How to choose the correct Basketball ball size

A basketball ball comes in all shapes and sizes and each one is designed with a different player in mind.

In this blog we are going to go through the different basketball balls that suit the various ages and genders of players.

Plus, we’ll differentiate balls for both indoor and outdoor basketball.

Intersport Elverys is proud Retail Partners with Basketball Ireland and we have a huge range of top products and advice for you to check out.

basketball ball

Basketball Ball Factors to consider

Age and gender are the two most important factors when it comes to the correct basketball ball size.

Whether you are some one is playing indoor and outdoor also matters.

As we have discussed in our blog, How High is a Basketball Hoop, getting the right size for your child is really important to allow them play to their full potential.

First, age and gender are taken into account when the NBA (National Basketball Association) recommends basketball players.

To ensure a perfect match between a player and the ball they use, these suggestions are based on the average height and hand size of the individual.

First, age and gender are taken into account when the NBA (National Basketball Association) recommends basketball players.

To ensure a perfect match between a player and the ball they use, these suggestions are based on the average height and hand size of the individual.

Basketball Ball Sizes: Age & Gender


A size 3 ball would be ideal for children between the ages of 4-6.

However, a size 5 ball is suggested for older children, between the ages of 7 and 10.

Children typically have smaller hands, therefore it seems natural that their ball would be smaller as well so they could play more easily and with a better grip.

basketball ball

Larger balls might frustrate kids by making it challenging for them to master fundamental basketball drills.

Basketball might be more entertaining and slightly simpler to grasp for younger children with a smaller, more appropriate ball.

Teenagers – Seniors (Male)

The suggested size is a size 7 for males and older, teenage boys (12 and older).

According to the National Basketball Association (NBA), a size 7 basketball is the recommended size for males, based once more on the comfort and grip of an average-sized hand.

You can’t go wrong with this Molten Outdoor Size 7 Bastketball for some casual play.

Teenagers – Seniors (Female)

And lastly, a size 6 basketball is advised for women and girls 12 years of age and older.

Because women’s hands are often smaller than men’s, size 6 basketballs are made to assist women perform better.

The official basketball size for women, according to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), is a size 6.

Basketball Indoor and Outdoor Balls

Some people aren’t aware that there are such a thing as indoor and outdoor basketballs.

The key difference is the material, with a hard more durable surfaced basketballs designed for outdoor use.

basketball ball

Indoor Basketball

Basketballs used indoors are made of full-grain leather.

The concrete surface of an outdoor court can cause the leather to wear away, which would ultimately impair the ball’s grip, hence leather basketballs should only be used indoors.

Despite being pricey, full grain leather basketballs are ideal for an indoor court since the leather offers a stronger grip and feel.

Before a game, indoor basketballs need to be used a few times so they may get soft and comfortable to hold.

Outdoor Basketball

Rubber is used instead of leather to make outdoor basketballs because it can adapt to a concrete outdoor court’s rougher surface better.

Basketballs for outdoor use don’t need to be broken in due of their rubber construction. Rubber basketballs typically rebound more forcefully than indoor basketballs.

The better choice for beginners is a basketball made of rubber and composite material (leather and plastic). The cost of using an outdoor court is FREE, and these balls are intended to last on uneven surfaces.

Outdoor basketballs are always the ideal choice because they are more economical and provide more bounce, whether you want to play for fun or for exercise.


If you want to learn more about the game, then why not check out our blog on the Ultimate Guide to Basketball Courts?

Or else, check out our fantastic range of top basketball balls below.

basketball ball

The Ultimate Guide to a Basketball Court 2024

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the word right now, with more and more people taking to the court for some action.

One of the major draws to the game is the ability to play it on a basketball court either inside or outside.

In a country like Ireland where the weather is, well, temperamental at best, this makes the game playable all year round!

Plus, you can play with two or ten people and have just as much fun with both.

Indoor basketball courts are typically made with hardwood, while outdoor courts are made from concrete or asphalt.

Basketball Court


What are the dimensions of a basketball court?

The National Basketball Association, also known as the NBA, has the biggest basketball courts of any local or international league.

28 metres in length and 15 metres wide (94Ft x 50Ft) are the exterior measurements. As its name implies, the half court line is situated halfway between either end line.

