What is the Best Material for Indoor Basketballs?

Basketballs can be made for specific types of courts and are usually classified into indoor and outdoor basketballs with some being designated for both types of courts. They’re manufactured in the same way but the exterior materials used are usually different. Each type of exterior material is used for specific purposes and has their own benefits and drawbacks. In general, the best material for an indoor basketball is something that will offer a consistent bounce, withstand frequent use, and be easy to grip during a game.

What is the Best Material for Indoor Basketballs

Material Options for Indoor Basketballs

Unlike outdoor basketballs, indoor basketballs don’t need to be extremely hard and durable since they will only be used on indoor courts instead of rough outdoor courts. They also won’t be exposed to the elements as much as outdoor balls so they won’t wear out easily as long as they’re used solely on indoor courts.

Every basketball follows a standard structural design but different dimensions are used depending on the division of play or the age of the players for which the ball is being designed. Similarly, the exterior design including the number of panels used, the colors used, and the way the panels are situated can be different depending on the manufacturer. The most popular choices for the exterior materials of a basketball are leather, synthetic leather, and rubber.

Leather

This is the preferred material for the basketballs used in the professional leagues like the NBA and the WNBA as well as in the Olympics and the NCAA. This is because of the quality of the material as well as its superior feel. The leather used for basketballs is full-grain vegetable tanned cowhide featuring a rounded pebble surface. Sometimes a lower quality split leather material is used instead of the more expensive full-grain leather but this doesn’t feel quite the same.

Leather is softer than the other exterior materials used for basketballs. This means that it can scuff or tear easier if improperly used or mistreated. For example, if you own a leather basketball and play with it on an outdoor court, it will quickly fall apart as the rough court will scuff the leather easily which will lead to tears that will ruin the ball. This is why these balls should only be used on indoor courts.

Synthetic Leather

This is a man-made leather composite material that is usually made from polyurethane. The material is made in a way that duplicates the way leather fibers look and feel so the basketballs can mimic the more expensive genuine leather balls. Synthetic leather is a more durable material that can withstand both indoor and outdoor play without deteriorating quickly. It is also a little harder than real leather so its bounce is a little stronger on indoor courts.

Since it is meant to be used outdoors as well, these basketballs won’t absorb as much water as the genuine leather balls can.  Similarly, they won’t scuff and tear as easily as leather basketballs making them a better value overall.

These types of basketballs are the best choice if you plan on playing basketball on both indoor and outdoor courts. By choosing this type of material you can save yourself some money by not needing to purchase one ball for an indoor court and another ball for an outdoor setting.

Rubber

While mainly thought of for outdoor basketballs, rubber can be used for indoor balls too. This is the most durable exterior material making it more suitable for outdoor courts like asphalt and concrete. Since these balls are harder by nature of the material, they have a stronger bounce when used indoors and can be a little harder to handle than the other options. It is, however, the most affordable making it a great option for beginners who aren’t ready to pay the hefty asking prices for leather balls.

Best Material for Indoor Basketballs

Different Basketball Sizes for Different Groups

As mentioned earlier, there are different designs and dimensions for basketballs that depend on how they’ll be used. There are three main sizes manufactured for standard play: a youth size, a women’s size, and the standard regulation size. There are also smaller sizes that are used for specific age groups.

  • Size 7 basketball: the standard size used by most professional leagues and the recommended size for boys over the age of 15. It measures 29.5 inches in circumference and weighs around 22 ounces.
  • Size 6 basketball: the official standard size of the WNBA and recommended for boys between the ages of 12 and 14, this basketball measures anywhere from 28.5 inches to 29 inches in circumference and weighs around 20 ounces.
  • Size 5: recommended for players under the age of 12 (usually between the ages of 9 and 11), these basketballs measure around 27.25 inches in circumference and weighs around 17 ounces.
  • Size 4: while not a popular option, this size is ideal for players ranging from 5 to 8 years old. It measures 25.5 inches in circumference and weighs about 14 ounces.
  • Size 3: known as the “mini basketball” this is best for children between 4 and 8 years old. It measures 22 inches in circumference and weighs about 10 ounces.
  • Size 1: sometimes called the “micro-mini basketball” this is recommended for young children between the ages of 2 and 4. It measures 16 inches in circumference and weighs around 8 ounces.

