What Basketballs Do High Schools Use?

In high school basketball, there is a specific kind of ball used. It is a certain size and weighs a specific amount, and is even inflated to a proper PSI. High schools use a standard-sized ball that allows for both teams to use something similar during practice. What basketballs do high schools use?

The correct basketball for use in High School boys is the 29.5-inch (Size 7) ball. For the girls, the ball is 28.5 (Size 6) inches. They weigh 22 ounces for the boys, and the ladies’ rock is 18 ounces.

Using the correct basketball allows teams to practice with the same ball they will be competing with. This also means that one group doesn’t hold an advantage over the other, and fair-play is ensured. Read on and learn exactly what kind of basketballs high schools use.

What Size Ball Do High School Boys Use?

The 29.5 inch is the standard game ball for official high school games. The ball is the largest-sized used, and up to this point, the ball size would change as the children grow up. When they reach the most competitive age group, high school, and college, having a ball that is standard sized evens the playing field for the teams.

The ball is also 22 ounces. As the basketball goes up and down in size, it weighs more or less. When it gets to the standard 29.5-inch ball, it is as heavy as it gets for competition. The typical high school will measure and double-check all the basketball equipment to ensure the correct height or weight. 

What Size Ball Do High School Girls Use?

The girls game uses a Stage 6, or 28.5-inch ball for official tournaments. The girl’s ball is used from a much younger age, middle school, and is also used in the Olympics and other types of games in other countries. In international play, the ball could also rise to the men’s size and be made from very different materials. 

The ball that the ladies use is 18 ounces, just over a pound. The smaller and lighter ball accommodates what could be smaller hands and frames. A smaller ball also allows for better handling and a much higher chance of successful shots.

What Materials are Used in High School Basketballs?

The most common type of material that they make basketballs from is synthetic leather. It is easier to hold onto once sweat gets on it and makes for faster passes. Some even choose a pure synthetic ball, a human-made leather substitute that can be more resistant to dirt. Synthetics last much longer than a standard leather ball.

Some materials that basketballs are made from are:

  • Leather – The ball that the pros use is made from leather. It has a much better feel on the hands and is easier for the players to control. One of the biggest drawbacks of leather is that it wears out much faster than its synthetic cousin.
  • Rubber – A rubber ball is made for playing outdoors. It has thick skin, which means you can use it for a long time without needing a new one. When it gets wet, it is hard to hold onto and needs an air-up more than usual.
  • Synthetic – The big dog in the basketball world is synthetic skin. It is a combination of high-tech fibers and leather that last much longer than the leather ball. The much more durable ball is great for high schools that may need to be more cost-conscious.
  • Composite – A composite material is another type that is often used in high school basketball. A composite is a combination of several different materials like leather and synthetic materials. The ball is made for much easier handling and can be a bit on the expensive end. 

Brands of Basketball Used in High School

When it comes to supplying high schools with the basketballs they need for girls and boys basketball; only a few companies out there have the lion’s share of the market. They make balls in all sizes and use an assortment of materials to improve grip or allow for a much faster game.

Spalding is a Quality Name Brand With an Amazing Product

The Spalding basketball is one of the big dogs on the block. They have a bevy of products and are even the official ball (link goes to Amazon) of the National Basketball Association. Their Precision line of balls is perfect for high school play. They are made from composite leather that is synthetic and will give the school much more bang for their buck.

Spalding has been around forever, and some schools could have a contract linking the company and its sports programs. For basketball, Spalding creates some of the best practice and game equipment out there and has an extensive array of basketballs made from different materials great for any type of play.

A Wilson Basketball is Durable and Affordable

Wilson is another great company that produces a fantastic basketball. The Evolution game ball (link goes to Amazon) is one of the most used by high schools around the country. The synthetic material that covers the ball makes it easier to handle and creates a basketball that is much softer to the touch than other fabrics and leather.

When it comes to a basketball used for high school competition, there isn’t a much more adored and purchased brand than Wilson. They are endorsed by several different high school basketball certifying bodies, making it one of the most bought balls in the United States.

When Purchasing a Baden, You Get Great Feel and Craftsmanship

One of the lesser-known names on the market is Baden. They have a fantastic product that is used in some high schools for boys and girls. Their basketball is made from another type of synthetic material with excellent tack to the touch while still being soft and easy to handle. Their popularity is based on price, which is usually much cheaper than Spalding and Wilson.

While still an unknown name, Baden creates a product that some argue is superior to the others. It is geared more towards a fast game with a better handling material in the cover and a strong bladder to keep the air pressure at proper levels.

Molten is a Great Company With a Bright Future

Molten is a fantastic synthetic basketball (link to Amazon) that is the basketball used in International Basketball Federation gameplay. It is one of the only basketballs on the market that comes with a 2-year warranty and has one of the strongest bladders around. The outer material and butyl bladder make it one of the most chosen basketballs by high schools for its durability.

One of the most noticeable things about the Molten is the alternate strip of white material that frames the logo of the basketball. The ball coloring is synonymous with international play and games that are played in the Olympics.


The sizes used for boys and girls basketball in high school are 29.5 and 28.5-inch, respectively. The dimensions make the games played more even as some teams could use different ball types during practice. The weight also is a concern. A smaller ball can weigh much less, throwing a team’s shot off.

Another big part of a high school basketball is the material from which it is made. This material can be leather or, more likely, a synthetic material that is more resistant to wear and tear. Synthetics are more likely to last longer, and a leather basketball is rarely used outside of the NBA or WNBA.

If you liked this post, be sure to check “Basketball Backboard Dimensions – All The Data You Need” & “Will Basketball Shorts Shrink in the Dryer?“.

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