Basketball Size Chart - Recommended Sizes for Kids & Adults

If you spend a little time watching youth games, practices, or pick up games in this country, you'll see that most young players use the wrong size basketball.

And using the wrong size often leads to bad shooting habits (incorrect technique).

This is partly because most websites (and basketball manufacturers) give recommendations that are frankly out of whack.

Below you’ll find recommendations from the experts here at Breakthrough Basketball.

Size     Circumference   Weight   Rim Height   Recommended For
Size 7 29.5" 22 oz 10' Men and boys ages 15 and up. This is official size for high school, college, and the pros.
Size 6 28.5" 20 oz 10' Boys ages 12-14. Girls and women ages 12 and up. This is the official size for women’s high school, college, and pro basketball.
Size 5 27.5" 17 oz 9' Boys and girls ages 9-11 years old. This is the standard youth basketball you find in most stores.
Size 4 25.5" 14 oz 8' Boys and girls ages 5-8 years old.
Size 3 22" 10 oz 6-7' Boys and girls ages 4-8 years old. Also known as "mini" basketball.
Size 1 16" 8 oz 2-5' Boys and girls ages 2-4 year olds. Also known as "micro-mini" basketball.
Nerf Toy 9-20" 1-5 oz 2-5' Great for toddlers 0-4 years old. And fun for young hearted adults too!

Notice the difference in the weight for each size?

It might not seem like a lot but it makes a huge difference when shooting the basketball.

A men’s size 7 ball is more than twice the weight of the size 3 mini!

This extra weight makes it impossible for young kids to shoot with proper technique.

Young kids compensate by dropping their shoulder, twisting, and slinging it up to the basket. And in some cases players flick the ball with both hands.

These bad habits tend to stick with players into their adult years, and they’re much harder to break that you’d think!

So take the time to pick the correct size and weight basketball for your child.

Want to get more playing time and become the standout player on your team? Download our FREE Driveway Skill Workout for an expertly designed regimen that will have you scoring from anywhere on the court.

To your basketball success!

Jeff and Joe Haefner

Related Pages and Helpful Resources

Why Standard Youth Basketballs Are Too Heavy and Result in Bad Shooting Habits

Youth Basketball Shooting: 3 Things Youth Coaches & Players Need to Adjust

Order Basketballs by Size

Leave your comments, suggestions, and questions below...


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vijay says:
2/13/2024 at 11:44:15 AM

i am 5ft 2 adult so should i go for Size 5 ball than Size 7
which is very uncomfortable for me to handle as well as shoot

tried with size 6; it is fine so i am considering going 1 size lower

Also isnt it unfair for shorter people to have hoop mounted at 10ft from ground? maybe 9 ft

this is one major reason Basketball is hardly even played or is popular in majority of Asian countries; Western population with average height of touching 6ft or so and Asians in range of 5.3/5.4

kids start playing it; but eventually as they see they can hardly score points; over a period of time they give up in frustration and choose some other sport


Bob Caperna says:
1/30/2020 at 11:26:01 AM

Looking for a custom imprinted basketball for a league serving kids and adults with Special Needs. Obviously we are on a budget so price is also a concern. Willing to go as small as size 1 if needed.


Terry says:
11/4/2019 at 6:04:42 PM

Thank you for creating this site. My grandson loves playing basketball, and he's playing this year. I've not played in over 45 years, and I've forgotten more than I can say (and sports always evolve) so I can use all the advice I can get to help my grandson.


Jeff Chen says:
4/30/2018 at 3:01:02 PM

I am a dad of a 4th grade boy who really loves basketball. I have really enjoyed your website and have gotten lots of useful information from it. I couldn't agree with you more about your recommendation about right ball size for kids. My question is: my son shoots great in the backyard with a great form with a 27.5 ball at a 9 foot rim. Then he plays at the school yard (using a 28.5 ball and 10 ft. rim) and can't shoot more than a 9-footer. So he gets frustrated and then ends up changing his shooting form. Then I have to try to change his form back to the correct form. It has already happened 3-4 times over the last 12 months. How do I deal with this situation? I don't want him to use the wrong form so he can shoot farther but when CYO or Travel season comes around, he will be using a 28.5 ball on a 10-foot rim. Thank you for any feedback.

  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
4/30/2018 at 8:20:08 PM

This is a battle most coaches and parents deal with. I don't have a good answer. My son did the same thing... he wanted to play with his friends. Until the rules change for the leagues and tournaments... it's just something you deal with. I'm always telling my son not to shoot 3s. He was convinced he could shoot them with proper technique. I filmed him shoot 3s and played back in slow motion using Coaches Eye app. Then he saw how jacked up his form was!! Until then he didn't believe me. Just keep encouraging him to stay close, use good form, and be patient.


Palle says:
12/25/2017 at 11:16:26 AM

I am a dad here in Denmark (Scandinavia) and we have great traditions of e.g. soccer but none when it comes to basketball.
So it is great to have some "original American" instructions, tips and training programs.

My teenage son just started in a local basketball club and think it will be really helpful for him to follow your training programs.

Thanks a lot !


Coach Vic says:
10/30/2017 at 5:39:59 PM

I am going to start a league in 2018 that is parallel to CYO. Those that don't make their CYO teams in various schools will have a place to play and learn.
For 3rd & 4th grade boys and girls it will be a non competitive league with refs but no score kept, no playoffs, no all star games. Just learning how to play with an age appropriate ball.
For 5th & 6th grade boys and girls I'm thinking about doing the same rules.
For 7th & 8th grade boys and girls it will be competitive with refs, playoffs, scores kept, all star games, wins/losses and a 28.5 ounce ball used.


un says:
3/15/2017 at 9:42:51 AM

What are the units for the circumference

  1 reply  

JMill says:
11/7/2018 at 10:27:26 AM



Mar says:
6/1/2016 at 12:24:31 PM

Others sizes of basketball is not available in the market or basketball shop like size 4 and 5.


Kristapis porziningus says:
11/22/2015 at 12:59:03 PM

I use a 30.5"


Julia says:
8/13/2015 at 9:25:20 AM

Thank you for research it help me for my work


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