 

The Manufacturing Process

The exteriors of basketballs are created as the third step in the manufacturing process (after the bladder and carcass of the ball are made). The given material is unrolled on a long table from one continuous roll before a silk screen moves along the length of the material with metal markers acting as guides to measure out the proper length of material for each individual ball. The outlines for the panels of the exterior are imprinted by hand using the silkscreen. From there, a punch press cuts out the outlines leaving six individual panels.

Those panels are collected and carried to a vulcanizer where channels will be created between the panels. Here, embossed information on the exterior will also be added. The panels are then assembled by hand in the vulcanizer before they’re applied to the bladder and carcass of the ball. After the ball comes out as smooth as possible, decals or similar design elements are added by hand with the help of heat presses. Any flaws can be fixed after going through an initial inspection.

 

Out of the three exterior materials used to make basketballs, the subtle winner is the synthetic leather material. This is simply because it’s durable enough for frequent use and can also withstand the abuse from an outdoor court better than genuine leather. That being said, some players prefer the way a genuine leather basketball feels during a game making it difficult to choose which one is the better option. Overall, the material of your indoor basketball is mainly subjective and should fit your personal needs and preferences.

How to Buy the Right Kid’s Basketball Shoes

Kid’s basketball shoes or youth basketball shoes come in many colors, styles, brands and designs. In most cases, your child may want may want you to purchase their basketball shoes for them because of the way they look, their friends think they are the best basket ball shoes or because their favorite basketball player may be wearing them. While this may seem like a valid reason for them to believe that is the reason that you should be buying “that pair” of basketball shoes for them, it is not the most important one. The most important criteria you should use when buying kid’s basketball shoes are how well it supports your child’s ankle and how do they fit.

This reason is extremely important as your child is still growing and because of this they have a greater chance of being injured. Therefore, it suggested that when buying a basketball shoe for your child that you purchase ones that are high-tops. The reason for this is the high-tops provide additional support to the ankle. This additional support will provide stability to your child’s ankle and can reduce the likelihood of your child twisting their ankle; therefore, reducing injury.

Kids Basketball Shoes

Another import element in addition to the basketball shoe being a high-top shoe is that the shoe fit properly. The basketball shoe should fit your child’s foot snug; however, not be too tight. If the shoe is too loose, your child could develop:

  • Blisters
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Knee, ankle and or hip injuries

Why Tying Your Basketball Shoes Correctly Matters

It is also important to make sure your child’s basketball shoes are tied correctly. If they are tied loosely they will not provide the stability that is needed to protect their ankles and can lead to one of the issues listed above. Additionally, if they come undone they can cause your child or someone they are playing with to trip and fall. Therefore, possibly leading to other injuries such as a broken hand and or finger.

Treads Matter

The grip of your child’s basketball shoe is another aspect to consider when buying their shoes. They will be running up and down the court and cutting back and forth; therefore, they need to be able to stop and cut without slipping. This will be true for any playing surface such; however, it is extremely important if they will be playing on a wood court – as wood courts can be slippery due to sweat or dirt.

Where Should You Buy Your Basketball Shoes?

Many of the same basketball shoe stores and websites that sell basketball shoes for adults also sell kid’s basketball shoes. However, you should make sure that the store or website can answer any questions that you may have about the shoes you are looking to buy. They should also be able to provide suggestions and point out the key features and construction of the shoes. If they cannot, we suggest you move onto another store or website that can. You should be ready to spend anywhere between $50 and $125 dollars for your child’s basketball shoes. The price will vary based on brand, popularity and if endorsed by a professional basketball player – such as Lebron James shoes.

Best Basketball Insoles

Basketball is a high-demanding game with lots of physical action, contact and high jumps. In order for the NBA players to avoid injuries or at least to decrease the amount and severity of them, the players use insoles in their shoes. Let’s examine which the best basketball insoles are. Those insoles are used by several professional athletes but also from amateur players. The use of insoles is a must for any professional basketball player, especially in the NBA, where the load on the athlete’s body is huge.

Best Basketball Insole

Benefits of Insoles

Below, I’ve nicely summarized the benefits of insoles for basketball shoes, benefits that also ring true for running shoes and other sports.

  • Feet are less likely to feel sore after a workout or a game.
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved arch support for your feet.
  • Shoes will last longer, feeling like a new pair for much more time.
  • Helps with running on numerous different surfaces, such as those of a basketball court, whether indoors or outdoors.

