How Much Does a Basketball Weigh? Analysis of Official Basketball Weight and Size

Short Answer: An official NBA basketball weighs 22 oz. (1.38 lbs.) and measures around 29.5” in circumference.

Everyone who loves basketball both as a fan and a player must know the basic knowledge about the game. That said, the question is, “how much does a basketball weigh?” 

Official basketballs may differ in weight and size depending upon two common scenarios. That is, measurements taken while keeping Men’s Basketball in mind versus the measurements considered while keeping Women’s Basketball in mind.

The differences aren’t too broad, but we need to discuss them in detail so that you could have enough knowledge about the game you love the most.

Let us move into a detailed discussion on basketball weight and size for men and women as follows:

Men’s Basketball Weight and Size Analysis

We study two standard weights and sizes when it comes to men’s basketball. The first standard is that of a basketball with 29.5” circumference with weight of 21 oz. or 1.30 lbs. The second standard is that of 22 oz. or 1.38 lbs. of weight with a 30” circumference.

Coming towards the NBA now, the official size for basketball in this league remains the same, i.e. 30 inches (74 cm) for both men and women. Meanwhile, the official weight is either 22 oz. or 21 oz. respectively.

Talking from the International perspective, the tournaments use standard Molten GL-7 basketball, which comes with a size of 30.7 inches.

As we go down in the hierarchy, the standard size and weight slowly change when we talk about high school or the NCAA. The official weight becomes just 22 ounces along with an average circumference of 29.5” or sometimes 28” respectively.

Coming towards the kids aged between 4 to 8 years, the official size decreases at round about 22 to 24.5 inches. That’s because kids have smaller hands and a smaller size helps them have a perfect grip on the ball.

Women’s Basketball Weight and Size Analysis:

You might think, “What could be the reason there’s a difference in size and overall weight of a basketball when it comes to women?”

Well, not discriminating anything but women have comparatively smaller hands compared to men.

As a result, they feel more comfortable while gripping a smaller size basketball.

Anyways, cutting right to the chase, the first standard weight for a women’s basketball is 18 ounces with a diameter of 28.5 inches.

Similarly, the second standard weight is 20 ounces with a size of 29 inches. That’s the official stats for a basketball weight and size while keeping women in mind.

Moving further, women use the standard Molten GL6 basketball on international duty. It has a circumference of around 28 inches.

The WNBA, on the other hand, shows no discrimination in terms of size and weight and it remains the official 29.5” circumference along with 22 oz. weight.

NCAA or high school female athletes use the basketball with a weight of around 20 ounces. The size decreases somewhere from 28.5” to 26”-27” respectively.

Moreover, the official size of 22” to 24.5” is recommended for girls aged between 4 to 8 years.

That’s all about the contrast of weight and size when we take Men’s vs Women’s basketball into perspective.

Weight of a Fully Inflated Basketball

You might have heard that a fully inflated basketball weighs more than standard.

It might as well be true as the companies tend to fill the balls a little bit more than the standard weigh-in.

They do it deliberately as the ball could lose some air with time. So, the roundabout weight yet again falls back to 22 oz. which is the official standard set by Basketball Association.

How Air in Basketball is Measured

The standard unit used for filling air in basketball is PSI abbreviated as pounds per square inch.

Plus, the official administration uses a Pressure Gauge to measure the amount of air filled in the ball. Normally it stays at around 8 PSI but could go as high as 9 PSI depending upon the circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Basketball weight and size do have an impact on the overall gameplay. That’s one of the reasons authorities pay great attention to maintain the standard air pressure and circumference on the basketball.

All the stats I’ve mentioned above are confirmed from multiple primary and secondary sources. However, there might be a slight difference in approximation and it isn’t a big issue.

I hope you now know the answer to the question, “How much does a basketball weigh?” well enough.

You could either flex this information on your friends or keep it to yourself. I’d prefer the former option though *Evil Laugh*

Got any other questions related to the basics of basketball? Leave it down in the comment box and I’ll get back to it as soon as possible.

Mens NCAA Basketball Court Dimensions

If you’re in the process of designing your own basketball court, just knowing the exact measurements and layout of each line and where it should go can make a big difference in how official your new court feels.

From the free throw line to the base line, here is all the stats and info you need to plan your area to match the dimensions of mens NCAA basketball courts.

