basketball diameter

How Much Does a Basketball Weigh?

The quick answer: a basketball weighs from 20 ounces up to 22 ounces (the standard is 22 ounces). The diameter of a basketball is 9.41 – 9.52 inches, while its circumference is 28 – 29 inches.

Basketballs have been growing in weight since the NBA started in 1946, when the official ball was only 20 ounces and had a circumference of just 25 inches. The average diameter of a basketball is 9.52 inches, while the circumference of a basketball is 28.5 inches. Every professional basketball has to meet these requirements by the NBA.

The Official Basketball for High School Students

The official basketball for high school students is slightly lighter with a circumference of 29 inches and weighing 20 ounces. The women’s high school basketball by contrast weighs 18.5 ounces and has a circumference of 28 inches.

The Size of College Men’s Basketball

The NCAA basketball weighs 20 ounces as well as the women’s WNBA basketball; however, it has a circumference of 29 inches. The NBA basketball weighs 22 ounces and is 9.41 to 9.52 inches in diameter. College men’s basketballs are slightly bigger than those used by high schools, but they still must meet the requirements for size and weight as set by the NCAA.

The Size of an International Basketball

The international ball has a circumference of 29 inches and weighs 20 ounces. It also has slightly raised ridges on its surface called “panels” rather than the flat smooth surface of an American basketball. The international basketball is used in most other countries around the world.

The most popular size of the ball is 9.53 inches with rubber bladders and 18 ounces. Players can use it for most indoor drills as well as some outdoor drills on asphalt or concrete surfaces. The advanced players prefer another common ball that has a circumference of 9.55 inches but weighs 22 ounces. This is suitable for those who want to practice shooting for longer periods of time without having to switch basketballs.

It is also popular for outdoor use as it has a high bounce and will not lose its shape as quickly on uneven surfaces. It is the official basketball for all international competitions, using both FIBA and WNBA dimensions.

The Size of the Basketball of European Countries vs. Asian Countries

The common indoor ball, slightly smaller than a regulation basketball at 19.53 inches in circumference and 18 ounces, is used for shooting drills as well as passing and dribbling during warmup sessions. Most European countries use this dimension for their official basketballs as well. Asian countries such as Japan and China use a slightly bigger basketball that is 19.55 inches in circumference and weighs 22 ounces.


This video on how to choose a basketball demonstrates different basketball sizes.


The Material of Basketballs

Basketballs are generally made out of a tough rubber and synthetic leather. They are highly durable as well as easy to bounce on any surface. They also usually come with a pump as well as a needle for repair purposes as the basketball inevitably goes flat faster than you expect it to.

Basketballs with rubber bladders are extremely durable as compared to the modern-day footballs made of synthetic leather, which require occasional replacement.

The Use of a Pump for Basketball

It is very important to keep your basketball inflated properly at all times due to the tough nature of rubber bladders, especially if you are playing on asphalt or concrete surfaces where the basketball can go flat faster than usual.

A pump with a needle comes in handy for this purpose, although many players prefer an electric pump with a device to check the pressure of the basketball. Given how quickly they can go flat, it is useful to have one on hand at all times regardless of where you are playing so that your basketball stays in shape during play.

The first basketballs were made out of leather or rubber and without an air bladder inside. They would easily lose their shape when bounced or stepped on, making them practically useless during professional play.

The Game of Basketball and History of Basketball Weight


The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a teacher at the YMCA training school in Massachusetts. He was looking for an indoor game that could be played during the harsh New England winter months to provide his students with exercise and recreation.

He borrowed outdoor soccer rules for his new game. And he also used a soccer ball, which had to be inflated manually. So the original basketball actually weighed the same as a soccer ball, since it was an actual soccer ball to begin with.

Basketball caught on quickly with the American public after its demonstration at the YMCA national convention in 1895. From here, basketball became popular through high schools and colleges across America.

Today basketball is one of the most popular team sports played around the world at both amateur and professional levels. It is also a popular recreational sport. The two most common basketball sizes are 9.53 inche diameter with rubber bladders and 18 ounce weight, and 9.55 inche diameter with synthetic leather and 22 ounce weight. 

Players can use both sizes for indoor drills as well as outdoor play on asphalt or concrete surfaces. A pump with a needle is essential to keep the ball properly inflated to avoid wear and tear.


The weight of a basketball depends on which type of basketball you use. There are two types, one is indoor and another is outdoor. The outdoor ball may weigh 22 ounces as its standard weight as well as indoor balls. You should also inflate basketball with a pump needle to keep it in shape and avoid injury during gameplay. The weight of a basketball does not affect play. But you must keep it in the best condition at all times during game play.