Megasole

Mega Sole Insoles

One of the most recommended insoles for professional athletes and basketball players. Megasole has an ergonomic design and it can greatly reduce the shock the player’s body absorbs when jumping and landing. They have special design and they include a dual layer of memory foam. They also allow the player’s foot temperature to remain at good levels and their cushion is designed so the vibration is reduced.

Sofsole

Sof Sole Insoles

Sofsole is a high quality insole for men and women who play basketball. They help the athlete stabilize his or her foot and that can greatly help them reduce injuries. When you get that feeling a few weeks into a new pair of shoes that they just don’t feel the same as when you bought them, it is probably because of the insoles, and buying new ones can help to tackle this. It also helps the athlete reduce the impact of a strong contact and reduce the stress that a jump invokes. The lightweight polymer gel they include helps towards that direction. The Sofsole also include an arch plate that helps in the conversion of shocks into speed when an athlete is running in the game.

Classic Insole

Classic Insole

This is a classic option when it comes to insoles. They are made of 100% Sorbothane and they provide protection and comfort as they absorb 94.7% of the shock. They also have a great arch support, which helps decreasing the stress of the joints and the tendons in the knee. Those insoles can greatly help an athlete protect his ankles and reduce the possibility of a severe injury in any part of the leg.

Ultra Work / Sport Insole
These insoles are made of molded polyurethane foam, which offer great foot support, but they also have Sorbothane to help absorbing the shock. These insoles can greatly reduce the stress and the load in the lower parts of the body and are custom-made for many professional athletes.

ICE HOCKEY VS. BASKETBALL: THE COMPLETE COMPARISON

If you haven’t spent most of your childhood indoors, you’ll know that choosing the right game to play is an art of its own. Should you play basketball, football, table tennis, or have a decent game of chess? The questions can just never be answered.

Ice hockey and skating can become a habit, even when winters are over. But what happens when you have to choose between hockey and basketball?

Whether it’s for joining a professional league or passing the time with your friends, the question always comes down to which is better. Normally, people would prefer basketball as they are more familiar with the concepts. But in doing so, they completely miss out on the fun in ice hockey. So we’re here to lay down the basics.

ICE HOCKEY VS. BASKETBALL

Easy To Understand Rules

The first thing about any sport is how to play it. While many kids have had the liberty to play basketball at school, some kids are left out. Which is why learning a new sport can be a pain in the neck.

In basketball, there are ten basic rules that every player must abide by. Of course, these are just the main ones. There are hundreds of subsections and articles, and the rules of the game can be pretty hard to grasp.

Nonetheless, they can easily be comprehended through careful reading and practice. The main object of the game is to pass the ball through the basket as many times as possible. It is important to make sure that the ball is held within the hands, and the game usually lasts 30 or 35 minutes.

As for ice hockey, the main objective is to shoot the puck past the goal line. The game usually lasts no more than 60 minutes, and it is usually divided into 20-minute periods. Unlike basketball, physically pushing and touching the opponent is allowed to some extent.

Here, both the sports have easy to understand rules, and the level of complexity is same.

ICE HOCKEY VS. BASKETBALL 2

Time Parameters

One of the biggest deciding factors of which sport to play is the timing. While the timing can be set to anywhere within an hour, most professional and amateur leagues have set timings for the games.

In basketball, the match lasts around 48 minutes, in four 12-minute periods. Between the periods is a total 15-minute short break. Professional leagues such as the NBA and NWBL and many amateur leagues use the time parameters mentioned above. However, due to stoppages such as fouls and out-of-bounds, the game may last up to 2 or 2.5 hours. High school basketball matches usually last up to an hour and a half.

The same cannot be said for ice hockey. While the actual play time is typically 60 minutes, two 15-minute intermissions and multiple stoppages for score counting and umpiring increase the length to up to 2 hours. The game is played in three 20-minute intervals, with two breaks in between.

Most leagues typically play this game anywhere between September and April. However, the joy of ice skating can still be availed even in the summer.

Difficulty

Although understanding the rules can be a breeze, actually playing the game is a lot harder. In this aspect, we find basketball to be easier, though both pose their challenges.

In basketball, the players may or may not choose to wear special knee and elbow pads. Tripping in the court is a bit rare, as the game is usually played with the hands. But some players prefer to bring extra safety measures. The game itself is pretty easy. Everyone knows how to run and hold a ball in their hands. But that doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t require strategy and hard work. Still, we find basketball to be a bit less challenging.

