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Basketball: Equipment Needs Are Minimal

Basketball equipment needs are minimal:


Basketball sneakers are specially designed high tops that provide good ankle support and excellent traction on the court. Because the mid-sole material of a basketball sneaker takes a pounding and eventually loses its ability to provide your child's foot with adequate support or cushioning, experts, such as Dr. Michael Lowe, past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, and long time team podiatrist of the NBA's Utah Jazz, recommend periodically replacing basketball sneakers, even if the bottom sole shows no sign of excessive wear.


Uniforms should include socks, loose fitting shorts and a jersey.

Mouth Guard

Mouth guards or "mouth pieces" not only protect the wearer's teeth, tongue and lips, but help protect against head injuries such as concussions. Depending on specific regulations, mouth pieces should be worn at all times during play. The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color and is mandatory in high school basketball.

Optional Protection

There are a few pieces of protection that may be a good idea to wear. Elbow pads prevent unintended contact from injuring other players. Knee pads can be a good idea to protect the knees in falls. Oftentimes goggles or face masks are worn to protect the eyes, or the face and nose from being re-injured.

The Ball

A basketball is a synthetic sphere with slightly raised bumps for traction. The ball is sized according to league and gender. Youth basketball (ages 8-12) usually use a basketball, 28.5-29 inches in circumference, with a weight of 18-20 oz. (although there is a movement towards using smaller, lighter balls for younger players).  High School girls use the same size, while high school boys us a ball 29-30 inches in circumference with a weight of 20-22 oz.