Here are the official basketball sizes for men, women, and youth basketball players.
Before you purchase a ball, you definitely need to consider which size is appropriate for your player. But in addition to that, there are several different styles and manufacturers to choose from.
High school boys
Boys 12 yrs & older
High school girls
Youth 8-12 yrs
|Youth/Junior||5||27"-27.5"||Youth 4-8 yrs|
|Mini||3||7" in diameter||Youth 8 yrs & younger|
Rec & promo use only
Next to size, the most important thing to consider is where the ball is likely to get the most use. Will it be used exclusively on an indoor court? An outdoor court? Or both? This will determine what material the ball needs to be made of.
The following links will provide information to help you choose the right ball for you:
Do you know what the first basketballs looked like?
Read on to find out how they began and evolved into the balls we use today...
We were starting the 1984-85 basketball season. I'll never forget it.
The NCAA ruled that the size of basketball used in collegiate men's and women's competition would be different for the first time ever.
I was halfway through my college career and, up until that time, I had played with a standard-size basketball that I thought had been around forever...
Did you know that the very first basketballs were really soccer balls?
Basketballs didn't come on the scene until a couple years after the game was invented when a bicycle manufacturing company started making them.
The first balls were pretty crude. They were made of four panels of cowhide stitched together with an opening in the side to insert a rubber bladder. The bladder was inflated, the opening was laced up with rawhide strips, and there you have it...
The first official basketball!
This new ball measured 30-32 inches in circumference which was quite a bit larger than the soccer balls players had been using.
In the early years, it was a challenge to produce a perfectly round ball, and as a result, the sizes and shapes were slightly different with each one. Few basketballs actually lasted through an entire game without becoming completely lopsided and deformed.
Imagine trying to dribble and shoot!
When the laces would hit the rim the balls would bounce in crazy directions. And there was no guarantee if you dribbled the ball that it would actually return to your hand.
Today, we use "molded" basketballs instead of laced up ones that are much more uniform in shape and dependable in performance.
Check out How to Play Basketball for links to other useful hoops info!