Basketball Options | Choosing the Right One

People of all ages, from various parts of the world and from different cultures, enjoy playing basketball both inside and outside. Some enjoy playing the official game of basketball, some enjoy playing a game of HORSE, while others like to just shoot around or practice tricks. Whichever form of basketball a person likes to play, one thing is for sure, you can’t play without an actual basketball.

Now, just like there are many different forms of playing basketball, there are also many different types of basketballs. So, with so many choices, how do we choose which basketball is best to purchase? Let’s look at each type of basketball, what they are specifically designed to be used for, and which one might be best for you.


One of the more simple options when choosing a basketball is the size. Depending on who is playing and what the basketball is being used for, will help you determine which size basketball is best to purchase.

The most widely used basketball is the size 7 ball, officially 29.5 inches in circumference, which is generally used in basketball competitions for male adults in high school, college, and professional games. The size 6 basketball, which is 28.5 inches in circumference, is generally used in basketball competitions for female adults in high school, college, and professional games. This ball is a good transition ball for young teens becoming adults, both male and female. Last, the best basketball used for kids is the size 5 basketball, which is 27.5 inches in circumference. This size basketball is best used for kids learning to play recreationally and on a competitive level. Also, it is generally not that much smaller than a full size ball and can be used by adults and kids when just playing a recreational game of basketball together.


There are mainly 3 different materials used in making a basketball. These materials are, leather, synthetic and rubber. Each one is made of different purposes and has different lengths of durability on various surfaces.

Leather type basketballs are generally best used for indoor games on smooth floors. Many indoor courts are made of wooden floors and leather basketballs are best for not damaging this type of floor and they also provide good grip when sweat becomes a factor. It’s not advisable to use a leather ball on an outside court because most outside courts are made of concrete or asphalt surfaces. These surfaces can ruin the leather material on this type of basketball, which generally reduces the durability for this type of ball. Leather type basketballs are generally the most expensive choice.

Synthetic type basketballs are generally designed for outdoor use but, can also be used inside. This is the best type of basketball to have when playing outdoors because it’s the most durable. This type of basketball can last an even longer amount of time when used only on an indoor court. Synthetic type basketballs are generally in the middle when it comes to cost. They are not the most expensive but, they are also not the cheapest.

Rubber type basketballs, like synthetic, are designed for indoor and outdoor use. This type of ball is best for someone on a budget or someone that is not too serious about the game and just wants something for recreational use and not for competition. This type of ball is usually the cheapest.


Almost everyone is familiar with the burnt orange color that is generally associated with basketballs. But, basketballs can also come in many different colors. Many basketballs that are made in a nontraditional color usually have two different shades of color between the lines of the ball. These colorful basketballs are great for playing in low lit areas because the multiple colors make more of a contrast and as a result are more visible. Colorful basketballs are also great for performing basketball tricks such as twirling a basketball on your finger and/or fancy dribbling because the color contrast makes the basketball more visible and allows the eyes to follow the movement of the ball, especially a twirl, a little better. Also, multicolor basketballs are generally sold cheaper than traditional color ones. If you are going to use a basketball for competition purposes, it’s generally better to purchase a traditional solid color basketball; as most basketball leagues, of any level, restrict multicolor balls.

The details above will come in really handy when choosing which type of basketball to purchase. Whether you play indoors or outdoors; on wood, concrete or asphalt; for competition or recreation; whether you are on a budget or looking for the best ball money can buy; you will be able to use this guide in choosing which basketball is best for you. But, with everything in mind, my personal favorite is a synthetic, full size, traditional color basketball because it can be used for almost anything and even though it may be the largest, it’s still small enough for people of all sizes to enjoy.