A tip-off circle with a six-foot radius sits in the center of the half court line and is frequently adorned with the home team’s logo.

In Ireland, FIBA regulations state the same, however local federations have the authority to approve courts which fall within lengths of a minimum 4m in length and 2m in width.

basketball court

The roof of the arena or court must be no lower than 7m while there should be a 2m distance between the court perimeters and the spectators.

A total area of a basketball court is 420m2, for both indoor and outdoor.

For regulations on how high a Basketball hoop should be, check out this blog.

In Ireland, FIBA also state that a game can be abandoned if there are condensation issues on the court and the home may potentially lose the game.

Basketball Court Markings

The line markings must be 50mm wide and in a color that contrasts with the playing surface, according to FIBA.


The sidelines, which span the length of the court, serve as a marker for the court’s outer perimeter. They are 28m long on a court that is full size.

Baseline and Endline

The ends of the court that run behind the goals are referred to as the baseline and endline, respectively. Usually, they are 15 meters long.

Depending on the strategy a team is using, several phrases are used. The attacking end of the court is referred to as the baseline, and the defending end is referred to as the endline.

Center court

This point on the court represents halfway through a game and serves as the offensive playing area.

The mid court line would be 14 meters from each endline on a full-sized court.

Center circle

The center circle, which is used for the opening tip off, is 3.6 meters in diameter.

Three-Point line

The arcs that delineate a range’s edge from each hoop are the three point lines.

Three points are awarded for scoring from outside of this line. The line is normally 6.75 meters from the basket but may vary based on the level of the game.

Free Throw Line

A player must stand at the free throw line, which is marked 4.6m from the backboard, in order to fire free throws.

Free Throw Circle

The size of the center circle and the free throw circle are identical (3.6m in diameter).

In order to make a free throw, shooters must remain within this circle. Jump balls are also played in the circle.

Free Throw Lane Lines

The lane lines that make up the “key” extend from the free throw line to the baseline.

However, FIBA (International Basketball Federation) regulation modifications in 2010 designated it as a 4.9m by 5.8m rectangle.

The shape and width might vary depending on the level of the game.

To prevent opposition players from blocking the free throw shooter, some additionally have gap marks.

Top Basketball Courts in Ireland

Ireland boasts some brilliant indoor and outdoor basketball courts.

There are a total of 65 registered courts in Dublin alone, along with excellent ones in Cork, Kerry, Galway and Mayo.

basketball court

The flagship court in Ireland is the National Indoor Basketball Arena in Tallaght which has a capacity of 2500 people and is the home of Irish Basketball.

While the Mardyke Arena in Cork (pictured) is also hugely popular.

Check out some of the rest right HERE.

The Three Point Line History

Even if you don’t know much about basketball, you have probably heard of a three-pointer or the three-point line.

A full 70 years after Dr. Naismith created the game, the three-point line made its debut in the American Basketball League in 1961.

The line was inserted to heighten the tension, but because the league disbanded after only one and a half seasons, the plan was doomed to failure.

The NBA’s subsequent rival entered the scene in 1967. The three-point line was implemented by the American Basketball Association, or ABA, from the beginning, and it was a big success.

The ABA introduced a number of fascinating innovations that improved the product for the spectators.

basketball court

But in the end, there was not enough capacity for two basketball leagues, and in 1976, the NBA and ABA amalgamated.

But the merger does not include the three-point line! The NBA’s decision-makers at the time were too obstinate to implement such a significant adjustment.

Before introducing the three-point line in the 1979–80 season, they waited three years.

It wasn’t included in the NCAA until 1986, and high school basketball courts didn’t get it until 1987.

However, the story doesn’t finish there. In the 1990s, the line was shifted closer for three seasons in an effort to increase scoring, but it was soon returned to its previous position.

The NBA even acknowledged that there had been discussions regarding a four-point line, taking the concept to its logical conclusion.

We’ll believe it when we see it.

Was a Basketball Court ever different?

Nowadays, all basketball courts have the same basic designs.

But it wasn’t always the case!

Back in 1956 when FIBA was born, the key was a trapezoidal design that had a much wider baseline.

The term “key” refers to another design of this feature.

Have you ever wondered how a square space beneath a basket obtained such an arbitrary name?

basketball court

The original space was substantially smaller for this reason, although the circle around the free throw line was the same size.

