With the Holiday Season in full swing, I thought this would be a good time to address what size basketball your child should be using. I am often asked by parents what size ball is appropriate for their child. It is very important to purchase the correct size basketball so that your child develops good shooting habits when they are young. Poor shooting mechanics are very difficult to correct as players get older, so it is important to learn and practice with proper technique as a young player.
Using the wrong size ball can lead your child to have poor shooting fundamentals. A full size men’s ball is almost double the weight of the size 3 or 4 ball that most kids 5-8 years old should be using. Combine the weight of the ball with the fact that most kids are shooting at 10 foot baskets that are way too high for them and it is easy to see why kids develop bad shooting form. As a parent, you will see them shooting with two hands, dipping their shoulder, or just chucking the ball at the basket in attempt to get the ball to the rim. As I have stated in previous posts I am a huge proponent of lower baskets for young players. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to lower the baskets for leagues, camps, tournaments, etc. that your child participates in, but at least if you have a hoop at home keep it set lower to encourage your child to shoot correctly. Often, they will develop pretty good form on their own if they are using the right ball and shooting at a basket set at the proper height.
If you are considering purchasing a new basketball for your young player this holiday season refer to the chart below or feel free to email with any questions you might have regarding the selection of the proper size ball.
If you can’t find a particular size at your local store do a quick google search and you’ll be able to find the ball you need at a variety of different price points.
Size 7 – 29.5” / 22 oz / For boys in grades 9-12, college players, and men. This is the official size for men’s high school, college, and pro basketball.
Size 6 – 28.5” /20 oz / For girls in grades 6 and up. For boys in grades 6-8, possibly for experienced boys in grades 3-5. This is the official size for women’s high school, college, and pro basketball.
Size 5 – 27.5” / 17 oz / Boys and girls in grades 3-5.
Size 4 – 25.5” / 14 oz / Boys and girls in grades k-2
Size 3 – 22” / 10 oz / Boys and girls ages 3-5 years old. More commonly called a “mini” basketball.
Size 1 – 16” / 8 oz / Boys and girls ages 2-4 years old. More commonly called a “micro-mini” basketball.
Nerf Basketball – 9-20” / 1-5 oz / Boys and girls ages 0-4 years old. Nerf Balls are great fun for every age!
Pick out the appropriate size ball for your young player’s age and experience, have them practice their shooting at a lower basket and you’ll be helping them to develop the proper shooting fundamentals. The skills they learn properly when they are young will help them be successful as they advance to higher levels of basketball in the future.