Basketballs have three parts, the outer shell, the inner core, and the innermost bladder. The core is made of rubber or sponge, or a mix of both. Does it afford a good grip? The Wilson Evolution series, for example, have a Dura fiber cover which helps the fingers grip the ball tightly. The bladder is generally made of butyl rubber. Each type of basketball has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Leather basketballs are suitable only for indoor play. Then there is the question of price- it is important to remember that expensive brands may not always give value for money.
Also, the bounce of the basketball must be smooth.
There are other factors to be kept in mind while selecting a basketball.
Basketballs were first manufactured around 1894 by Albert G Spalding. This is ensured by even pebbling and wide channels on the surface of the ball.
It is important to remember that one brand cannot fulfill all the above criteria and one has to choose from the many varieties available in the market. The outer shell maybe made of leather, composite leather, synthetic leather, or rubber. Composite leather basketballs, on the other hand, are good for both indoor and outdoors play. Apart from these materials, basketballs for recreational games or children’s matches are made of materials as varied as plastic and foam. The basketball as we know it came about in 1934, with the official size 7, or 30″, being decided as the standard basketball size for men. The smaller women’s size was officially recognized much later. Almost all basketball retailers offer the NBA prescribed size chart that you can consult before purchasing a basketball. If you choose expensive basketballs with snazzy designs, they may not be able to last the rigors of outdoor play. The third most important factor is durability- does the basketball retain it’s bounce after regular use or goes flat after a few weeks play?
Size and weight are also important factors while choosing a basketball. If used outdoors, they tend to crack easily. But for playing outdoors on rough surfaces, rubber basketballs are the best.