What are the Different Types of Basketballs?

There are many different pieces of equipment or gear that are used in basketball, but some are considered more important than others. One of the essential or important pieces of basketball equipment, and a lot of people would even say that this item is the most important, is the actual basketball, as this item is what you would need to dribble, pass, and score in the game.

Many kinds of basketballs are now available in the market, and there are particular types of basketballs that are more suitable for your needs or for the court you are playing. Here are the different types of basketballs you can get today.

Leather Basketball

The most common type of basketball used in professional leagues is the leather basketball, which is made from pieces of full-grain leather that are stitched or glued together to form a shape of a ball. The NBA uses balls made from 100 percent genuine leather, which would have a “broken-in” feel that enables players to have better grip and control of the ball.

Leather basketballs are typically used in indoor courts, and if they are used outdoors, they wouldn’t really last long since leather isn’t durable enough to handle concrete or cemented floors. Because leather materials can be quite pricey in the market, leather basketballs are usually more expensive than the other types of basketball we will talk about later. 

The best leather basketballs that you can buy are worth about $100 or more, although there are cheaper ones that have synthetic materials added to them to cut costs. If you frequently play on outdoor courts, there is no reason for you to buy a leather basketball since it wouldn’t last long, and it wouldn’t be worth it for the price.

Rubber Basketball

rubber basketball

Another popular type of basketball is the rubber basketball, which is made from thick rubber that is often already molded into a ball shape so that it wouldn’t have seams where it may develop holes or gaps. The rubber basketball doesn’t have the same grip or feel as leather basketballs, but it is a lot more durable since it is made from thick rubber that can withstand days and weeks of playing time.

Because of how durable rubber basketballs are, they are suitable for outdoor use, where basketball courts are typically made of rough concrete that can really damage different materials. Of course, after many uses, rubber basketballs can also get damaged in concrete courts, but fortunately, buying these basketballs is very easy since they are quite affordable. 

Rubber basketballs can go for as cheap as $20, so you can easily replace them with another one since it wouldn’t break the bank. But, there are also expensive rubber basketballs that are made from better quality materials that are supposed to be much more durable than the cheaper ones. 

Synthetic Basketball

Synthetic basketball, also known as composite basketball,  is the type of basketball that is made from synthetic materials like synthetic leather and different types of plastic. Because synthetic basketballs are similar to rubber basketballs in terms of material, it is already given that synthetic balls are strong and durable. However, what’s great about synthetic basketballs is that they are quite versatile, as you can use them on both indoor and outdoor courts, depending on the materials used on them. Furthermore, synthetic basketballs would also have the same feel as indoor basketballs.

If you are a person that plays basketball on both indoor and outdoor courts, then you should definitely get a synthetic basketball since it can save you money from buying two basketballs that are made for different courts. For those that want the durability of rubber basketballs and the feel of indoor basketball, the synthetic basketball is perfect for them.

Training Basketball

From the types of basketballs that are different from each other in terms of materials, let us now talk about the types of basketballs that serve various purposes for training or improving a player’s skills. One of the best basketballs for improving skills is the training basketball, which looks like a normal basketball at first glance, but it is actually heavier in weight compared to a regular basketball once you hold it.

The training basketballs are weighted to increase the strength of your hands and arms when dribbling. By having stronger hands, you will have better control of the ball. The training basketballs are also quite effective in improving your muscle memory when dribbling, and once you get used to various dribbling routines and moves, you will be able to dribble the ball without even thinking about it so that you can focus more on what’s happening on the court. If you want to improve your skills in basketball, you should practice dribbling and passing using a training basketball.

Shooting Basketball

Besides dribbling, you should also train your shooting skills, and one of the best ways for you to do that is to use the shooting basketball, also known as the shooter’s basketball, for practice. The shooting basketball doesn’t look like a regular basketball, as there are marks and lines on the surface of the ball that will tell you where you need to put your hands in order to have a proper shooting form.

Of course, you can still practice shooting using a normal basketball, but if you want to improve your muscle memory to shoot faster, you should use the shooting basketball since it will help you to memorize where exactly to put your hands while shooting, unlike in regular basketballs that don’t have guides or marks. Practice various skills in basketball by using both training and shooting basketballs that will help you in different aspects of playing the sport.

And there you have it, the different types of basketball you can get according to your needs or for the kind of court you will be playing the sport on. Make sure that you buy the correct type of basketball so that you won’t waste money buying the one that isn’t suitable for your training or for your playing experience with fellow basketball players.