What Size Basketball Should a Youth Player Use?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


Nothing can downplay the significance of finding the right equipment, whether in school or leisure—especially in intensive sports like basketball. Although basketball relies on your skills, standard basketball size will increase comfort and performance. Now, what size basketball should a youth player use?

There is no definitive answer to the right basketball size because of specific considerations. The recommended basketball size for youth players depends on weight, circumference, and age. If you don’t want to buy the wrong basketball size, this blog will help you find the best-sized one—so keep reading through.

Why is Correct Basketball Size ImportantWhy is Correct Basketball Size Important?

Perhaps you already know that basketball is a sport that requires a lot of physical strength, demands running and jumping, includes the right training program, and needs proper equipment. The general narrative is that using the right basketball size is vital because it helps you maximize your potential on the court by increasing your comfort.

Your playing performance will improve the more comfortable you are with the basketball size. It means basketballs are like fuel to a car that keeps it going for a long time. In like manner, the correct size will help you perform fundamental basketball routines perfectly and without so much risk.

According to an article written by the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, there are more reasons you should know why the right basketball size is essential. Hence, it would be best to scan each bullet point below to understand how this equipment goes straight to your benefiting line.

  • It improves your performance.

Imagine you are using a basketball that is either too heavy or too small; isn’t it uncomfortable and a hindrance? Performing rigid moves will seem effortless if the ball is your right size since it does not limit your potential or hurt your hands from constant movements. The correct basketball size allows you to play intensely and comfortably, thus improving your performance.

  • It protects you from potential injuries.

It is a no-brainer that basketball players are vulnerable to injuries because they play highly physical games, especially if the basketball size constantly limits your potential. If the ball is too big, you are prone to moving slowly or causing hand injury because of its heavy weight. Meanwhile, a smaller size limits your potential and makes you more agile. Hence, using either of the two sizes will increase your chances of getting injured.

  • It increases your balance and agility.

When the basketball is the right size, you can sustain energy throughout the games while maintaining your balance and agility. You can run faster and maintain balance despite risky moves because you get proper weight support. 

In other words, using standard basketball size will make you move better. If you want to know more about this discourse, keep reading through until the last section and decide the best size for you in the end.

What Basketball Size is Good for Youth PlayersWhat Basketball Size is Good for Youth Players?

Before answering the question, it would be best if you knew that basketball sizes vary depending on age, ball circumference, and weight. Always remember that ball sizes are subjective because some prefer them over others. However, remember that the standard size for youth players is Size 6.

Perhaps, you have asked yourself this question: what size basketball for ten years old? The best way to prevent yourself from buying the wrong size is to base it on the youth basketball size chart. Take a look at the size charts according to age in the next section based on the Spalding official website.

Recommended Basketball Sizes By Age

Before buying the shoes, keep in mind that basketball sizes vary by age. Here are the dimensions of shoes for youth players according to sex, age, circumference, and weight.

Size Circumference Weight Recommended Age
Nerf Toy 9 to 20” 1-5 ounces 0 to 4 years old
Size 1 (Micro-mini) 16” 8 ounces 2 to 4 years old (Boys and Girls)
Size 3 (Mini Basketball) 22” 10 ounces 4 to 8 years old (Boys and Girls)
Size 4 25.5” 14 ounces 5 to 8 years old (Boys and Girls)
Size 5 27.5” 17 ounces 9 to11 years old (Boys and Girls)
Size 6 28.5” 20 ounces 12 to 14 (Boys) 12 and up (Girls)
Size 7 29.5” 22 ounces 15 and up (Boys)

Note that the official size for high school, college, and pro-male players is Size 7. In contrast, the official size for high school, college, and pro-female players is Size 6. 

Lastly, these are simply recommendations, and you may opt for other measures as long as you are comfortable with them—but it would be better to follow them if you plan to join national leagues.

What is the Best Material for Basketballs that are Good for YouthWhat is the Best Material for Basketballs that are Good for Youth?

Before anything else, take note that basketballs differ not only in size but also materials. These materials have specific purposes, which carry pros and cons. Therefore, choosing the suitable material is as essential as deciding on the right size—it is also a matter of case-to-case rather than age orientation.

Check out the three different basketball materials and their edges below and decide which one is best suited to your situation, according to Dick’s Pro Tips.

  • Genuine Leather

Authentic leathers are the most expensive basketball materials because they are softer and more comfortable. Hence, national leagues prefer genuine leathers over others. Also, balls made with authentic leather age like fine wine because they feel softer as time passes.

  • Synthetic Leather

Balls made with synthetic leather averagely perform in terms of quality and are more durable. These balls are designed for indoor and outdoor courts, which is a plus. Also, unlike genuine ones, they do not need to be used for long to see their best quality.

  • Rubber Material

If you are looking for an affordable one, balls made from rubber are the cheapest ones available in the market. This material is the most durable among the three because they are designed specifically for outdoor courts with asphalt surfaces. Hence, they are generally used by beginner players. Plus, beginners need a ball that can withstand for a long time.

Going back to the questions, what is the best material for basketballs that are good for youth players? The short answer is that it depends on your level, not your age. If you are still starting in the sport, choosing the most durable and affordable ones, like rubber materials, would be best.

Meanwhile, you may opt for genuine materials if you have been playing for a long time and are practicing on an indoor court. If you want an affordable alternative that works indoors and outdoors, choose the synthetic ones.

3 Other Things to Consider When Buying a Youth Basketball3 Other Things to Consider When Buying a Youth Basketball

Choosing the best basketball is not just about the size and age but a combination of different considerations and aspects. To select the best ball that responds to your needs, you must evaluate it based on the standards below.

  • Weight

Weight is equally vital as size because it dramatically affects shooting attempts. Like size, weight can hamper your performance because it increases your chances of getting injured on the court. If you are still a beginner player, it might help if you start from the most comfortable weight and then gradually increase to the standard size for your age.

  • Court Type

You must also know the type of court that you will be practicing on because different court types have specific materials that work best on them. Rubber basketballs are the best if you play on outdoor courts with asphalt surfaces. If you play indoors, genuine leather will be the best choice. If you play basketball both indoors and outdoors, synthetic leather basketballs are the most practical ones.

  • Price

The quality of basketball equipment matters a lot; hence price should be your least priority. However, it is understandable that beginners prefer using the most durable and cheap ones since they are just trying and learning. The cheapest basketballs in the market are made of rubber materials.

Wrapping Things Up: What Size Basketball Should a Youth Player Use?

Although skills and decision-making abilities are the top factors in improving court performance, equipment should not be neglected. It would be best if you also remembered that basketball sizes depend on age and other factors. Now, what size basketball should a youth player use?

As prescribed by the Canadian Olympic Committee, Size 6 is the best ideal for players aged 12 to 14. However, finding the right size depends on various factors like weight, level, etc. If you want to understand more, you may review the points above and decide the best basketball for you! You may start from the primary size and slowly adapt to the standards.

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

Picture of 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.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected?

Getting into the All-Star game is no simple feat. For some players, it may take several seasons of high-level play to get the nod. However, other exceptional talents come into the league with so much...

Read More
How Do Basketball Teams Qualify for the Olympics?

How Do Basketball Teams Qualify for the Olympics?

The Summer Olympics is the biggest stage in international basketball. These games have an unbridled cultural impact on a global scale. It brings the world together to appreciate a couple of weeks of high-level international...

Read More
What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

Basketball is a world of its own with unique terms or jargon, in and out of the court. Through the years, more terms have been developed to represent specific things about the sport, and understanding...

Read More

Get our top basketball tips to become a better baller

Enter your email to get access to our best tips for success.