Basketball Sizes Chart: What Size Ball Should a Player Use?
There are many problems with the way youth basketball is currently being run:
- Basketball rims are too high.
- Teams are allowed to play zone defense.
- Too many games, not enough practice.
- Correct basketball sizes isn't a focus.
Some of these are difficult problems to fix…
But others are super simple.
One of the easiest fixes we can improve youth basketball worldwide is to make sure all players are using an age appropriate sized basketball when they’re playing.
Some associations, tournaments, and countries do this right, but many don’t.
I’ve watched countless games where two teams with players 8-years-old or younger will attempt to play a complete basketball game using a size 7 ball...
Most of them can't even throw the basketball up to the height of the net!
Below I've created a chart listing the appropriate basketball sizes depending on age.
Basketball Sizes Chart by Age
Boys: 12 - 13
Boys: 9 - 11
Girls: 9 - 11
Boys: 5 - 8
Girls: 5 - 8
(Chart scrolls left and right on mobile)
Size 7 Basketball:
For boys, a size 7 basketball should be used once they hit 14-years-old and is the official size used at the high school, college, and professional level.
The circumference of the basketball should be 29.5" and the weight 22 oz.
Size 6 Basketball:
For boys, a size 6 basketball should be used between the ages of 12 and 13.
For girls, a size 6 basketball should be used once they hit 12-years-old and is the official size used at the high school, college, and professional level.
The circumference of the basketball should be 28.5" and the weight 20 oz.
Size 5 Basketball:
For boys and girls, a size 5 basketball should be used between the ages of 9 - 11.
The circumference of the basketball should be 27.5" and the weight 17 oz.
Size 4 Basketball:
For boys and girls, a size 5 basketball should be used between the ages of 5 - 8.
The circumference of the basketball should be 25.5" and the weight 14 oz.
Why Correct Basketball Size Is Important:
Some of you might be wondering 'why' using the correct sized basketball is important.
There are two main reasons:
1. Proper Shooting Technique
Using a basketball that's too big will lead to players developing poor shooting technique.
In order to generate the power needed to shoot a heavier basketball, players can develop a number of bad habits including:
- Shooting with two hands instead of one.
- Improper hand placement on the basketball.
- 'Chucking' the ball instead of shooting.
When a player practices with these poor habits for long enough, they become very difficult to correct when players get older and stronger.
2. Player Enjoyment
If you're an adult, image trying to shoot with a bowling ball.
Doesn't sound like too much fun, does it?
This might be a slight exaggeration, but that's what shooting with a size 7 basketball will feel like for most 5-year-olds.
When kids are playing with a basketball more suitable for their size and age, they'll have more fun because they'll have a much higher chance of success.
Different basketball sizes allow players to gradually progress as their bodies are developing and their strength is increasing.
If you're a parent looking to purchase your child a basketball, make sure you get the most appropriate size depending on their age.
It's important for their development.