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Home / The Playbook / Basketball Sizes Guide: Which Size Ball is Right for Your Game?

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Close up of hands holding Chance Basketball in adult size

We all know basketball is a numbers game — but do you know which number to look for when choosing the perfect ball?

Here at Chance, we’re all about individuality.

 

We believe that taking part in a sport isn’t all about a commitment to being the best at all costs, or following strict criteria of how to participate. We believe that sport is something that everyone should enjoy in their own way and carve their own unique path within.

 

It provides endless opportunities for people to take chances on themselves, and even though it might not always be about winning, it's always about growing. Some of the most revered names in the history of sports are exactly that because of how they blazed a trail different to anyone else’s — and that begins from a very early age.

 

Still, it’s an unavoidable truth that, as unique and different as you want to be, there will be certain rules and regulations that have to be respected. Take, for example, the different sizes of basketball you can use. You may want to go straight for the kind of ball the NBA pros are ballin’ out with, but depending on your age and skill level, you might be better off with a different option.

 

Using the right size of basketball is key to honing your craft and giving you the platform to become the unique talent you wish to be. So, with that in mind, here’s a simple breakdown of the five most common basketball sizes, so you know which to practice with in your backyard before a pickup street game, high-school practice, or local tryout.

 

Basketball Sizes Guide

 

Like most ball sports, basketball sizes are differentiated by a number. The higher number the ball is, the larger it is. While there are three sizes that are predominantly used (and sizes are available to buy in the Chance store), there are some other options that should be noted, too.

 

Size 3 Basketball

 

Weight: 10oz (280g)

Circumference: 22in (56cm)

 

A size 3 basketball is the smallest that’s officially used. For boys and girls aged 4-8, this ball is recommended for organized “mini basketball” sessions in schools or community sports centers. The hoops are lower down, the rules are simplified, and girls and boys can play alongside each other.

 

For kids, an adult basketball is not a smart option if they’re looking to enjoy the sport at an early age. If you’re looking to introduce a youngster to basketball, a size 3 ball is ideal to ensure they have a ball that isn’t heavy enough to be dangerous, and it’s the sort of ball they’ll use in school sports classes.

 

Size 4 Basketball

 

Weight: 14oz (400g)

Circumference: 25.5in (65cm)

 

Much larger than a size 3 basketball, a size 4 ball is often the first entry-level basketball given to kids looking to learn how to play the game. Large enough to feel similar to the pro game but small enough to be handled by youngsters, this sized isn’t used by any official basketball associations, but it is a regular choice for moms and dads of kids aged 5-8, eager to give them a good ball to practice with.

 

Size 5 Basketball

 

Weight: 17oz (480g)

Circumference: 27.5in (70cm)

 

Here’s where we start getting into official sizes used by sports teams and budding pros. A size 5 basketball is the standard size of ball for 9-11 olds, and it’s the usual size you’ll find when stores are selling “youth” basketballs. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) accepts size 5 ball for “minis”, which is its name for youth competitions. So, any young and budding basketball pro should have size 5 ball to practice with, to give them the best chance of being ready for youth basketball team.

 

A woman playing basketball

 

Size 6 Basketball

 

Weight: 20oz (570g)

Circumference: 28.5in (72cm)

 

While a size 6 basketball is recommended for boys ages 12-14, it’s the women’s game where this basketball size is prominently used. An inch smaller than a men’s pro ball, a size 6 ball is used by girls and women in high school and college programmes, as well as in the professional FIBA and WNBA competitions. For any female looking for the right equipment to perfect their skills in practice before hitting the court, getting yourself a size 6 ball makes a lot of sense.

 

Size 7 Basketball

 

Weight: 22oz (620g)

Circumference: 29.5in (75cm)

 

As far as basketball sizes go, size 7 is the granddaddy of them all. If you’re playing basketball competitively and using a size 7 ball on a regular basis, you’re on the right path. This ball is rolled out for men and boys aged 15 and above, and it is the size you’ll find being thrown around at any NCAA, NBA, or Olympic basketball game. If you’re male and beginning to take basketball seriously at high school or college level, get yourself a size 7 ball. Practicing with this size will do wonders for your game once you walk onto the court.

 

Why Do Basketball Sizes Matter?

 

With just a couple of centimeters between some basketball sizes, it may seem like it doesn’t really matter which size ball you play with. As long as it’s round and well pumped up, it doesn’t make a difference, right? Well…

 

If you’re just balling for the love of the sport, then sure — there’s nothing wrong with using a size 5 or size 6 ball with your friends. If you’re taking basketball a little more seriously, though, it pays to use the right ball at all times. This sport, like all others, is a game of inches and small margins. Getting used to how the right-sized ball feels like to dribble and pass, along with judging the weight needed for throws from the free throw and three-point lines, is huge. Plus, things become a lot more difficult if you’re practicing with the wrong ball.

 

Bonus Tip: Love your 3x3 basketball? The official ball used for this offshoot sport is actually a mixture of a size 6 and size 7 ball — with the circumference of a 6 but weighing the same as a 7. Either size will do if you’re looking to start upping your 3x3 skills for the Olympics…

 

Multiple Basketball Sizes Available from Chance

 

Sure, you could head out to that sports shop everyone goes to and pick up a generic basketball, but why not try something a little different?


Chance stocks both rubber basketballs and leather basketballs with monochrome and two-toned color schemes to choose from, each with the unmistakable Chance branding that’ll get everyone on the hardwood and the bleachers talking. From simple reimaginations of basketball design, to bold options that truly stand out, we’ve got something that’ll take your own style on the court to the next level. Plus, each ball is available in sizes 5, 6, and 7, so you can choose the right fit for your game.

 

Express yourself and blaze your own trail with Chance’s unique basketballs for sale, each professionally crafted and artistically designed to be a difference-maker — in more ways than one.

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