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Basketball is a popular sport with youth, in part because relatively little equipment is needed to play. Apart from specialized shoes and a ball, the only basketball equipment you really need is a net. It is one of the least expensive team sports to get started in.
If you're shopping for a young player, there are some sizing considerations to keep in mind regarding basketball equipment. Keep good sizing guidelines in mind to help your son or daughter build fundamental game skills.
Sizing Basketball Equipment
Basketballs come in different sizes for players of different heights and ages. It's important to select a size- and age-appropriate ball to help players grasp fundamental dribbling and shooting skills.
Players aged below 11 years should use balls that are 27¾ inches in circumference, or "size 5" according to the standardized basketball sizing guide. Adolescents up to 15 years old can use "size 6" balls, which are 28½ inches in circumference, and full-sized balls are "size 7," or 29½ in circumference. Weights (when fully inflated) also vary from size to size, with size 5 balls weighing 18 ounces, size 6 balls weighing 20 ounces and size 7 balls weighing 22 ounces.
When it comes to basketball backboards and basketball hoops, it's a good idea to invest in an adjustable net if you're shopping for a younger player. This allows the player to practice shooting and rebounding at age-appropriate heights; as the player grows and his or her proficiency improves, basketball rims can be raised up to the standard level of 10 feet.
Choosing Basketball Shoes
Men's basketball shoes and women's basketball shoes (as well as children's) come with extra ankle support and shock absorption capabilities to protect feet and ankles. It's important to use specialized shoes when playing basketball, as there is a lot of running, sudden stopping, turning and jumping involved, and the risk of foot and ankle injuries is high if you're not properly equipped.
Given that basketball is not a sport that requires a great deal of equipment, invest in quality brands and products for those few pieces of equipment that you do need. This will keep you safer when you're playing, and help you perform at a higher level.