Quick Overview

Mens NCAA Basketball Court Dimensions

Why Choose Mens NCAA Basketball Court Dimensions for a New Court

Most new players grow up  learning to play basketball on whatever court is available to them. The more NCAA basketball courts available to youth, the more opportunities they will have to get used to the shooting distances. A court designed with NBA basketball court dimensions in mind is a good idea as well but more than likely the young player will be hitting the college scene before the NBA so it may be a better bet to prepare them for the college experience first. 

Overall Court Size

Basketball courts are fairly large in overall size. Most start with a 94 feet x 50 feet pad. The sideline is 94 feet and the baseline is 50 feet. If you want your court to look as accurate as possible, right down to the nitty gritty details than plan for an even larger area (+6 feet all around) so that you can include the officials area, team benches, etc.


All boundary lines and on-court lines are 2 inches wide with the exception of the low block located on the lane lines near the rim. The low block is 1 foot wide and 8 inches long.

Basketball Rim Height

The height of the rim (or goal) should be fixed at 10 feet from the floor to the top of the rim. This should be the height from high school up to college basketball and into the NBA. All rims are 1 foot 6 inches in diameter regardless of what level you are playing at.

Backboard Dimensions

Standard backboard dimensions are 6 feet wide by 3 feet 6 inches tall. For backboards found in gymnasiums I would recommend a tempered glass board though they are quite pricey. They are by far the best material to use and the same material Spalding uses when creating backboards for the NCAA

For a cheaper alternative that still offers fantastic response, you can choose an acrylic backboard. It’s not quite as nice a feel as playing with a tempered glass board but it still has enough strength and rigidity to provide for amazing game play.

Center Court or Jump Circle

Center court is located at the half-court line dead-center of the court at 47 feet from either end. There are normally two concentric circles at the very center used for tip-off, one at a 2 foot radius to the courts center point and another at a 6 foot radius to the courts center point. This area is often referred to as the Jump Circle and is the same again from high school up to college basketball and into the NBA.

Mens NCAA jump circle dimensions

Three Point Line

The three point line is an arc that begins at the baseline and continues out in an arching shape just touching the top of the key and then returning back to the baseline on the opposite side of the key. Its radius extends out to 20 feet 9 inches from the center of the hoop or rim. It’s great if you can begin in high school playing on college or NBA three point arcs. 

Mens NCAA Three point dimensions

Key and the Foul Line

This area is made up of a square lane 12 feet wide by 18 feet 10 inches long called the key or free throw lane. At the top is a semicircle and where the two meet is the location of the foul line. The foul line is 15 feet from the backboard and 19 feet from the baseline.   

Mens NCAA free throw and key dimensions part 2
Mens NCAA Free throw and key dimensions part 1

College Basketball Court Dimensions

It can be difficult choosing whether to lay your basketball court out using NBA court dimensions or using college basketball court dimensions. Keep in mind that the majority of pros start in college playing on a college basketball court layout. By having your home court laid out in the same fashion and being able to practice and play daily with this configuration you may increase your odds of making the college teams.

Ways to Make Your Basketball Court Even More Fun

Consider an adjustable rim for young kids if this is for your home. This allows the whole family to play together without having the younger children get overly frustrated and being adjustable will allow the net to last well beyond high school.

Chain mesh makes an amazing addition to a home court and the sound when the ball hits the net really gets you pumped. It can be a little ghetto looking which may be the look you like for your court.

A really great outdoor speaker system is a must if you can afford it. There is nothing better than playing with music. Something that really gets your blood pumping.

I’ve seen some really cool personalized logos at center court or on backboards for half courts. It can be a really great way of bringing the overall feel of the court together.

The Rules of Basketball Simplified and Explained

On November 6th 1861,  Dr. James Naismith was born in Almonte Ontario, Canada. He grew up and became the athletics director at McGill University then moved to Springfield Massachusetts where he took on a position as physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training Center. In 1891 Naismith invented the game of basketball which began with only 13 rules of play.

Old drawn image of kids playing original basketball game

Why is Basketball Called Basketball?

When Dr. Naismith created the game of basketball he used a peach basket as the net but after a while it became tedious to have someone come in with a pole, stick it up through a small hole in the bottom and poke the ball out. Eventually the bottom of the basket was removed so the ball could quickly be put back into play. 

The Original 13 Rules

Original 13 rules of basketball

What are the 13 Rules of Basketball?

Here they are again in case the above is a bit hard to read. 