These two elements came together to form a shape that resembled an antique key. The key was first enlarged to 12 feet in 1951, and then to the current 16 feet used by the NBA and FIBA.

The phrase still exists, but its original meaning and design have been lost to time. For the record, this feature’s official name is “free throw lane,” which isn’t a term that many of us are accustomed to hearing.


Intersport Elverys are proud Retail Partners of Basketball Ireland.

So we want to bring you the best products and information we can.

Make sure to let us know if there is something you want or to learn and we will try our best to help you.

Intersport Elverys & Basketball Ireland Launch Retail Partnership

Basketball Ireland and Intersport Elverys formally launched their official retail partnership on Wednesday, January 25 2023 with news that the Irish replica kit and the official Molten balls are now available to purchase online and in-store, in selected outlets nationwide.

Philip Staunton, Head Buyer confirmed: “We are now stocking the official Molten ball used for all levels and a range of Basketball Ireland-branded balls in the coming months. For the first time we will be stocking the official Kappa national team kit in selected stores and they will also be available online.”

Speaking at the launch, Ireland men’s captain John Carroll welcomed the news that Ireland replica jerseys are available to purchase: “Yeah it is good, so many people before were asking where they get the jersey’s before, so it’s good that I don’t have to part with my jerseys now, they can go and get their own!

“It’s good for the sport, there’s been huge demand.”

basketball ireland

Intersport Elverys and Basketball Ireland’s retail partnership has been a huge success since it began in October, with the on-court uniform and off-court gear for adults and children proving to be hugely popular.

Bruce Wood, Basketball Ireland Head of Commercial and Brand, added: “Having the official Molten balls and the Ireland kit available to purchase is the latest step in our partnership.

“Demand has been huge from the basketball and wider sporting audience for this, as has been proven over the last number of months since we joined forces with Intersport Elverys, with the products flying off the shelves and we’re excited to be bringing in official Basketball Ireland-branded balls soon too.”

Anne-Marie Hanly, Intersport Elverys Senior Marketing Manager, added: “There are huge numbers playing the sport around the country, with a 50/50% gender split when it comes to participation and engagement in basketball.

“We are emersed in performance and authenticity in sport, so this partnership is an ideal fit for us.

“We will work with Basketball Ireland throughout the year to help grow the Basketball Ireland brand and to deliver an even better experience to the growing community of both players and fans.”

John Feehan, Basketball Ireland CEO, said: “Our partnership with Intersport Elverys has been a great success and is another example of the visibility of our sport growing massively.

“Our playing population has increased 48% in the last five years and the popularity of the sport is showcased by the fact that our recent internationals have been sold out, along with huge numbers attending this month’s National Cup semi-finals and finals.

“Basketball in Ireland is on the rise and it’s wonderful to have Ireland’s leading sports retailer, Intersport Elverys, on board as part of this journey.”

Ireland international Michelle Clarke, who also took part in the launch, added: “It’s great to have Intersport Elverys as a one-stop shop for all things basketball.

“I have had so many people asking about where they can get their hands on Basketball Ireland kit and it’s great to see it now in store.

“There is a real buzz about the sport, I was lucky enough to captain Killester to the Paudie O’Connor Cup success last weekend and seeing a packed and vibrant National Basketball Arena was amazing.

“This retail partnership is another illustration of the growth and excitement around our game.”

Intersport Elverys will also stock scorebooks for clubs, which will be available online and also in some stores.

For more Basketball content, check out this blog on How High a Basketball hoop should be. 

basketball ireland


In our latest instalment of “Women In Sport”, we talk to Portlaoise Panthers point guard and under-age coach, Maeve O’Sullivan.

There has been much made recently of the amount of time and effort that inter-county GAA players put into their sport and the question of whether it is worth it or not. It’s a valid question and worth exploring, but if you step back for a minute and look at it objectively, is there really that much to complain about? What of the players who put in a huge effort in other sports, sports that don’t garner the same TV minutes, column inches, or online focus? Outside of the elite in professional rugby, the GAA, and to a lesser extent the top flight of the Airtricity League, every week thousands and thousands of men and women spend their evenings and weekends doing their best to become their best, all away from the glare of the spotlight. Maeve O’Sullivan, the skilful and tenacious point-guard for the history making Portlaoise Panthers – currently in their first season in the Women’s Premier League in basketball – is one such individual. She argues that if you don’t love what you’re doing, don’t do it. She loves her sport and despite everything, that is the reason she plays – not for the crowds, not for the glamour, not for the trophies. For the love of the game.

