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How Much Does an NBA Basketball Weigh?

|   October 1, 2023
|   1.10.2023

Basketball is one of the most beloved sports globally, thrilling fans and players alike with its fast pace, high-flying dunks, and three-pointers. But beyond the flash and spectacle lies technical specifications that are important to the game’s integrity and fairness. One such spec is the weight of the basketball. Understanding the different specifications across various leagues can provide a deeper appreciation of the game and could even help amateur players choose the right ball for them. Learn all this and more about how to book the ultimate NBA trips for groups below.

How Much an NBA Basketball Weighs

When you see NBA stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant expertly handling the basketball, it might be easy to overlook just how important the ball’s specifications are to the game. The official NBA basketball weighs approximately 22 ounces or about 1.4 pounds. It has a circumference of 29.5 inches, and the standard material is leather. This weight has been carefully chosen to balance playability and durability, allowing athletes to perform incredible feats of skill while also enduring the full rigors of an 82-game season.

Different Weights for NCAA, WNBA, FIBA, and Youth League

Different leagues and levels of play have their own specific requirements when it comes to basketball weight. For example, the NCAA uses a ball that weighs around 20-22 ounces, with a slightly smaller circumference of 29 inches. Meanwhile, the WNBA ball weighs about 18-20 ounces and has a circumference of 28.5 inches, offering a more manageable size and weight for the athletes in this league. 

International basketball, governed by the Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA), utilizes a ball weighing around 20-22 ounces, much like the NCAA. For younger players in youth leagues, the basketballs are lighter still, weighing between 14-16 ounces with a circumference of about 27.25 to 27.75 inches, making it easier for small hands to grip and shoot.

Why Basketball Weight Matters

The weight of a basketball can significantly impact how the game is played and can be a determining factor in player performance. A ball that is too light may not bounce correctly and could easily be affected by external factors like wind. On the other hand, a ball that’s too heavy can be difficult to handle and shoot, affecting players’ ability to execute plays effectively. Using balls of consistent weight across competitions ensures a level playing field, allowing the skills of the players to be the true determinants of game outcomes.

How to Measure Air and Pressure in a Basketball

Maintaining the correct air pressure is another important aspect of ensuring a basketball is game-ready. Typically, a standard basketball should be inflated to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch (PSI). You can measure this using a pressure gauge, which is a small tool that can be inserted into the ball’s air valve. If you find that the basketball is underinflated, you can use a standard air pump to inflate it to the correct pressure. Over or underinflating the ball can lead to erratic bounce behavior, making it challenging to dribble, pass, or shoot effectively.

Contact NBA Trips to Experience Life-Changing NBA Trips for Groups

If you’re a die-hard basketball fan, experiencing an NBA game live can be an unforgettable adventure. Companies likeNBA Trips offer group packages that include tickets to big games and behind-the-scenes experiences like locker room tours and even meet-and-greets with players. Our trips can be life-changing, offering fans an up-close look at the league and a deeper appreciation for all the nuances. Contact us to learn more and book NBA trips for groups.


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