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
  1. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with the fist).
  1. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed if he tries to stop.
  1. The ball must be held in or between the hands; the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
  1. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.
  1. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of Rules 3,4, and such as described in Rule 5.
  1. If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the mean time making a foul).
  1. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.
  1. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field of play by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower in is allowed five seconds, if he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on that side.
  1. The umpire shall be judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.
  1. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made, and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
  1. The time ‘shall be two fifteen minutes, halves, with five minutes’ rest between.
  1. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

There have been some changes over the years to the rules of basketball including the complete removal of #4, #7 as well other small differences however for the most part these rules still ring true and continue to make up the backbone of one of the greatest sports ever known to man!

Object of the Game

The objective of basketball is to score the most points possible within the allotted time period by dribbling the ball passing it from player to player in an effort to get the ball into the hoop.

What are the Most Important Rules in Basketball?

  • Shoot the basketball into the other teams net or goal
  • Pass the ball from teammate to teammate
  • Dribble the ball when not shooting or passing
  • Block the other team from getting the ball in your net
  • Keep the ball within the boundary of the court
  • Turn the ball over to the other team after a successful basket

The above rules can be used as a quick start guide to get you playing right away. If you are completely brand new to the game, this is a really quick look at some very basic rules. These rules of basketball are enough that you could go out and have a great time playing without being overly concerned with the nitty gritty violations.

A Deeper Look at the Rules of Basketball

The rest of this article will go further into the meaning of basketball’s rules and how they should be implemented. Remember that basketball is a game and it’s meant to be fun. If your not playing competitively than just stick to the quick rules from above and keep it relaxed!

Game Start

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that the visiting team chooses which half of the court to start on. Teams will switch baskets or court sides at the end of the first half so that each team plays equal time on each side.

Play begins with a jump ball. A jump ball is where a player from each team stands at the center circle and the referee throws the ball up in the center of them. As the ball comes down, the two players try to jump up and tip the ball to his or her own teammates. Game play continues on from that point.



There are different sizes and weights of basketballs. NBA basketballs are 29.5 inches in circumference and are inflated to somewhere between 7.5 and 8.5 psi. Click here for more basketball sizes and weights.

Rim and Backboard

The back of the backboard is considered to be out of bounds however all other sides are fair play. The dimensions of the backboard are generally 6 feet wide by 3.5 feet high. 

Flat Court Surface

It is imperative that you have a flat surface to play basketball on. A surface with uneven terrain can be a dangerous trip and fall hazard. A grass court is ok for shooting but won’t work great for dribbling and that can be frustrating. Dirt courts work well in a pinch but get the ball so dirty and dusty that it becomes difficult to hold onto the ball. A clean, wooden surface is really the best option as it offers some cushion over a cement or blacktop court. Your knees will thank you if your able to play on a gym floor the majority of the time. Click here for NCAA basketball court dimensions.


Number of Players

Each team has a maximum of 5 players on the court at any one time. There are often far more players on a team so that they can substitute in for one another when they get tired or injured.


The team captain is generally selected by the coach or voted on by the team. The team captain is a leader and should show positive leadership in all that he or she does. The team captains job includes:

  • Speaking with officials about rule interpretations (not calls) during timeouts
  • Setting the example for the rest of the team in game play, strategy, sportsmanship and effort
  • Encouraging team members to be and try their best and support them through difficulties on and off the court
  • Keeping the team mood focused, together and optimistic
  • Showing your teammates how to be a humble winner and a gracious loser
  • Reminding your team that it’s a game and it should be fun!


A basket made anywhere from the baseline to the three point line counts as two points.

A basket made anywhere beyond the three point line counts as three points.

A free successful foul shot or free throw from the free throw line counts as 1 point for each basket made.


The team with the most points at the end of a game is considered the winner. In a playoff situation, the playoff winner is the team that wins “Best of 7”. In other words, the first team with 4 wins takes the championship.


CJ Fair NBA basketball player dribbling up court

Dribbling is one of the most basic rules of basketball. It’s how the ball is moved around the court when not being passed or shot. As the players run up and down the court they tap or push the ball downward with one hand causing it to hit the floor and bounce back up to the players hand. This is repeated when moving or while standing still. Dribbling ends under the following conditions:

  • The player touches the ball with both hands at the same time
  • They allow the ball to come to rest while he or she is in control of it
  • The player tries for a basket or goal
  • He or she throws a pass
  • They touch the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor
  • The player loses control of the ball
  • The player allows the ball to become dead for whatever reason

Free Throws

A free throw is a players opportunity to score points by shooting unopposed from the free throw line. This occurs when a player has been fouled during game play. The player has 10 seconds to take the shot from the line after receiving the ball from the referee. Each point scored from the free throw line is worth one point.


