There are a wide variety of basketballs available on the market.  When looking to buy one, there are a number of things you consider while making your decision...
Type of Ball
There are four main types of basketballs you can purchase

  • Entry level ball
  • Most economical
  • Most durable
  • Can be used either indoor or outdoor
  • Primarily used as a practice ball
  • Price range: $5 to $15 each

Rubber Basketball

Indoor / Outdoor
  • Very durable
  • Can be used either indoor or outdoor
  • Primarily used as a practice ball
  • Price range: $20 to $35 each

Indoor / Outdoor

Synthetic / Composite Leather
  • Should be used indoors only
  • Most common ball sold on the market
  • More economical than full grain leather
  • Price range: $40 to $60 each 

Composite Leather Basketball 
Full Grain Leather
  • Used at the professional level
  • Top of the line ball, but not economical
  • Hard to find in stores due to lack of popularity
  • Price range: $80 to $100+ each

 Leather Basketball

Ball Sizes

Size 3 / Mini Basketball
  • More of a novelty ball
  • Rarely used in actual play
  • Good for a first ball for a player ages 5 and under 
Size 5 / Youth Basketball
  • Commonly used by players ages 5-9.
  • Mainly available in rubber only
  • 'Youth' name normally found on the ball.
  • Found at specialty sporting good stores
Size 6 / 28.5 / Women's Basketball
  • Commonly used by boys ages 10-13 and girls / women ages 10 and up
  • Commonly marked with a '28.5' (which is the circumference of the ball)
Size 7 / Regulation / Men's 
  • Commonly used by boys / men ages 14+
  • Most common ball found in most sporting good stores
  • Commonly marked with 'regulation' or 'official size' on it 


There are dozens of different ball manufactures on the market.  Like most things, you will get a slightly better and longer lasting product is you stick to the recognized name brands. The high end brand of ball to look for include...

Storing Your Ball

To ensure your composite leather ball has a long life, store it in a cool, dry place.  Rubber balls are pretty much indestructible, but keep it clean and dry to ensure it has a long life!
Other Notes
  • It is suggested you write your name and phone number on your ball if you plan to you it in a public place (tryouts, camps, leagues, etc)
  • Don't sit on your ball as it could create a 'bulge' on the side of it, shortening its life.   
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