Is Your Child Playing with The Right Size Basketball?
By Alex Flanagan
If your child is playing basketball it’s important to make sure they are using with the right size ball. Yes. Basketballs come in many different sizes, ranging from size 1 to size 7. The sizing number assigned each ball is based on the circumference and even though it can seem like a small size variation it can make a huge difference.
Michael Rausa is a Regional Director for One on One Basketball. He advises that younger players shoot a smaller ball and also use a lower rim. “If they are using a basketball that is too big or if they are shooting on a rim that is too high their technique will suffer,” warns Rausa.
HERE ARE THE BASICS ON BASKETBALLS:
- SIZE 7: 29.5 in 22oz. Also called “OFFICIAL SIZE“. Used by boys in high school, college, and the NBA. Recommended for boys 15 years and older.
- SIZE 6: 28.5 in 20 oz. Also called “INTERMEDIATE SIZE“. For Boys ages 12-14 and Girls ages 12 and older. (But often used in youth leagues with younger kids–see below) This is the size used for women in high school, college, and the WNBA. Also used in many youth basketball programs.
- SIZE 5: 27.5 in, 17 oz. Also called “YOUTH SIZE“. Boys and girls ages 9-11 years old. This is considered the standard youth basketball, but I find most youth leagues for kids ages 9-11, including my own, play with a 28.5 inch ball. The bigger the basketball, the easier it is for kids to dribble.
- SIZE 4: 25.5 in, 14oz. Also called a “JUNIOR BALL“. Recommended for boys and girls 5-8, but most kids in this age range us the mini so it can be a tough size to find.
- SIZE 3:22 IN 10oz. Also called the “MINI“. It is recommended for kids ages 4-8 years old.
- SIZE 1: 16 in, 8oz. Also called the “Micro-mini“. For boys and girls ages 2-4 year olds.
Alex Flanagan co-founded I love to watch you play in 2015. She was flying home from an NFL work assignment when a learning specialist, who was sitting next to her, shared 5 reasons she shouldn’t feel guilty missing her son’s game. She shared their conversation on her own website alexflanagan.com and the response was so overwhelming it inspired her to create ILTWYP to help parents like herself navigate youth sports.