Personal Foul

A player is allowed to commit 6 personal fouls in any single 48 minute game, the normal length of an NBA game. A 7th foul results in being ejected from the game. In a 40 minute game such as NCAA games, this number is reduced to 5 personal fouls with a 6th leading to ejection. A personal foul may be called anytime there is overly aggressive physical contact against another player from the opposing team during live game play.

The penalty for a personal foul can be losing possession of the ball or in the case of a foul during a shot on the basket a free throw equivalent to the value of the shot taken may be awarded. So if the fouled player was taking a three point shot he or she would be awarded three free throw shots from the free throw line valued at one point per shot.

Personal Foul Types

Illegal Screening

Setting up a screen in basketball can be a great tactic to help your team member with the ball reach the net, however, if you are screening an opponent who does not have possession of the ball than that would be an illegal screen and a foul may be called.


Holding a player in a way that prevents their movement at any point during play is not allowed.


In basketball you are permitted to block a player as long as your feet are stationary and you keep your hands to yourself. Any other form of blocking is considered a foul.

Illegal Guarding

Illegal guarding is the use of your body to intentionally slow down or restrict the movement of an opposing player. Putting your hand in front of his or her face for example could be construed as an illegal foul.

Illegal Use of Hands

Using your hands on an opponent’s body to slow them down or restrict their movement while they are in possession of the ball may result in the referee calling an illegal use of hands foul. Players must have the ability to move freely without physical restriction. This does not mean a player can’t stand in front of another player in an attempt to block them. They must however keep their body from aggressively touching their opponents.


Pushing is very straightforward and can be called whether a player has possession of the ball or not. Pushing is called when a player uses his or her body in any way to move an opposing player using force.  


Charging is called when a player aggressively hits another player. This could be a player with or without possession of the ball at the time. It could also be called when making too aggressive a play on the basket that results in an opposing player being hit or relocated in a major way.

Team Fouls

In the rules of basketball a team is permitted 4 fouls per quarter without additional penalties. For every foul committed beyond that, 2 free throws are awarded to the opposing team. Team fouls include any personal foul acquired by players of the team as well as any technical fouls (See Technical Fouls description)

Other Team Foul Types

Disqualifying Foul

A disqualifying foul would be called on a player who purposefully injures another player or is excessively aggressive to the point they act dangerously. In these situations there is no second chance. It is an automatic ejection from the game.

Personal Team Foul

Any time a player receives a personal foul, that foul also goes against his team. When a team acquires 5 fouls in a quarter, each additional foul will result in the opposing team getting 2 free throws.

Double Dribble

A double dribble occurs when a player stops dribbling and then begins again without passing or shooting the ball first. This can be because the player touched the ball with two hands and then continued to dribble again or because the player held the ball momentarily rather than the ball being in continuous motion.

Technical Foul

A technical foul is basically any foul that does not include physical contact with another player in some way. Think of it as dealing with the small technicalities involved in playing a team sport. Everyone must adhere to the same rules of basketball. There are many non-game rules that must be followed including a strict player dress code. Failure to adhere to any off-court rules may result in a technical foul.

Any member of a team can incur a technical foul. This includes players on the court and off as well as coaches. After a team member receives two technical fouls in one single game they are immediately removed from the game.

If a team member accumulates 16 technical fouls in a single season they are suspended from one game. They are suspended for one additional game for every two technical fouls after that.

Flopping Foul

A flopping foul is when a player intentionally falling or trying to mislead the referees into thinking a fall or hit was more serious than it was in an effort to have fouls called on the opposing team.

Double Foul

A double foul occurs when two opposing players incur a foul against each other at the same time. For example, a player grabs the shirt of an opposing player as he or she aggressively charges their way through the defense to make a play at the basket. The first offender should not have grabbed the clothing of the second and the second offender should not have been charging.

Unsportsmanlike or Flagrant Foul

A flagrant or unsportsmanlike foul occurs when a player intentionally hurts another player to prevent him or her from progressing toward the net. Clotheslining someone in the heat of a game may be considered a flagrant or unsportsmanlike foul.

Offensive Three Seconds

This is often affectionately referred to as “3 in the key” and is designed to prevent players from cherry picking or camping out under the basket to try and make an easy tip in. A player can not spend more than three consecutive seconds in the key.

