Should We Practice Basketball Indoors or Outdoors

Basketball is a game that is played both indoor and outdoor. For some, basketball courts are just within walking distance. However, others have to cover some distance to play a few games. Additionally, some players prefer playing indoors while others prefer outdoors. 

The differences between the two are many. Outdoor basketball games are relatively difficult. Let’s take a look at some surprising differences between the two especially if you are someone entering the world of basketball. Also, check out the best basketball hoops you can use in practicing basketball in the driveway or backyard. 

Court Surface: Street vs Hardwood

Outdoor basketball courts are usually made from concrete, cement, and asphalt. Whereas, indoor basketball courts are made from hardwood. This is the biggest difference between the two. However, if you were to ask the players, most of them would prefer playing indoors while a few of them will be willing to play outdoors due to several reasons. 

With that being said, even the best outdoor basketball courts can be surprisingly difficult to play on even though it might seem easy from the outside. The reason is that outdoor courts are open areas where weather conditions can take a toll on the players. Therefore, if you are playing on an extremely hot day, players can easily catch a sun or heat stroke. 

Indoor basketball courts on the other hand have controlled temperatures. It might be snowing outside but the indoor court remains free of extreme cold. 

Furthermore, the court surface has a huge role to play in the performance of the player. Playing on outdoor courts can take a toll on your joints and knees. As a result, a player can develop chronic knee pains in the future. Additionally, outdoor courts are rarely swept. With that said, the accumulation of dirt and debris results in low traction and grip. 

Playing indoors is a completely different experience. The hardwood courts are regularly swept and looked after. This reduces the chances of players being injured due to slipping. Moreover, the hardwood floors are not hard on the joints and knees either. 

The only thing the players need is the right type of basketball shoes. A shoe that is made for hardwood courts and provides optimum grip and traction is ideal for indoor games. That is why, when it comes to arguing about practicing indoor vs outdoor, you have to consider several factors.

Basketball shoes for outdoor courts are different from indoor shoes. If you use the indoor shoes for outdoor courts, they will wear out within weeks. Plus, you are going to need extra grip and traction on outdoor courts due to dirt and dust. Therefore, choose where you want to play wisely and select the shoes accordingly. 

Outdoor vs Indoor Rims

Should We Practice Basketball Indoors or Outdoors

In basketball, rims tend to be different based on the material, color, and age. This is why an older rim might be more forgiving considering the number of shots and dunks it has taken over its lifetime. As a result, the rim weakens over time. This means that a player can get more roll-ins on an older rim but not on a stiff rim. 

If you are someone who is just starting out, we suggest playing outdoors for a while and several reasons. Some of them relate to difficult weather conditions and poor grip, which you should try converting to your benefit. You will struggle a lot at the start but once you develop the skills, you are going to easily overtake those who practiced indoor. 

For Basketball, it is not just about physical development but also mental. The reason players like LeBron James ended up being legends is due to their mentality. Back then, it was not about playing indoor or outdoor. It was simply about becoming the best using whatever they could get their hand on. 

Meanwhile, indoor basketball courts are like a gym. You have a polished floor with a spring-loaded basketball rim, able to withstand debunking and hanging. 


The type of basketball used for indoor and outdoor courts vary as well. For indoor courts, leather basketballs are used that are comparatively easier to hold and grip. However, outdoor basketballs are made from rubber and composite leather materials. So you can expect terrible grip due to the ball bouncing against the concrete floor. And now, there are even (basketballs you can use inside your house).

If you are lucky enough to come across an outdoor basketball court with acrylic or interlocking soft sports tiles, then you can use leather balls without any issue. 

Considering such factors, the Indoor and outdoor basketball discussions take a slightly different route when it comes to using a specific type of basketball. Indoor games will always take the lead since the player does not have to worry about poor grip and traction. But in the case of outdoor games, it is going to be harder to shoot and dribble. 

Practicing Indoors vs Outdoors

Overall, practicing indoors is a lot easier than outdoors. There are several variables that can make playing outdoors quite complicate and difficult. If your practice sessions involve a lot of jumping and shooting, you should work indoors.

In addition to that, the weather conditions will make you twice as tired, especially when the sun is beating down on you. And you cannot risk playing once it has rained or snowed due to wet spots leading to serious slip-ups. All this makes even the best outdoor basketball court surface sometimes difficult and dangerous to play

The Difficulty of Playing Outdoor vs Indoor

Indoor courts are better for numerous reasons. It is a controlled area where a limited number of players can enter and practice. Visiting an indoor gym everyday relieves the anxiety of the unexpected. You know what you are getting once you enter the gym. 

Outdoor courts are different in that sense. You never know when the weather is going to change for the worse and who is going to play with or against you. This is perhaps the biggest factor to consider while playing outdoors. You will come across many new players each day with different personalities. 

While some will take it seriously, others will act like a fool and try to bring up a fight at each point. At the same time, running outdoors is extremely difficult and can hurt your knees and joints after a long day of playing. 

Final Word

There is no denying that outdoor basketball poses numerous challenges but you get to develop mental toughness at the end of the day. On the other hand, indoor basketball is relatively easier and takes it easy on your physical health. Therefore, if you want to be the best all-rounder, balance both indoor and outdoor games. Once you walk into professional indoor basketball events having mastered outdoor basketball games, nothing will stop you from becoming the best.