Indoor vs outdoor basketballs

When you are about to go play the game with friends the first thing you need to know is on what kind of court you and your teammates are going to play, this knowledge will let you pick the best ball that is designed for a specific court and offers best performance. We are not going to talk about mental things on how to prepare for difference playing conditions, but will speak generally on which balls are best for specific environment and playing conditions.

First impression

At first you may think that all basketballs are the same, but it’s way far from truth. Ladies and gentleman – they are different and actually very different inside and outside, they just look the same if at a glance but if you take a closer look actually they have different surfaces and materials are different. Outdoor basketballs must be way durable because they have to take different weather conditions and way rougher court surfaces such as asphalt and others, these balls are looking good but the grip specifications will be low if you play on dusty surfaces. To experience the maximum pleasure of the game you should seek for best quality and always go play or practice using best available basketballs whenever you are looking to play indoor or outdoor, or universal one that will fit your needs,  it’s good to get feedback from those who already tested them indoors and outdoors, not leaving opinion of workout coaches and thousands of basketball professional and amateur players from all over the world.

What materials are used?

To make indoor basketballs, especially ones manufactured by Spalding and used in NBA and other top basketball leagues of the world, game balls are made of highest quality full-grain leather. They have to be taken to break in periods before they are being used in the NBA games, this is achieved by dribbling and bouncing the ball in special labs of manufacturers. You can notice small marks on official balls which say “G.B.”, that means that this ball prepared and ready, G.B. means “game ball”. Another leader in this area is Wilson, and it’s flagman ball Evolution which is widely used in NCAA and it’s final games.

On the other hand, balls made for outdoor playing can be used right away, because synthetic leather is the main material there and some high-end balls from Wilson, Spalding and Molten is already reaching the point where they offer similar experience of genuine leather using synthetic materials, and of course the cheapest ones are rubber balls which is used by children and total newbies.

Which basketballs are more durable?

It’s an easy answer because outdoor basketballs can be used on indoor courts too, but the experience is worse than playing with special indoor basketball. To answer this question – outdoor balls are way more durable because they are made to take rough surfaces and higher loads, outdoor game in general is tougher and ball needs to take way more pressure and loads in the outdoor courts.

Final verdict

If you are not sure that you are going to play indoor game only, you should go with universal ball as this will allow you to enjoy the game in both types of courts and synthetic leather offers similar performance to genuine leather and the best balance for needs of most basketball players.

However if you are about pleasure and willing to have few basketballs in your sport arsenal than you should get both – one for indoor and one for outdoor play and never mix them up as you will ruin the ball who is specially designed for indoor use by using it outdoor. If you take your outdoor ball to the indoor game – you will feel the difference that this ball doesn’t offer same performance in grip, bounce and so on.