Basketball can be played with very little equipment. That is why it has become one of the most popular sports to play worldwide. Although the strongest and best-known league is in the United States, basketball is a popular sport in every continent, and it is still growing. Basketball can be played outdoors on asphalt and dirt or indoors on wooden floors. If you're getting ready to play a pickup game, here's a list of equipment you'll need to bring:
An official NBA backboard is made of transparent glass, but a wooden or metal backboard will work as well. In the NBA, the backboard measures 6 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall. If you want a fancy backboard, you can get one that lights up with red LEDs to match when the shot clock runs out of time. A backboard set can be bought and installed at home in the driveway or in a backyard.
You'll need a ball to play the game. Today, basketballs are made with synthetic materials such as rubber, polyester, and nylon in combination with leather. In the NBA, the pressure of the ball must be between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. The size of the ball measures 29.5 inches around in circumference. There are smaller sizes you can get for kids of various ages ranging from 5 to 12. Some health or community centers that have basketball courts may be able to provide a ball. However, it is always better to be sure and take your own ball if you plan on playing basketball. Did you know that the NBA has up to nine game balls present at all times for a single game?
related: A look at the Best Basketballs of 2021.
There are two types of games you can play. If you're playing pickup basketball, you can play half court with one hoop instead of full court with two hoops. Basketball hoops consist of a backboard, rim, net, and metal post that hold them up in the air. Basketball courts always have hoops on them, otherwise, they wouldn't be basketball courts.
The jersey is important to a player's identity on the court. It includes your name on the back and numbers on both the front and back that identify who you are. On the front of a jersey is your team's logo and branding. Jersey sizing comes in the traditional x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large, and takes into account your height, chest size, waist, and hips.
For someone planning on playing basketball, the shoes are the most essential piece of equipment. Although basketball can be played in regular sneakers, a good pair of shoes will give you an edge on the court while providing extra safety. Their stability will allow you to move laterally and perform quick cuts to beat defensive players. Unfortunately, not all shoes are created equal, and you should try them on at the store to make sure they fit comfortably. Some of the biggest brands are Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. New basketball shoes may need some time to break in until they are comfortable.
Another piece of equipment essential to your uniform are shorts. If you're playing outside in cold weather, you may want to choose pants. However, if you're playing indoors, you'll want to stick with shorts since you'll start sweating once you play. If you're playing in a league match, the colors of your shorts should match your jersey. If you're playing a pickup game, you can wear any color you want as long as the other team knows which side you're on.
You may not think socks are important, but they prevent friction between your feet and your shoes. Having a nice pair of socks will prevent blisters from forming on your heels and toes. There is also a decision to be made between long socks or short socks. You should decide based on which you are most comfortable wearing, and how you look in them.
If you want to add a unique look to your personal style on the court, try adding a headband. You can rock a traditional cotton sweatband or use a branded dry fit bandana. Whichever style you choose, you're going to look great and stop the sweat from interfering with your game.
The basket rim has a pressure release that allows it to bend when players dunk and hold onto it. The rim is a metal ring with an 18 inch diameter. The ring is attached to the backboard 10 feet above the ground.
Another optional piece of attire is an arm sleeve. Also known as compression sleeves, this article of clothing not only looks good, but it aids in muscle recovery on and off the court. Deciding whether to wear them or not depends on player comfort and preference.
related: A look at the Best Basketball Shooting Sleeves of 2021.
A shot clock is a device that is used to keep track of the amount of time the offense is allowed to have the ball. The shot clock lasts 24 seconds in the NBA, and 30 seconds in college basketball. If the time runs out without a shot being taken, it is a shot clock violation. You can connect a shot clock to the backboard so it will light up red when the shot clock expires.
A throwback jersey is one that was worn by a famous player or team in a previous season. Choosing a throwback jersey that was worn by your favorite player might give you the edge you are looking for on the court. Check out a Michael Jordan throwback jersey or a Lebron James throwback jersey. Old school jerseys like the original Phoenix Suns jersey or the Toronto Raptors purple jersey are always a great choice.
If you sweat a lot, you'll want to bring a towel to the game. There are many types of towels that range in size, color, and material.
If you're going to play in a basketball game, make sure you and your team have a uniform. Basketball uniforms consist of a jersey, shorts, and a pair of socks. Additionally, you can put your own personal touch to your uniform by adding a headband or arm sleeve.
You should keep in mind that you may be required to have a different uniform for home games and away games. In some leagues like the NCAA, the home team must wear jerseys with light colors, while the away team must wear jerseys with dark colors. These color differences prevent confusion during play. If you plan on playing basketball casually and still want teams to be able to differentiate themselves, colored bibs should do the job; they can be bought cheaply in most sport equipment stores.
If you're a coach or referee, you'll want a whistle. Referees may blow their whistles to signal a dead ball, a foul, a violation, or if a player steps out of bounds. In practice, coaches may blow their whistles to start or stop a drill, give a command, or just to gather the players.
Basketball wristbands are yet another type of non-essential equipment that may help you while giving you some on-court style. You see most basketball players using rubber wristbands with a message or meaning during games.