at the different age groups and the basketball sizes recommended for each age group.

We will start with the young kids, the b-ball babies. Both boys and girls below 8yrs should use basketballs that are roughly around 24 inches in circumference. You do have some kids that are a little smaller so 22 inches can be given it to them. You can determine your child’s hand size by counting their hand from the bottom of the palm to the tip of your middle fingers.

For the boys and girls that are a little older between the ages of 9 and 11, their basketball should be around 27.5 inches in circumference. This basketball is a size 5 basketball. Size 5 basketballs are commonly used in youth basketball tournaments around the world.

You do have some parents that want their children to use the size 7 basketball, which is the standard NBA basketball, at a young age because they want them to get accustomed to the feel of the ball quicker. They also believe that this will make their children stronger. Some coaches share this belief, but not all.

The counter-argument to this belief is that a child using a basketball that is too large at such an early age may impede their development. Because the larger basketball is unwieldy for the child, the child may take longer to develop the basic skills of the game, such as passing, dribbling, and shooting.

Boys in middle school take a step closer to the big leagues. If your boy is between the ages of 12-14 it is recommended that they use a basketball that is 28.5 in. This is a size 6 basketball. This basketball is used by all women and girls that are 12yrs and older. At the ages of 12 to 14, the boy is now stronger and more capable of handling a larger ball, but may not be suited for the size 7 basketball.

When the boy begins high school, they will graduate to the size 7 basketball. This is the size of the basketball that will be used throughout high school and college basketball games. This is the standard size for basketballs that are used around the world in most basketball leagues. The size 7 is the adult size basketball. The WNBA uses the same size 6 basketball recommended for all girls 12yrs and over.

Wrapping Things Up: Size of an NBA Basketball

The NBA has a standard official size basketball that they use. This extremely popular league around the world would not leave it up to chance when it comes on to the balls being used at its games. Everything needs to be uniformed, including the equipment.

The official size of an NBA basketball is the size 7 basketball that is used by boys from the high school league through to the collegiate level. Until next time ballers, make sure you are balling with the right ball.

If you found this post helpful, you’re definitely going to like our other basketball FAQ articles here.

More interesting basketball FAQ posts here:

> How High is an NBA Basketball Hoop?

> How Much Air Pressure Should a Basketball Have?

Hoops Addict
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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