How Long Do Basketballs Last?

The condition of a basketball is crucial to success in the sport. It should be able to hold its shape, grip, and size well. As you think about that, you may be wondering: how long a basketball is supposed to last? We've done the work to bring you the answer.

An average person's basketball can last up to five years. However, the NBA only uses a basketball for one to four games. Of course, you can use the same basketball to play for longer than this, but it might not be of the greatest quality.

If this seems like a lot of information to process and you are feeling slightly overwhelmed, no need to worry. In this guide, we'll break down all of these concepts so that it's easier to understand. Just keep reading!

Basketball lay on the floor, How long do basketballs last?

The Longevity Of Basketballs

If you love playing a game of pick-up basketball or shoot hoops for fun, you can get up to 5 years of playtime with your basketball. Proper care and storage play a role in how many years you can get out of one ball. A basketball that isn't being used much loses air rather quickly but can be reinflated easily with a hand pump. Indoor-only basketballs also tend to last longer because they aren't exposed to as many harsh conditions as basketballs used outdoors.

In the NBA, a basketball will only last for one to four games. This helps ensure that the basketball meets the standards and maintains its integrity.

What Basketballs Are Made Of

Closeup detail of basketball ball

Almost all basketballs are made of leather and rubber. The surface of a basketball is wrapped in layers of fiber and then covered with a surface made either from leather, rubber, or a synthetic composite. Leather basketballs are traditional basketballs. Spalding basketballs — the brand used in the NBA — are made of the finest full-grain leather. They also have an inflatable inner rubber bladder.

An outdoor basketball typically wears down much faster than an indoor basketball due to being bounced on hard, rough concrete as opposed to a smooth gym floor. The grip tends to wear down first, and then the air leaks out.

How Should You Store Your Basketball?

There are some things you can do to make sure to keep your basketball in tip-top shape for as long as possible. Keep your basketball full of air and store it indoors at room temperature. If you don't use it regularly or need to pack it, you can deflate it. But you should still store it at room temperature. Don't leave it outdoors, in direct sunlight, or store it near a heater.

Make sure not to expose the ball to extreme cold, heat, direct sunlight, and rain. After you play with your basketball, use a damp cloth to wipe the dirt and debris off the basketball. For a deeper clean, you can use mild soap and warm water, but steer clear of soaking the ball in the water. It's important to keep the correct amount of air in your basketball at all times. Also, only use your basketball for its intended purpose.

How Do You Make Your Basketball Grippy Again?

Once a basketball's grip is lost, it is hard to recover the quality of the ball. The grip is usually the first part of a basketball to wear down. This is due to being bounced and dribbled.

If your ball is losing its grip, have no fear. We have some tips and tricks you can use to make your basketball grippy again. Add dish soap and water to a rag and press the rag into the grooves along the basketball. These grooves can be filled with dirt and other debris, so they must be cleaned thoroughly to help restore the grip on the basketball.

Follow along with this YouTube tutorial to bring your basketball's grip back to life:

How Do You Break In A Basketball?

If you want to break in a basketball, the only thing you can do is play with it. In fact, says that Spalding, the company that makes basketballs for the NBA, jumpstarts the breaking in process with a bouncing machine that recreates the sensation of a ball being bounced. The balls aren't sent to teams until they have been bounced fifty times.

Why Does Your Basketball Not Bounce?

If your basketball is not bouncing correctly, you can blame it on one of a few reasons. Make sure that the correct amount of air is in the ball. Basketballs usually say how much air to fill them up with right on the ball. If a ball has too little air in it, it will not bounce well. However, it is equally important to not put too much air in your basketball. This is counterproductive in keeping the ball in good condition.

An NBA Basketball Usually Lasts How Many Bounces?

According to Spalding, the average lifespan of an NBA basketball is about 10,000 bounces. There are usually around 2,650 bounces during a basketball game. This means that a basketball can be used for about three or four NBA games. However, a new basketball is typically used for every single NBA game. Basketballs are inspected before being played with during an NBA game.

Game basketballs in the NBA are submitted to and inspected by officials during the pre-game. Only one ball is used during a game to ensure that teams are not using their own basketballs each time they gain possession.

Can You Fix  Flat Basketball?

Do you have a flat basketball lying around that you have insisted on keeping? Well, it is your lucky day. It is a good thing you decided to keep that old, flat basketball because we are about to tell you how to fix it.

Unique Sports Ball Doctor Leak And Flat Fix-Repair Kit is the answer to all of your flat basketball problems.

The Unique Sports ball doctor leak and flat fix-repair kit can seal leaks and punctures in most valve inflatable balls without a bladder. One syringe is enough for one average size ball (standard basketball, volleyball, football, etc) with minor leaks.

Click here to see this miracle product on Amazon.

To use the ball repair sealant with a syringe:

  1. Fill the syringe with the sealant according to the manufacturer's directions.
  2. Insert the syringe into the ball's valve hole.
  3. Depress the plunger on the syringe, then bounce the basketball vigorously.

If you do not want to purchase a ball repair sealant with a syringe, we have another option for you:

  1. Submerge the basketball in a tub of water and rotate it. Watch for exiting air bubbles. The air bubbles will indicate where the source of your leak is.
  2. Dry the area off.
  3. Use a pencil or a piece of tape to mark where the leak is.
  4. Heat the tip of an old, dull knife by holding it over an open flame, moving it back and forth.
  5. Swipe the hot knife across the leak on the basketball until the vinyl begins to melt.
  6. Allow the vinyl to cool and solidify for at least 5 minutes.
  7. Push the inflator needle into the ball's valve hole, then re-inflate the ball gently by using a hand pump.
  8. Fill the ball to its recommended pressure setting. Be sure to not over-inflate the basketball.

And if your basketball has a valve leak, we have a solution for you as well:

  1. Insert a wet inflating needle into the valve hole of the basketball several times to clean dirt from the valve.
  2. If the leak persists, insert a toothpick into the basketball's valve hole.
  3. Break off the end of the toothpick, leaving the valve plug plugged.

Is It Bad To Get A Basketball Wet?

We've explained that you should not soak your basketball in water, but is it okay to get it wet at all? Don't leave your basketball in standing water and only dry the ball using a clean dry towel or by placing the ball in a warm, well-ventilated room. You should never leave it in direct sunlight to dry. If you don't dry off the ball, it might develop stains and marks, which are very hard to remove.

Basketball Options To Buy

There are plenty of different basketball brands and types to choose from depending on how often you want to use the basketball, what you want to use the basketball for, where you want to play basketball, how long you want the basketball to last, and how much you want to spend on a ball.

Spalding NBA Street Outdoor Basketball

If you tend to play basketball on an outdoor court, or just like to shoot some hoops in your backyard, consider purchasing this ball. This outdoor basketball is durable and features an outdoor rubber cover. 

Click here to see this basketball on Amazon.

Nike KD Skills Mini Basketball

The small size of this outdoor basketball is perfect for teaching young kids the skills of the game.

Click here to see this basketball on Amazon.

Wilson NCAA MVP Rubber Basketball

This ball's rubber cover construction makes it a great option for outdoor use.

Click here to see this basketball on Amazon.

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball.

This ball is known as the number one indoor basketball in America.

Click here to see this basketball on Amazon.

In Closing

So now that you know a basketball usually lasts around five years, and have the answers to these other basketball-related questions, be sure to learn even more about sports by checking out How To Add Grip To Basketball Shoes [5 Crucial Tips] and How Much Does It Cost To Put A Basketball Court In A Backyard?

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