Defensive Three Seconds

Similar to the Offensive Three Seconds, the Defensive Three Seconds is designed to prevent large players from completely blocking access to the basket. It also helps limit some goaltending.

Goaltending Foul

Goaltending is the act of grabbing or swatting the ball away from entering the basket as it descends from a shot taken. Large players could otherwise jump up and grab the ball just before it enters the rim.

Clear Path to the Basket Foul

A Clear Path to the Basket foul can occur when a player has a breakaway with a clear path to the basket in front of him or her and they are tripped or pushed from behind preventing them from making the play.

Punching Foul

This foul’s exactly what it sounds like it should be. A player punches or hits another player whether accidental or on purpose.

Away From the Play Foul

An Away From the Play foul is enacted in the last 2 minutes of the game or in an overtime situation. This is a foul that occurs away from the action of game play when there is some sort of illegal contact. It can also take place in the few moments prior to a ball being thrown in from the sidelines.  

Loose Ball Foul

A loose ball foul is the result of neither teams being able to get control of the ball. This may be the result of a tugging match over the ball with the players fighting for possession. Possession can be decided with a jump ball or a possession arrow may be in use at the scorekeepers desk.

For these fouls there is no line-up of players on the free throw lane and these fouls do not count towards personal or team foul totals.  

Throw In

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A throw in, also called an inbound pass, can occur after a loose ball foul or when the ball goes out of bounds. The team awarded possession has a player stand at the court boundary line, either at the baseline or sideline, he then throws the ball into a teammate. The ball must be passed into the same side of the court the throw in takes place on with the exception of the final two mins or overtime, at which point the ball can be thrown into anywhere on the court.


In the rules of basketball, any player who is planning on substituting in for another on his team goes to the scorer table and lets the scorer know which teammate he plans on replacing. He then stands in the substitution box and waits for the referee to signal him in to make the replacement. The substitution box is an 8′ wide area marked out in front of the scorer’s table.


Interestingly, the home team wears light colored jerseys and the visitors or away team wears dark colored jerseys. The players shirt is supposed to be tucked into the players shorts at all times and they are not allowed to wear t-shirts over their jerseys.

Chicago basketball jersey

Some leagues require all numbers on the jerseys to be made up of numbers that can be expressed on one hand (0-5) so that there is no confusion when the referee reports fouls to the officials. For example the number 24 would be fine as the referee can use his one hand to hold up 2 fingers and his other to hold up 4. The number 78 however would not be allowed as this would be more difficult to communicate. This is only certain leagues that have this restriction however.

Final Thoughts

Basketball is an amazing sport! Weather playing in the NBA, watching from the bleachers or enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the home driveway-court, basketball is a game that can bring friends together and provides hours and hours of fun. So now that you know a little more about the rules of basketball, get out there, grab a ball and start shooting!

Basketball Sizes – What Size Basketball Should You Use

When it comes to basketball it’s easy to think that a one size fits all equipment strategy is a fine way to go. However things couldn’t be further from the truth. Equipment size and basketball sizes especially has a large impact on play. From safety to muscle memory, using the right size ball for practice and game play is an important factor to remember.

Using the wrong size ball can have a negative effect on the development of a child or youth’s technique. Muscle memory plays a key role in improving your proficiency at a sport and helps you make the right decisions in those split second moments.

I play basketball with my children and the difference between my 5 year old having fun playing and walking away crying is generally the ball size. If he tries to play with a regulation size ball he often gets hurt. But using a mini ball increases his confidence, gives him better control and allows him to play safely.

What Size Basketball Should You Use

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Mens basketball began in 1891 in Springfield Massachusetts by a Canadian professor named James Naismith. Naismith came up with the original 13 rules of basketball. Though founded on June 6th 1946 the NBA would play it’s first actual game on November 1st 1946, just two months before the official end of World War II. The  Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens in this debut game with New York winning by 2 points.

NBA Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 7
    • Circumference 29.5 in (75 cm)
    • Weight 22 oz (620 g)


Womens basketball took off just one year after the creation of the sport. It would be another 104 years before the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) would be founded on April 24th 1996. The regulation WNBA ball is a size 6 ball that is one inch (2.54 cm) smaller than the regulation NBA ball which is a size 7. This is a standard size 6 ball with a weight of 20 ozs or 567 grams. As of 2008, this size is used for all senior-level women’s competitions worldwide.

