How Much Air Pressure Should A Basketball Have?

While playing basketball, do you wonder why some basketballs bounce better or higher than others? Many of us believe that the ball’s bouncing capability relies on its brand. However, a basketball is bouncier than other basketballs because of the amount of air pressure it contains.

If your basketball is not bouncing as well as it should or is not bouncing, the ball does not have the proper air pressure. A standard-sized basketball is around 75cm, called ‘size 7’. A basketball’s proper air pressure varies from ball to ball depending on what the manufacturer of the basketball recommends.

However, according to the NBA (National Basketball Association), the recommended air pressure for a standard-sized basketball is 7.5-8.5 psi. Read further to learn about how much air pressure a basketball should have

What Happens When A Basketball Isn’t Bouncing Properly?

Many of us blame the brand if a basketball is not bouncing correctly, but we do not realize that it is usually because of the amount of air pressure in the ball that is causing it not to bounce perfectly. If a basketball’s air pressure is more than the required amount or less than the required amount, it can negatively affect your ball’s bounciness.

If the ball has too much air pressure, it might bounce too high. So, your basketball will not be bouncing properly because an excessive amount of air pressure will result in the ball leaking or inconsistent bouncing. However, in the case of not having enough air pressure, your basketball will not be able to bounce appropriately as it will not be full.

How Much Air Should Be In A 29.5 Basketball?

A 29.5 size basketball is the standard size for people from twelve years and up. The recommended air pressure for a basketball of that size should be between 7.5 psi to 8.5 psi. This standard is set according to the National Basketball Association (NBA). This pressure is set for basketball so that it performs at its best without any problems.

How Much Air Should Be In A 28.5 Basketball?

A 28.5 size basketball is slightly smaller than the standard 29.5 size basketball and is usually referred to as a size ‘6’ basketball. This ball is ideal for players with smaller hand spans compared to players with larger hands and can prove to be better and more comfortable for players with smaller hands. Moreover, the size 28.5 or size 6 basketball is the standard size for women’s basketball, declared by the WNBA. The standard air pressure recommended for a 28.5-size basketball is around 8 psi.

How Much Air Should Be In A 27 5 Basketball?

The size 27.5 is also known as a size ‘5’ basketball and is not used professionally. This basketball is considered youth size and is ideal for young boys and girls from 9 to 11. This is just the right size for future professional players, as kids can practice and learn the game basics by practicing comfortably using this ball. The recommended air pressure for a size 5 basketball is 7.5-8.5 psi.

How Much Air Should Be In A 25 5 Basketball?

A size 25.5 basketball is also known as a size ‘4’ basketball and is ideally made for children from 5 to 8 years old. The ball is smaller than other basketballs because it is made for younger children with tiny hands. If the basketball were too large, then children would not be able to play with it. The recommended air pressure for a size ‘4’ ball is also around 7.5-8.5 psi.

How Much Air Should Be In NBA Basketball?

NBA basketball has to meet many standards to gain approval to be used in matches, and air pressure and size are a part of those standards. The standard size for an NBA ball is a size ‘7’, which is 29.5. There is no room for flaws in NBA basketball since it is used in professional games. Therefore, the air pressure in the ball should be perfect for bouncing correctly and consistently. The air pressure of an NBA ball should be between 7.5 psi to 8.5 psi.

Will More Air In Basketball Bounce Higher?

If you try bouncing two separate basketballs with different air pressures, they will bounce differently. Depending on the amount of air pressure they have, the basketballs will bounce higher and lower. 

Air pressure plays a considerable role in this because when a ball is thrown towards the ground, the air in the ball pushes it upwards. The ball will get a stronger push and bounce higher if there is good air pressure. However, if you overdo it and the ball has too much air pressure, it can bounce inconsistently and, in some cases, even burst if you put too much air into it.

How To Tell If A Basketball Is Pumped Properly?

If you are curious after reading this article and want to know if your basketball has been appropriately pumped, then you can do so easily by following these simple steps:

  • Hold the ball up to your face and slowly let it drop towards the ground.
  • If the bottom of the ball bounces up towards your waist or higher, then it has been adequately pumped.
  • It has not been appropriately pumped if it does not bounce that high and stays below waist height.

How To Measure Air Pressure In A Basketball?

Measuring the air pressure in your basketball is pretty simple. All you need is an air pressure gauge. That’s it. You will insert the pressure gauge needle into the basketball, and the meter on the gauge will show you the air pressure inside your basketball; if it is less than the amount you desire, you can fill it up.


In conclusion, the standard size of a basketball is the size ‘7’ for men’s professional basketball and the size ‘6’ for women’s professional basketball. Air pressure has a huge role to play when it comes to the basketball’s bouncing ability. If the basketball has more air pressure than required, it will bounce higher and inconsistently. If the basketball has the recommended pressure, which in most cases is 7.5 to 8.5 psi, it will bounce high and normally. Thus, it is best to keep your basketball air pressure at the recommended amount to enjoy playing with it!

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