With that being said, the sport requires a lot of physical abilities. Running around while dodging opponents and focusing on the goal is no easy task. If you are physically unable to run for long periods of time or get exhausted easily, continuing can be a menace. And if you have a short stature, then life may have other plans for you.

However, with ice hockey, a lot of skill in ice skating is required. Not everyone knows how to do that. It’s not just about playing the game, it’s also about learning an entirely different sport just to be able to play it. If you cannot even stand on ice skates, then don’t even think about getting selected. Apart from that, most of the game works just like regular hockey, and requires skill and strategy. But physical skills are not entirely necessary for hockey.

Safety Measures

As mentioned earlier, basketball requires lesser safety precautions as compared to ice hockey. Unlike football, basketball has nothing to do with the legs. So leg injuries and tripping over is rare. The most a basketball player may wear is a knee or shoulder pad. Even a helmet is not required.

Getting hit by a basketball can be pretty painful, but nothing too serious. Moreover, the game can be very hard on the legs and the body, so you need a good physique for that. But if you are capable of running a mile or two, the game shouldn’t be too dangerous.

As compared to that, ice hockey requires the player to be fully equipped with extra padding, helmets, torso pads, and gloves. And all of this for what? Because slipping on a highly polished ice floor is more common than slipping on a basketball court. Just slipping can cause a lot of injuries, and if you get run over by another player, both of you will need medical care. To add to that horror, the puck is a solid hard rubber object which is being shot around the field at high velocities. If it hits you, it could leave a bruise, or worse, break a bone. The hockey sticks are also pretty solid, and a single blow can be devastating.

While cases of injured during ice hockey are not as common as they might seem (around 16 injuries per 1000 games), many players can easily fall into that category. And for inexperienced and first time players, avoiding the injuries can be a challenge. Moreover, all the extra equipment requires money, and if you can’t afford it, then get ready for some medical bills.

Budget

Many amateur players have to buy their own equipment, and for many middle and lower class citizens, this is bad news.

In basketball, the first thing you need is a decent court. The floor is usually concrete and polished, but if you’re short on a budget then any type of floor is suitable. Even a grass field can be utilized, although traction is inhibited. A decent basketball can cost as little as $12 and as much as $60. We recommend spending at most $40 on the ball. The basketball hoops cost a maximum of $40 as well, though any decent price would be $30 or lower. Apart from that, additional safety pads come under $17 per player, though if you’re short on budget this can easily be skipped. The most you can require is a decent pair of outdoor basketball shoes, which costs no more than $60.

For ice hockey, the budget is a bit tougher. For one thing, this game cannot be played on any grass or concrete field. You need a special polished and closely monitored pristine ice surface for that. Naturally, these surfaces can be found over lakes and pounds, but we strongly discourage playing there. The sheet of ice is too thin and too dangerous. Renting an arena is your best option, which itself can cost a fortune. Hockey sticks cost about $20, while a single puck is usually cheaper than a dollar or two. But the expensive part comes in the pads. The padding is required around the knees, elbows, chest, torso, and the hands require gloves.

Payment and Success

If you choose to take the sport professionally, you should know about the scope and payment that you’ll be getting.

The starting salary for the NBA is around $490,000 per season. Amateur leagues can pay as much as $2,000, and even some official high school and college leagues pay stipends.

For ice hockey, the scope is a bit less. The NHL and Olympics are the biggest events, but it takes a lot of skill and strategy to participate. The money promised is also a bit less. The minimum income of an NHL player is somewhere close to $45,000 or $50,000, although the highest paid can get up to $2 million per season. Many high school associations also provide stipends.

Scope

Basketball is played in a ton of countries. In the US alone, there are around 15 basketball leagues, including the NBA as well as the NBWA for women. Around 16 amateur and high school/university leagues have also made it to the front lines.

In ice hockey, there is only one major professional league (the NHA), along with around 6-7 smaller leagues. However, the scope for junior leagues is a bit higher, although payment is lesser.

Conclusion

We admire both of the sports, and acknowledge that they both require skill. But if we were to recommend one of these to you, we’d choose basketball. The main reason is that basketball is a safe and easy sport, and even rookie street kids can play the game. Ice hockey requires a lot of more equipment and budget, and has a lesser scope.

But don’t forget to do what you love! There is no way to rank talents, and every skill is beautiful in its own way.

References:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/29335-basketball-more-like-hockey-than-you-think

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/five-reasons-the-stanley-cup-playoffs-are-better-than-the-nba-playoffs/