Basketball has been around for over a century, and in all that time, the ball has undergone various changes. From the first-ever ball invented in the late 1800s to the modern, professional version, the basketball has come a long way.

Now enter the 28.5" basketball. In this post, we'll delve into what exactly a 28.5 inch basketball is and why it's so popular among newer ballers.

What's the Big Deal about 28.5 inches?

When it comes to basketballs, size isn't just a number; it's a whole vibe. The 28.5-inch basketball, affectionately known as the intermediate or size 6 ball, is the Goldilocks of basketballs—not too big, not too small, just right for a specific group of ballers. This size is the official ball for women's professional basketball and is also used in some boys' basketball leagues. It's the stepping stone between the smaller youth balls and the heftier 29.5-inch official men's ball.

What is a 28.5 basketball exactly?

A 28.5" basketball (size 6) is a slightly smaller-sized ball than the regular 29.5" basketball.

This small change might not seem like a lot, but it can make a significant impact on the game.

The Science Behind the Size

Ever wondered why there are different basketball sizes? It's not just to confuse you when you're trying to shop. The 28.5-inch basketball is designed to accommodate the generally smaller hand span of women and younger players. It's all about ergonomics, baby! A ball that fits well in the hand improves control and shooting accuracy.

The 28.5" basketball can help with better ball handling

Using a regular-sized basketball can be daunting for younger players, leading to frustration and a lack of confidence. A 28.5" basketball can help younger players develop their skills without feeling overwhelmed. The smaller size and lighter weight of the ball make it easier to grip and control.

The 28.5 basketball can also improve your shooting accuracy. The smaller size of the ball makes it easier to shoot, especially for young basketball players. It allows for better control and precision when taking shots.

The Art of Selecting Your Basketball

Choosing a basketball isn't as simple as picking the shiniest one on the rack. There are materials to consider—leather for the pros, composite for the all-weather players, and rubber for the outdoor enthusiasts. Then there's the bounce test. Give that ball a good drop on the floor and listen to the sweet symphony of a perfect bounce back to your hand. That's when you know it's the one.

The Best Drills for Your 28.5 Basketball

Now that you've got your hands on the right-sized sphere, it's time to put it to work. Drills designed for a 28.5 inch basketball focus on control and precision. Think dribbling through cones, perfecting your crossover, and mastering the art of the free throw.

Maintaining Your 28.5" Basketball

A basketball is like a loyal pet; it needs care and attention. Keep your 28.5-inch companion in tip-top shape by cleaning it regularly, checking the air pressure, and storing it in a cool, dry place. Treat it right, and it'll never let you down in a game.

The Impact of the 28.5 Basketball on the Game

The introduction of the 28.5-inch basketball has been a game-changer, quite literally. It's allowed for a more level playing field, where skill and technique shine over brute strength. This size has made the game more inclusive and competitive, proving that sometimes, the little things (or in this case, slightly smaller basketballs) can make a big difference.

Where to Buy Your 28.5 Basketball

Ready to join the ranks of the 28.5-inch ballers? You can find your perfect match online or at your local sports store. Look for reputable brands that are known for quality, and don't be afraid to ask for a test dribble. Remember, this isn't just a purchase; it's an investment in your basketball journey.

28.5 Basketball FAQs

The 28.5-inch basketball is designed to give you that extra edge on the court. With its smaller grip and optimal weight, you'll be sinking shots like a pro. Say goodbye to clunky, hard-to-control balls and hello to the sweet sound of swish. Get ready to learn more with our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Why is the 28.5-inch basketball considered intermediate? 

The 28.5-inch basketball is labeled intermediate because it's sized between the smaller youth balls and the larger official men's ball. It's designed for women's professional basketball and boys aged 12-14, making it the perfect middle ground for those groups.

Can men use a 28.5 basketball? 

Absolutely! While it's the official size for women's basketball, men with smaller hands or those who prefer a smaller ball for control and precision can also use it. It's all about what feels right for you.

How often should I replace my 28.5 basketball? 

The lifespan of your basketball depends on usage and care. With proper maintenance, a good quality 28.5 basketball can last several years. Keep an eye on the condition of the ball and replace it when it starts to show significant wear or doesn't hold air properly.

Who should be playing with a 28.5 basketball?

If you're a female hoopster, over the age of 12, a young LeBron-in-training between 12 and 14, or just someone with smaller hands looking for a comfortable grip, the 28.5 basketball is your new best friend. This size ensures that you can dribble, shoot, and pass without feeling like you're wrestling with a giant pumpkin. It's all about matching the ball to the player, not the other way around.


As we wrap up our journey through the evolution of basketballs, one can't help but be amazed by the progress and innovation in this sport. From a simple ball to a crafted 28.5" basketball, it's clear that technology has played a crucial role in shaping the game we know and love today. And while some may argue that the traditional size of 29.5" is the only way to go, the 28.5 version has its own appeal. Whether you're an aspiring pro or just want to have some fun on the court, why not give the 28.5" basketball a shot? Who knows, it might just change your game for the better.

It provides numerous advantages in basketball. It helps with better ball handling, shooting accuracy, and is perfect for younger players with smaller hands. While it may take some getting used to, it's well worth the effort in the end. So go ahead, pick up a 28.5 basketball, and see the difference it makes in your game.

Lace up your sneakers, and let's get the ball rolling!