WNBA Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 6
    • Circumference 28.5 inches (72 cm)
    • Weight 20 oz (567 grams)

Men's NCAA

The Men’s NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association has been and continues to be one of the most important sporting associations in the world. It continuously turns out high caliber athletes ready to become national representatives in a number of different sports.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana the NCAA was formerly known as the IAAUS (Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States). It began on March 31, 1906 and quickly became the authority on college level sports. The name change came about in 1910 and has been the NCAA ever since.

The mens NCAA has a slightly different basketball court layout from the NBA. Check it out here!

The Men’s NCAA has become best known for it’s March Madness championship games that draw huge crowds and is widely televised across the globe.

Men's NCAA Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 7
    • Circumference 29.5 in (75 cm)
    • Weight 22 oz (620 g)

Women's NCAA

The NCAA added its women’s championship basketball program in 1981 and has grown in popularity and expanded its teams exponentially over the last few decades. The association now accepts 64 teams to qualify for the tournament played in March and April.

Women's NCAA Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 6
    • Circumference 28.5 inches (72 cm)
    • Weight 20 oz (567 grams)

Boys 15+

At the age of 15, boys are generally able to handle game play with a size 7 ball as used in the NBA. High school age is a key time in developing advanced game tactics, ball handling and proper team and sports etiquette.

Youth should using proper equipment at all times now that they are participating at higher levels competitively. All equipment should be properly fitted and in excellent condition at all times to prevent serious injury. Equipment should be inspected regularly and all defective items should be properly disposed of.

Boys 15+ Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 7
    • Circumference 29.5 in (75 cm)
    • Weight 22 oz (620 g)

Boys 12-14

Youth ages 12-14 should still be focusing on the overall fun of game play. Serious scoring and competitiveness should be limited when possible and when it makes sense to. Focus should be placed on sportsmanship and gaining an understanding of more advanced rules.

Youth at this age are still learning where there talents lie and which sports they are drawn to. A wide variety of different sporting activities should be tried and youth should be encouraged to gain proficiency at the areas of sports they have the most fun playing.

This is a time to develop passing and shooting skills using appropriately sized balls and nets to avoid injuries. They should also gain experiences in leading their teams and increase overall physical coordination.

Boys 12-14 Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 6
    • Circumference 28.5 inches (72 cm)
    • Weight 20 oz (567 grams)

Girls 12+

As with the boys of the same age group, girls should focus on gaining a love for the game.

Again, limit overly competitive situations focus on sportsmanship and advanced game rules.

Help them determine which sports they most enjoy and help them identify natural talents they may have. Help them gain proficiency at the sports they have the most fun playing.

Team leadership, coordination and physical conditioning are great skills to develop and master.

Girls 12+ Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 6
    • Circumference 28.5 inches (72 cm)
    • Weight 20 oz (567 grams)

Kids 9-11

Children ages 9 to 11 can be easily discouraged if they are not able to fully participate or gain some proficiency in the games they are playing. Helping them develop general basic skills that will serve them in a wide range of sports is the best option for them. It takes away a lot of the fun if they can’t hit the net so appropriate ball and net sizes are very important at this stage.

Kids 9-11 Official Basketball Dimensions

    • Size 5
    • Circumference 27.5 inches (70 cm)
    • Weight 17 oz (481 grams)

Kids ages 5-8

Children ages 5 to 8 are at an important phase in their preparation to playing team sports. They need to learn the basics of a number of different athletic activities and gain some greater efficiency with throwing, catching and proper running techniques. Learning how to react to ball being passed and thrown to them is another important skill set that should be mastered early on.

Team-play and low level competition are good things at this age but focusing on the fun that can be had while playing sports should be at the forefront of all games and activities. If the child can develop a love for the sport at an early age, their chances of gaining proficiency at that sport increase substantially.

Kids ages 5-8 Official Basketball Dimensions

  • Size 4
  • Circumference 25.5 inches (65 cm)
  • Weight 14 oz (396 grams)

Kids under 5 SIZE 3 - Novelty Mini Ball

Children under the age of 5 should focus on becoming proficient at rolling the ball across the floor in a straight line and throwing the ball with some precision to another child or adult. Catching from a gentle toss is good as well with the use of a soft-touch or thickly padded softball size ball. Do not use an actual softball as these are far too hard and can be dangerous to the child.

Kids under 5 Novelty Basketball Dimensions

  • Size 3
  • Weight under 14 oz (396 grams)


It really doesn’t matter what size the ball is when the children are younger as long as they are having fun in a safe environment. As youth get older and competition becomes more fierce, using properly sized equipment makes all the difference and becomes a safety concern.

Remember, sports should be fun!