Basketball Official Size & Weight
Basketball sizes vary depending on the league or governing body for a particular basketball game. Basketballs are measured by circumference, inflation pressure or weight. According to USA basketball, balls should be made of leather or synthetic leather. A properly inflated ball of the correct size for level of play is important to ensure safety and skill development.
The NBA and WNBA
- NBA: 29.5 inches in circumference; inflated between 7.5-8.5 pounds per square inch
- WNBA: Maximum circumference of 29 inches; inflated between 7.5-8.5 pounds per square inch
- NCAA Men's Basketballs: Maximum circumference of 30 inches; seams must be no wider than 1/4 inch; weight of approximately 22 ounces
- NCAA Women's Basketballs: Maximum circumference of 29 inches; maximum weight of 20 ounces; seams no wider than 1/4 inch
- Men's international: Circumference of 78 centimeters (30.7 inches); referred to as a size 7
- Women's international: Circumference of 74 centimeters (29 inches); referred to as size 6
When dropped on the playing floor from a height of 1,800 millimeters (6 feet) the ball should bounce to a height between 1,200 millimeters and 1,400 millimeters (47 to 55 inches), measured to the top of the ball.
Most youth or junior basketball leagues for players 8 years old and above will use a collegiate or NBA size basketball. For players younger than 8, smaller sizes can be used. Most youth leagues will use basketballs between 28 and 29 inches in circumference.
Carl Putman is the program director for the Parisi Speed School located in Melbourne, Fla. He received a Bachelor of Arts in sport management from Flagler College and has been working with athletes of all ages and abilities since 2008. He specializes in speed, agility and sport performance for athletes.