Play Your First Ball

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How to Distinguish Between What is a Good or Bad Basketball?

There are generally thought to be three types of basketballs: Rubber, Composite Leather and Genuine Leather.

Rubber basketballs cost less, are durable and great for use on outdoor basketball courts. Unfortunately, rubber basketballs don’t provide a good feel in the hands of players, but are hard-wearing.

Composite leather basketballs are made of synthetic leather. They are softer than rubber basketballs and provide better grip. A good composite leather basketball feels similar to a genuine leather basketball but doesn’t cost as much. The NCAA Basketball Tournament Game Ball is made from composite leather.

Genuine leather basketballs are the highest quality basketballs, but they have a break-in period. Genuine leather basketballs offer the best feel in the hands of basketball players. The Official NBA Game Ball is made from genuine full grain leather. The WNBA Official Game Ball is also made of genuine leather. Genuine leather basketballs should only be used on indoor basketball courts. A new basketball has a great authentic smell, but basketball enthusiasts are more concerned with how a ball handles or rather, how well it can be handled by basketball players during a game. Factors such as composition of the ball, being a composite of leather and other materials or solely being made of leather, determine the use, purpose and desirability of the basketball, by players.

Some basketballs have an outside covering which is comprised of synthetic rubber, rubber, composition, or leather. In these types of basketballs the inside consists of a bladder (the balloon-like structure that holds air) and the carcass. The bladder is made of butyl rubber, and the carcass consists of treads of nylon or polyester. Other more expensive and higher quality basketballs are made with a nylon wound last-built carcass, which means it is a top quality basketball.

Even more elite basketballs are crafted from leather, which is the preferred material for use in the NBA, WNBA (professional), NCAA (college), and NAIA (college) games because of the superior feel that it provides. Leather basketballs are also used in the Olympics.

Some basketballs are made of leather or absorbent composites. The material used is a microfiber composite with moisture management that provides superior grip and feel during the game. The new composite material eliminates the requirement for a break-in period, which would otherwise be necessary with a leather ball.

Everything from the look or appearance of a basketball, to its texture, grip, indentations, ‘bounce-ability’ and overall feel are key factors that will determine whether it is a favorite ball among basketball players.

Do the materials that make up the ball matter more or less than the craftsmanship of the basketball?

The channeling of seams and the number of indentations or smoothness of the ball will affect the bounciness of the ball, as well as the grip. Players want a ball that handles well. A good basketball will have balanced rotation and a good grip. The ultimate basketball must bounce well, but be easy to control.

There are many lists of top rated basketballs.

The best brand of basketball seems to be the Wilson Evolution basketball, but the best basketball for an individual may vary depending on the type of ‘baller’ or basketball player that you are. Based on whether or not you prefer to play indoors or outdoors will determine the type or make of the basketball you prefer. The brand name for the basketball type you want could factor into your decision since basketball is a game that features hype, flash and ‘talking trash’ as a means of achieving team victory and player notoriety.

“You should only use an indoor basketball on hardwood courts, as they wear down quickly if played outdoors. Their softer and leather-like properties make them a joy to handle, but they don’t hold up well against rougher surfaces.”

Basketball court floors are typically comprised of 3 types of material, each of which offers various features:

  • Hardwood court. The hardwood court is the most popular type of surface for indoor basketball
  • Concrete court. These are the most popular types of surfaces for outdoor basketball courts
  • Multi-purpose court

The hard facts or soft choice:

A genuine leather ball is the ball of choice for professional play in the NBA. At this level of play equal or balanced ball play is important, due to the high stakes involved. Break-in periods are generally equal due to equal use of these balls by players on the basketball courts, during games.

A rubber basketball is the ball of choice for community play or pick up games at the local outdoor basketball court. A composite or synthetic leather basketball is the ball of choice for NCAA games. Due to its durability, a synthetic leather basketball may be used on concrete or asphalt without wearing away as leather would. Also, in wet conditions the synthetic leather basketball will not pick up water as a leather basketball would.

Your basketball of choice depends on your location and level of play. Every player needs a different kind of ball.

Which brand of basketball is the best?

1. Wilson Evolution Basketball

2. Spalding NBA Street Basketball

3. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

4. Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball

5. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball – Official Size 7

6. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

7. Under Armour Stephen Curry Basketball Official

8. Best for Water: Dunnrite Pool / Water Basketball

9. Best Professional / Wilson Tournament Game Ball

What was your first basketball?

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