What is the regulation size of a basketball?

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, played by millions of people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re playing pickup games at the park, participating in organized leagues, or watching professional players on TV, the ball is the most important piece of equipment on the court. In this article, we’ll explore the regulation size of a basketball, including its dimensions, weight, and other important factors.

how much does a basketball weigh

What is the regulation size of a basketball?

The regulation size of a basketball is defined by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). According to these organizations, a regulation basketball must meet the following criteria:

Size: A regulation basketball must have a circumference of 29.5 inches (75 centimeters) for men’s games and 28.5 inches (72 centimeters) for women’s games.

Weight: A regulation basketball must weigh between 20 and 22 ounces (567 to 624 grams). Read more details on how much does a basketball weigh in pounds?

Material: A regulation basketball must be made of leather or synthetic materials approved by the NBA or FIBA.

Bounce: A regulation basketball must have a bounce between 49 and 54 inches (125 to 137 centimeters) when dropped from a height of 6 feet (1.83 meters).

Texture: A regulation basketball must have a pebbled texture, with bumps and ridges that help players grip the ball.

Color: A regulation basketball must be orange in color, with black lines and lettering.

These standards apply to both professional and amateur basketball games, although some leagues and organizations may have their own rules and guidelines. For example, youth basketball leagues may use smaller balls for younger players, and some recreational leagues may allow different materials or textures for the ball.

The size and weight of a basketball are important factors that can impact the game in a variety of ways. A larger ball may be easier to shoot and handle, but also harder to control and dribble. A heavier ball may provide more resistance when dribbling or passing, but also require more strength and energy to shoot.

The texture and bounce of a basketball are also important factors that can affect player performance. A well-worn ball with a smooth surface may be more difficult to grip, while a new ball with a rough texture may be easier to handle. The bounce of a ball can also vary depending on the surface of the court, with hardwood floors providing more bounce than concrete or asphalt.

In addition to the physical characteristics of the ball, the rules and strategies of the game can also impact how the ball is used. For example, players may use different techniques for shooting, passing, and dribbling depending on their position on the court, the defensive pressure from their opponents, and the time remaining in the game.


Overall, the regulation size of a basketball is an important standard that helps ensure fair and consistent play across different levels and organizations. By understanding the dimensions, weight, and other characteristics of the ball, players and fans can better appreciate the skill and strategy involved in this exciting sport.

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