“I read an article recently where the writer said he fears for GAA this year, and football in particular. He was saying that the players aren’t committing to county teams as they may have in the past and the players that are committing are training, and training, and training, and training and not winning – he’s saying, what is the point? And fair enough, I know I have training tonight and I’m looking at the clock and thinking “I’d love to get out of it, because, what’s the point…” but, then, I look at sport as my life. You do it because you love it and when things get rough, as it is for us right now [Portlaoise are second bottom of the league table], you have to pull together and learn from the positives and you have to improve. If you take his word for it in the article, you’d wonder if people took that attitude to everything in live what sort of world we’d be in? People play sport, even when they are losing, because it offers them so much more, it offers them friendship, it offers a release. When I go on the court, I’m a completely different person and I love that aspect. So, yes, losing sucks and it’s tough but you just have to put it in to get something out and like I said, I don’t have the mentality of a quitter. I’m going to take everything I can from this year and even at 28 years old, I feel i am getting better from game to game and I think my team-mates are too. That’s the positives we are going to take from it because the successes will come when you have that positive mentality.”

Maeve first fell in love with the game as a youngster after watching her talented sister Catherine take up the sport, all under the watchful eye of a Laois legend back in the mid 90’s.

“I started when I was in primary school,” she explains. “I have been playing since i was six or seven, Catherine my sister started when she started secondary school. It was never a game that my family were involved in before that. Once Catherine started secondary school she fell under the guidance of Pat Critchley and she fell in love with the game. Catherine was always my idol, I wanted to do whatever she did so i followed her around. The basketball courts in the old Convent school in Portlaoise used to be the haunt for the summer so literally you went down there every day and it was five on five games, two games going at the same time all day long, it was that popular – and all thanks to Pat too.”

“As I was the annoying little sister who used to tag along with her she tried to teach me to shoot, how to dribble, or I’d sit there and watch the games going on as well. Thankfully then Pat started to extend his training to the primary school because there was no club set-up at the time. He was struggling at school as players were coming in with no technical ability or real knowledge of basketball so he worked back and started with the fifth and sixth class. Although I was in third class he took me in with the rest of them. That’s where my formal training started.”

Bright, articulate and with plenty of opinions on a variety of sports, O’Sullivan is just one of a vast array of talented and intelligent females plying their trade at the top level of basketball right now in Ireland. And even though the sport is not enjoying the recognition it may have had in this country in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, there is superb work going on at all levels to build a solid base for the game for the future. O’Sullivan herself is part of that, and alongside her playing career, she is currently coaching under-age teams in Portlaoise and ArdScoil Rath Iomgháin, Rathangan where she teaches. She is determined to give back as much as she has gained from basketball, even if it can be a big ask at times.

“It’s tough to combine the two – right now I’m on the way home after coaching in school, I’m going home to grab a bite to eat and going training then from 7-9pm myself tonight. It’ll be the same on Thursday, coaching the guys after school then on to my own training and then Friday you have the under 18’s and thrown in there is an under 18 game I can’t make because I have my own commitments with basketball.

It’s hard and you’re constantly on the go, but I feel I owe to my sport. I have got so much from my sport and I’m not getting any younger but when you know that in a few years you’re going to have to step back from it… I’d hate to step back from it completely and not have anything to do with it. Now I’m just setting up the future for coaching I suppose. On the court I’d like to think of myself as a player who can read the game, someone that sees things going with defences, I suppose that is the job of a point guard as well to recognise these things – I may not be a superstar but I’d like to think I do see things on court and can adapt to them and I guess than transfers to the coaching. I’m learning. It’s definitely different. I think I have learned from the coaches I’ve been coached by before – nice coaches, angry coaches, polite coaches – and I know what type of coach I want to be from those experiences.”

