Basketball is unplayable without a ball, it’s in the name. That said, in the interest of making the game accessible to all there are multiple sizes that you can pick up that are intended for different players. The following is a rough guide but most places will keep a similar standard. All sizes are based on the FIBA (International Basketball Association) sizing.
- For ages 3+: size 1.
- For ages 4 – 6: size 3.
- For ages 7 – 12: size 5.
- Women aged 12+: size 6
- Men aged 12+: size 7.
These sizes are designed to fit comfortably and consistently across all ages, to maintain a consistent feel no matter the players age.
Depending on where you play you might also want a ball with different textures. Indoor balls and outdoor balls require different levels of toughness to survive their environment, or you might just prefer the feel of one ball. In a tournament game the balls will probably be provided in the interest of fairness, but for your backyard or games with friends you can use whatever you like.