Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

What’s The Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

Basketball is one of those games that is played worldwide by many people and loved by even much more. The special thing about this game is that you can play it indoors and outdoors.

The main difference between indoor and outdoor basketball has to do with the court and the basketball too. While the basketball used outside is made of rubber composite leather material, those used indoors are made of soft Horween leather. Indoor courts are also smoother than their outdoor counterparts.

By and large, you can enjoy the game of football wherever you are playing or watching it.

Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

The difference between the game of basketball that is played indoors and outdoors can be viewed in terms of:

  • The basketball
  • The court

The basketball

If you are a novice in basketball, you might not notice at face value any difference between the basketballs used for indoor and outdoor games. Still, there are a few differences between them, especially in terms of the following:

1. Material

There is a big difference in the materials used in making basketball for both kinds of games. Indoor basketballs are soft Horween leather, which performs very well on hardwood surfaces. They feel softer to the touch because the ball is made of full-grain leather.

Because of the softness of the ball used for indoor basketball, it is easy to be gripped and dribble. These balls also release a sweet aroma as they are used.

On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of rubber composite material that can withstand the rough concrete surface of outdoor courts. These balls are quite hard, and rightfully so because they need to withstand hard concrete or asphalt on the court, the harsh outdoor weather, and longevity.

2. Durability

Both indoor and outdoor basketballs are durable if used in their place; however, you can use an outdoor basketball indoor court without fear of the ball cracking or splitting because the ball is built tough so that it can withstand the harsh outdoor condition the hard court surface.

However, the feel of the ball will not be the same as that of an indoor basketball, and you might not be able to dribble as much as you would with an indoor basketball.

An indoor basketball will serve you for many years only if you use it indoors. If you decide to use it for outdoor basketball games, be ready to replace it quickly because it cannot withstand the hard court surface and the tough outdoor weather without wear and tear sets in earlier.

3. Grip and Performance

We have already established that indoor basketball is softer and gives better performance because it makes for good grips.

The good grips you get from this ball are because it has about 35000 pebbles all over the surface; they also keep your palm from sweating while shooting, which means you do not have to worry about a slippery palm while playing indoor games.

The pebbles you have with outdoor basketball are large and designed to pick up less dirt than the ball will be exposed to outdoors. These pebbles are responsible for the durability of outdoor sports too.

4. Price

Even though the material used in manufacturing the basketball is largely responsible for their prices, however, on average, indoor basketballs are a little more expensive than their outdoor counterpart because they look more luxurious because of their material.

Outdoor basketballs are less pricey, and you can find one for as low as $15, while some indoor basketball goes for even higher than $100.

The Court

The floor of indoor basketball courts is commonly made of hardwood, but some are made of vinyl on top of the concrete floor; this is probably because it is a cheaper alternative. These vinyl-coated floors are quite thin, and they are very hard too, almost like plain concrete.

On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of pure concrete, which is rough when compared to vinyl or hardwood surfaces.

The roughness of the outdoor floor surface helps keep traction if it rains and there is a wet spot. Some outdoor basketball courts are coated with rubberized paint to make the floor’s texture a little smoother and keep traction.

However, you are more likely to injure yourself in the course of play on outdoor concrete than on indoor vinyl or hardwood floors.

Another difference between indoor and outdoor basketball is the environment or weather, which differs significantly.

Outdoor basketball can be affected by wind, rain, and temperature; in fact, a gust of wind can blow your ball off course.

This is not the case with indoor basketball, which has a stable environment and controlled weather, which means there is no interference from the elements.

Some Of The Best Brands of Basketballs

If you are thinking of getting a basketball for yourself, you will find below some of the best brands in the market that might be slightly more expensive, but you can bet on their quality and durability.

1. Spalding

This basketball is made of a microfiber composite leather cover which ensures that your hands are not sweaty as you play the game.

This ball is ready for play right out of the box, and some consider it the best brand of basketball. This is the official bl used by the National Junior College Athletic Association ( NJCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics ( NAIA)

2. Wilson

Wilson is also making immersive basketballs for NCAA. They have premium basketballs. Also, Wilson will replace This is the basketball approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); it is also used by The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

They are high-quality balls made of premium Evo microfiber composite, and they give a good grip when in play and are also very durable.

It is rumored that this basketball brand will be replacing Spalding NBA official basketball from 2022 in the NBA tournaments, which buttresses their quality.