“I’m still learning. I hope that the kids enjoy it, and that’s what I want – I want them to enjoy basketball, to realise that yes it is about winning and we all love to win, but it’s about the experiences as well . That’s what I love, I love being at the top of the bus when the music is blaring and the kids might be doing my head in but they’re having fun and getting along. That’s what my school days were about, those are the days I remember, and that’s what I want for them as well. I think I’m in a privileged position where I get to facilitate that. I love winning myself but as a player it’s completely different to being a coach. Actually it was quiet emotional the first time seeing the kids win their first regional final and like I said I feel in a privileged position to facilitate that.”

It’s not just with Rathangan – now one of the big schools in Irish secondary schools basketball – that Maeve is creating waves. Portlaoise Panthers have risen like a phoenix in recent years, and unusually, the club are following a top down method of building success which is working excellently so far.

“We [Panthers senior women’s team] started Midlands League, won the Midlands League, natural progression was to the National League, won the National League, now SuperLeague but there was no point going to the SuperLeague if there is nothing coming up behind you, so that was the emphasis we had to put on things – did we want to have a club or did we want to just have a team? Again that was the natural progression and thankfully there are kids coming up now who have chances that we didn’t have.”

“They’ve started a league in the Midlands, we have teams in the kindergarten where you bring seven, eight, nine, ten year olds, then you have under twelve, under fourteen, sixteens and eighteens. Myself and Catherine took on a good under eighteen team, we were entered  in the Midlands League and Kilkenny League and won both, and then with the likes of Claire Melia, Maeve Phelan and Erone Fitzpatrick coming through, three really talented players, with a group of really strong and talented girls coming up, we decided we would enter the National Cup this year. We reached the semi-final : it was the first time in the clubs history we entered an under-age girls team in a national competition so to make the semi-final [was a great achievement]. Unfortunately we lost out to a fantastic Brunell team on the day, but it was such a great achievement for the club that we are hugely proud of that. It’s going from strength to strength.”

“The levels are improving, the numbers are improving, definitely. We have unprecedented numbers of people coming to take up basketball and more importantly it becoming their first sport – we are a minority sport, we are battling against the football and hurling, so it’s great to see kids come down and fall in love with it and give it their full commitment. Numbers are increasing year on year and that’s not just in our club; that is right across the Midlands so you have a really solid league. What we need to do now is up the standard and the levels – our under 18 team have won the Top Four the last two years in a row, and our hot favourites to win it again this year but still we are not winning national competitions. We have the numbers and we have the team but it’s up to us and all the clubs in the Midlands to improve the standards – the Cork and Dublin teams are the ones to beat and they have huge amounts of teams in each county, but we are looking at a whole region and we are looking at getting coaches onto coaching courses and improving them and them improving the players. I think it’s great now that we have a Premier League team and that Basketball Ireland still has a structured –link up rule whereby girls who are under 18 girls in the area can look at us and realise they can play Superleague (sic) but still keep playing with my own team too which is great. Now there is more incentive for players to improve and to keep playing basketball.”

Before she commits herself to full time coaching, the former DCU ace still has unfinished business in her own playing career and after a stellar couple of seasons in the green and white of the Panthers, Maeve, along with her team-mates is looking to establish them as a real force in senior basketball.

“Look, it’s tough. Last year we went unbeaten, and for the last two years the word ‘lost’ wasn’t in our vocabulary, we had unprecedented success and obviously you enjoy every minute of a season where you don’t lose and any sportsperson will tell you that. This year has been tough and I’ve said it before, we think we were realistic  going into this season – we’ve had two players miss out as they’ve had pregnancies, it’s I suppose a disadvantage of being  a woman in sport, but the team was in transition. Our club is still at a very young stage where we didn’t have an under 20’s team that you could take from, the girls are still at the stage where they are coming up to under 18 so maybe it was two or three years too early, we don’t have the privilege of the draw from colleges like Dublin, Cork or Galway teams do either so that’s a struggle for us too. To be honest though we probably thought it was going to go a lot worse for us than it has already so that’s really, really positive and in a season where you’re losing the majority of those games you have to look for those positives or you will go demented and you will start to hate the sport you love. We’re taking the positives though and we are running teams close and it’s a sickener when you lose and no one likes losing but you have to keep going – what else can you do but quit and I don’t have the mentality to do that, and I’m on a team of girls that don’t have the mentality to quit either.”

#CommitToFit in 2016 with Elverys Intersport great training range for women.