Different Basketballs: Which is the Best Size?

Basketballs come in many different sizes. The appropriate size depends on your particular age and needs. It is imperative to use the right size basketball, especially for young children. In this article we will identify the different basketball sizes and what they are commonly used for.

The Regulation Basketball

A regulation basketball (Size 7) is required for all men’s professional, collegiate, high school, and middle school games. This ball is between 29.5 and 30 inches. It is the largest ball available so it may be too large for young children learning the game or women. However, if you play boy’s high school basketball, or beyond, you will need to be comfortable using this sized ball.

The Women’s Basketball

A women’s basketball (Size 6) is used in all girl’s professional, collegiate, high school, and middle school games. The ball is between 28.5 and 29 inches. It is smaller in circumference to accommodate the smaller female hand size. Any female¬†who wish to play at the levels identified will need to be able to play with this size ball.

The Intermediate Sized Youth Basketball

The intermediate sized youth basketball (Size 5) is for younger athletes usually between the ages of 9 and 11. It is between 27.5 and 28 inches in size. This is the standard youth basketball size commonly found in stores and online.

The Smaller Sized Youth Basketball

The smaller-sized youth basketball (Size 4) is for young children between the ages of 5 and 8. It is between 25.5 and 26 inches. It is ideal for players first learning the game.

The Mini Sized Basketball

The mini sized basketball (Size 3) is a much smaller ball that can be used for 3 and 4-year-olds. It is between 22 and 22.5 inches. You can’t get much lower than this unless you are using a little Nerf toy basketball.

Which Size Ball Do You Need

If you are an older boy or girl the answer is simple; you should be using a regulation men’s or women’s sized ball. However, for younger children things are a little more complicated. When teaching a player how to dribble a larger ball is better because there is more basketball surface for their smaller hands to utilize while practicing the dribbling motion. However, for shooting and passing, they will require a smaller ball because larger balls are too big and heavy (they will also require a lower hoop). Ideally, you will use a larger ball for dribbling, and a smaller ball for passing and shooting. If this is not possible then just using a smaller ball is recommended.

There are many places to purchase a basketball including a local sporting goods store or online. Remember the smaller the child, the smaller the ball that will be required. You want your child to practice doing things the right way so they need a ball that they can feel comfortable with. The ages attached to the sizes above are just recommendations, and you should always purchase the basketball that is appropriate for your child. By doing this, you will ensure that they can practice comfortably, and develop into the best basketball players that they want to be.

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