How to Deflate a Ball
Removing the air from your ball between uses allows for easy transportation and storage. Deflating your ball correctly will ensure the inner rubber bladder remains intact, helping your ball last for many years. Incorrect deflation could result in a broken inflation needle or punctured inner bladder, rendering your ball useless. Take your time and follow these simple instructions to promote the longevity of your ball.
Purchase an inflation needle. Generally, most footballs, soccer balls and basketballs require a universal-sized needle. However, if you are unsure about the valve size on your ball, take it along when purchasing your needle to ensure you buy the correct size.
Locate the valve on your ball. The valve is the small hole that provides access to the inner rubber bladder. It is usually surrounded by a thin rubber circle. On a basketball or soccer ball, the valve is commonly located immediately above or below the size and weight information. On a football, the valve can be located centrally, above or below the laces.
Lubricate the valve with some water or saliva.
Insert the lubricated needle slowly and at a right angle to the ball. When you hear the hissing sound of air being released from the ball, hold the needle in that position. Hold the ball tightly to squeeze out the air and prevent the needle from snapping.
Once the ball has reached the desired level of deflation, slowly remove the needle and store it safely.
Store your inflation needle in a safe place between uses to ensure you will be able to find it when you need it next.
Joe Faulkner-Edwards has been a freelancer for the BBC since 2008. He writes and researches innovative new factual entertainment formats and output-related material for BBC Online. Faulkner-Edwards is also a health and fitness expert. His health and lifestyle articles have been featured in "The Leeds Student" newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting from the University of Leeds.