3. Molten

This brand is famous for making some FIBA-approved basketballs for international games, and they are high-quality basketballs that can be used for both indoors and outdoor purposes.

This brand of basketball has been used for Olympic basketball tournaments from the Los Angeles game of 1984 to the game in Rio in 2016. They combine superior craftsmanship and innovative technology to create basketballs that most basketball stars play with.

4. Nike

This brand is renowned for its shoes, the most popular shoes worn by basketball players, and even for other sports. Even though they make basketball balls, their balls are not as popular as their shoes or even t-shirt.

Their balls, however, have the right weight, feel, and good grip, and it is made of composite leather, which tells you that you have a ball that is quite a durable let and can be used on rough surfaces and blacktop; they are however more expensive than other brands of basketballs.

Best Basketballs for Outdoor Concrete Courts

Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

Different types of outdoor basketball balls ate sticky and durable and can withstand the outdoors” harsh weather conditions. Below are a few of the best basketball balls you will find in the market:

1. Spalding NBA Street Phantom Official Outdoor Basketball:

This outdoor ball gives good performance and is readily cheap compared to its quality.

2. Wilson NCAA USA Replica Game Basketball:

This ball has a moisture-absorbing cover that is designed to be used outdoors and indoors. The ball has the same patented technologies that you find on the NCAA Official Game Ball.

It also has laid-in channels and cushions core which is why this ball is fast becoming the choice of many basketball players.

3. Spalding NBA Zio indoor outdoor basketball:

If you want a durable ball that will not compromise your ball-handling or shooting touch, this ball is for you. It is the Best foam-backed technology; its synthetic leather feels good on the hand, almost like an indoor basketball.,

4. Nike Elite All-Court Outdoor Basketball:

This ball is made of 84% rubber and 16% synthetic leather non-woven; it has a rubberized surface and tacky surface that is also very durable yet still soft to touch.

Best Basketball for Indoor Courts

Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Basketball

Most indoor basketballs are soft and more luxurious than outdoor basketballs, and they give very good performance in courts made of hardwood. Below are some of them:

1. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball:

This is referred to as “the champion of indoor basketballs” because of its smooth grip, which makes holding and catching the ball a delight, and all this is because of the cushion cover of the ball.

This indoor basketball is unique because of its Pebbled Channels, which have moisture-absorbing properties that further enhance the grip.

2. Spalding Precision Indoor Basketball

This is another basketball that guarantees peak performance every time. It has a dry grip microfiber cushioned cover, which gives it a soft game-ready feel. One of its unique features is its light color which makes it stand out, while the control it gives is exceptional.

3. Molten X-Series GG7X Indoor Basketball

This basketball approved for the Olympics has Molten’sMolten’s unique 12-panel design and a GIUGIARO cover design, which makes the ball more visible and helps players keep track of the ball’s rotation. This basketball’s pebbles are symmetrically aligned, making for a better grip.

4. The Nike Elite Tournament Basketball:

This is one of the most popular basketball brands: Nike. The basketball is made up of 84% rubber and 16% synthetic leather, and it has extra-deep channels and a composite exterior. This is one indoor basketball that you will be tempted to use outdoors because of its high rubber composition; it is a very durable ball with good grips.

Is It Okay To Play Basketball In The Rain?

There is no known restriction or law against playing basketball in the rain, which means you can if you want to, but we will advise against that.

For most sports, one of the biggest risks that players face is sustaining injuries; it is for this same reason that you should be wary of playing basketball while it is raining.

When you play basketball in the rain, the chances of you hurting your ankles or knee are increased because of how slippery the ground is. This means you are not stable enough to jump or land on your feet; this is explained because the rain reduces friction that keeps people stable as they move.

The second problem with playing on wet surfaces is that you Reade the rate of wear and tear on your ball because of the temperature and moisture. However, if you must play while it’s raining, use a composite leather basketball that dies not get as slippery as its rubber counterpart.


Basketball is a great game played on all continents of the globe; it can be played both indoors and outdoors; while the rules are the same, there are a few differences in the ball used to play the game and the court itself.

Indoor basketballs are usually made of soft Horween leather and have a good grip, while outdoor basketballs are made of rubber composite materials.

The indoor basketball floor is usually made of hardwood, while outdoor floors are concrete. Whatever type of basketball you choose, you can be sure that you will still have a great time playing the game.

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We trust this article helped you learn the difference between indoor and outdoor basketball. You may also want to check out: How To Install a Basketball Hoop on A Garage Wall or House?

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