What Are Basketballs Made Of? [And What’s Inside Them]

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Basketball is a popular sport that people of all ages can play. But what is the basketball itself made of it that makes it bounce? If this is what you're wondering, you're in luck. We did the research to bring you the answer.

The outside of a basketball is made of rubber, synthetic rubber, or leather. Inside of the basketball is a bladder that holds the air and a carcass. The bladder is made of butyl rubber, and the carcass is made of polyester or nylon threads.

If you still have some additional questions about basketballs, don't worry. In this article, we will discuss how a basketball is made. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about basketballs, so keep reading!

A basketball left on the court, What Are Basketballs Made Of? [And What's Inside Them]

What Basketballs Are Made Of

Basketball is a game that consists of five players on each team. The objective of the game is to throw around an inflated ball called a basketball through a hoop elevated 10 feet above the ground.

The game was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, who was looking for a way to keep his students active in the winter.

The basketball itself is made of rubber, synthetic rubber, or leather. To make the ball bounce, the air is put into a bladder inside of the basketball. The bladder is surrounded by a carcass that is made of polyester or nylon to keep the air in place.

The design of the basketball and the materials it is made of have evolved over time. As the game became more popular and organized, the need for a more durable ball arose. The idea was to make a ball that lasted longer and had a better grip for the players.

For example, the NBA official basketball was once made by Spalding, and the exterior is made with leather. The leather comes from Horween Leather Company of Chicago and has thousands of shipments of cowhides a week.

The companies then go through a vigorous three-week process to make the basketballs. Finally, the basketballs are inspected for quality and defects before they are shipped to the NBA.

A ball left on the basketball court

What are Spalding basketballs made of?

Leather is the primary material that Spalding uses to make their basketballs. The leather is sourced from Horween Leather Company in Chicago. They have been in the business for over 100 years and are one of the most renowned leather suppliers in the world.

A Spalding high quality ball on a white background

The Horween Leather Company goes through a rigorous three-week process to make sure that the basketballs are of the highest quality.

In terms of material, Spalding's basketballs are second to none. They use the best materials to make a durable ball that has a great grip. This makes the ball perfect for professional and competitive play.

Is Spalding better than Wilson basketball?

Spalding basketballs are more liked by high-level players when it comes to grip and overall feel. It's not to say that Wilson doesn't make great basketballs because they do, but Spalding's materials and construction are generally thought to be a bit better.

Wilson is, however, the official basketball of the NCAA. This means that their basketballs must meet specific requirements to be used in collegiate competition. In addition, it is said that Wilson basketballs have better durability in the long run.

At the end of the day, it may come down to preference as to which basketball brand someone prefers.

What ball do NBA players use?

As of 2021, the NBA official basketball is made by Wilson. This means that their basketballs must meet specific requirements to be used in collegiate competition. Like Spalding, the ball is made from 100% pure leather.

It is tough to say why the switch from Spalding to Wilson was made. It could be due to a contract renewal, or Wilson simply submitted a better bid. However, this was a big switch considering Spalding was the official basketball since 1983.

Why is a basketball orange?

The orange basketball was introduced in the 1950s as a way to make it easier for players and spectators to see. The original basketballs were brown, but they would often get lost on the court against the uniforms and the background.

The orange color is also meant to be eye catching and exciting for fans. It's a unique feature that separates basketball from other sports.

Some people have also said that the orange ball is easier to see in low-light conditions, such as during indoor games or in the evening.

Lastly, the color orange is one of the few colors that are easier to see for people and players who are color blind. This is another reason why the orange basketball was introduced and has stuck around for so long.

Can you cut a basketball in half?

It is possible to cut a basketball in half, but there isn't a reason to do so. This is because the interior of the ball is composed of a series of air-filled cells. When these cells are cut, they lose their shape and stability.

If you were to cut a basketball in half, it would not be able to hold air and would become useless.

What can you do with old basketballs?

There are a few things you can do with old basketballs. You can either recycle them, give them to someone who wants to start playing, or use them as a toy for your pet. Who knows—you might have the next Air Bud on your hands.

Basketballs are made of durable materials so that they can be recycled and turned into other products. This is a great way to keep them out of the landfill and to help conserve resources.

If you don't want to recycle them, you can give them to someone who is just starting out playing basketball. It can be a great way to get them started and teach them the basics of the game.

Another great idea is to donate the basketball to a local charity or orphanage. This is a great way to give back to the community and help out people who may not have access to sports equipment.

Basketball players playing photographed on an off focused

How high should a basketball bounce?

An easy way to tell if a basketball is properly inflated is to dibble the ball, and if it bounces to your chest or higher, then it is overinflated. A properly inflated basketball should bounce to your waist or slightly higher.

Basketballs that are overinflated will bounce too high and be more difficult to control. They can also wear out the surface of the court more quickly. This is why it is important to make sure that your basketball is properly inflated before you start playing.

If you want to ensure your basketball is keeping its shape, it's a good idea to store it in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent the ball from inflating or deflating.

Hot or cold outside temperatures can be hard on a basketball. So, if you're playing in extreme weather conditions, it's a good idea to bring the basketball inside when you are done playing.

Are all basketballs the same size?

No, basketballs are not all the same size. Instead, they come in different sizes for different age groups and skill levels.

The standard-sized basketball is used in the NBA and men's NCAA games and has a circumference of 29.5 inches. For women's NCAA games and the WNBA, a slightly smaller ball is used with a circumference of 28.5 inches.

In youth basketball, which is for children aged 6-12 years old, the ball has a circumference of 25.5-27.5 inches. This is because the ball is easier to grip for smaller hands, and it's also a little bit lighter.

There are also mini basketballs that are used for toddlers that have a circumference of 19.5 inches.

So, there is a basketball for everyone regardless of age or skill level.

Can you overpump a basketball?

It is possible to overpump a basketball which could cause the bladder to break. When a basketball is overinflated, the cells inside the ball become too large and lose their shape. This can cause the bladder to rupture, and the basketball will no longer be able to hold air.

It is important to make sure that your basketball is properly inflated before playing. Overinflating a basketball can not only damage the ball but can also make it tough to play the game.

Final Thoughts

A basketball left on the court

Basketballs are a great way to have some fun and get some exercise. They are also a great way to learn teamwork and discipline. Make sure that you take care of your basketball by properly inflating it, storing it in a cool place, and using it in unacceptable weather conditions. Have fun and stay safe!

Want to learn more about basketball? Check out these articles:

How Big Is A Basketball Court?

How High Should The Ceiling Be For An Indoor Basketball Court?

How Many Basketball Players Are There In A Game?

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