Basketball Equipment For Kids: Shoes, Uniforms, Gear & More!

It’s the start of a new basketball season and you’re just as anxious as your child.  There’s always a push to do better than last season. If anything, your child has been thinking about the shots they missed, that time they should have passed the ball earlier, and so on. 

If you’ve been around the basketball court for some time now, you may have heard your child’s coach tell them that they’ll only play as well as they have practiced, no more no less. That is a hundred percent true! But it’s hard to train right without the right equipment. Moreover, you can’t just forego some equipment and hope it works.

Here’s a list of basketball essential equipment for your child.

1. The Correct Basketball Size

What is the right basketball size? Is the basket always the same size? Until 2018, there were never any standard guidelines to answer these questions – each basketball organization played by its own rules.  A child had to deal with a different set of circumstances in each league. 

However, basketballs are like shoes. They are not a one-size-fits-all affair. An age-appropriate basketball helps a child to take control of the ball which boosts their skill development.

According to the official FIBA basketball rules (International Basketball Federation), the size and weight of the ball is different across different age groups. Check out this list.

  • Men & boys aged 15 years and up use an official size 7 basketball, measuring 29.5” and weighing 22oz. 
  • Boys aged 12-14 and girls/women ages 12 & up use an official size 6 basketball, measuring 28.5” and weighing 20oz. 
  • Children aged 9-11 years should use the standard youth basketball. This is the official size 5, measuring 27.5” and weighing 17oz.
  • Children aged 5-8 years should use a size 4 basketball measuring 25.5 inches and weighing 14oz
  • Children aged 4-8 years old should use a size 3 basketball (known as a mini-basketball), measuring 22 inches and weighing 10oz
  • Children aged 2-4 years – micro-mini basketball- should use a size 1 basketball measuring 16 inches and weighing 8oz.
  • Toddlers between 0-4 years old should use a toy basketball size measuring 9-20 inches and weighing 1 to 5oz.

2. A Hoop 

The standard rim size is 10 feet. If children had to work with this height, they’d only be working to throw the ball hard enough and not necessarily aiming to make a shot. That’s why coaches and basketball regulators agreed on reducing this height to help kids enjoy the game and develop their skills.

The basket should be 8 ft. off the ground for kids between 7-8 years and 9 ft. for ages 9-11 from the ground. This helps them shoot better and increases the opportunities to make better shots.

The basket in basketball can refer to the hoop or the act of shooting. According to Basketball Victoria, the basketball ring should be made of solid steel and have a minimum inside diameter of 450mm and a maximum of 459 mm. 

To help players see and aim more precisely, an open net is attached to each ring in 12 places with gaps smaller than 8mm. Depending on the design, the basket is fixed on one or several legs, and the hoop can include a jack system to fold during dunks.

To accommodate the needs of younger kids and toddlers, manufacturers have adopted adjustable hoops and baskets to use outdoors or indoors. Some rims can be adjusted up to 2.5 ft. and are portable 

3. The Right Shoes

It can be tempting to buy bigger shoes to accommodate the fast growth of children’s feet. But this works against them on the court. Bigger shoes invite sliding while small shoes can prevent foot growth.  Running shoes are not designed for quick side movements and therefore don’t work. 

The right basketball shoes are specifically designed to provide enough ankle support and great traction on the court.  The midsoles of the shoes take on the most pressure and lose their ability to cushion your child’s feet fast. 

The right treading supports fast side-to-side movements even in slippery indoor courts.  The treat should be about an inch thick.  Ensure you always buy fitting shoes even if it means buying a pair more often than you wish. 

If your child plays 5 to 6 times per week, purchasing new shoes every 2-3 months is ideal. Buy replacement shoes every 4 to 6 months for those who play 2 to 3 times per week.

Experts say wearing shoes for an extended period of time puts a strain on the foot, leg, and related soft tissue and bone structures. The stress will eventually cause a fatigue injury, rendering the player unable to participate in his or her sport. You can significantly reduce overuse injuries by making regular shoe replacements.

4. A Team Uniform

A uniform is just more than a requirement. It builds a team spirit -a way of saying ‘we’re a team and we’re in this together’. It also helps to teach children discipline because they can’t just get on the court in whatever they like. 

A basic basketball uniform features a loose sleeveless jersey, loose knee-length shorts and well-fitting shoes. When it comes to safety, the basketball uniform serves in the following ways.

The loose fit jersey and shorts make it easier to move unhindered. The right shoe size supports ankle movement, makes the player agile and prevents injuries. 

A uniform gets the player’s mind off of what they’re wearing to the game.  Additionally, the uniform helps in identifying the teams and offering support by wearing team jerseys. You can wear your child’s jersey to encourage them on the court.

5. A Quality Gear Bag

A basketball bag is essential for more than just carrying the ball. Most bags will have different compartments to allow your kid to carry their basketball,shoes, a change of clothes, their water bottle, phone and snacks.

With all these purposes, the last thing you need is a poor quality material or one that adds unnecessary weight to the bag. It should also be water-resistant and have quality zips and stitching.

Go for a comfortable bag. The straps should be padded, and help in distributing weight evenly across the body. A sternum strap which runs between the shoulder straps helps in providing extra comfort.

6. Protective Gear

You can’t promise your child a hundred percent injury-free basketball games but you can ensure they wear protective gear to prevent it. Apart from teaching them how to wear them correctly, you need to get the right gear including:

  • Knee and elbow pads: These are designed to withstand falls.  The exterior is typically hard and strong, almost always made of premium plastic. The interior is filled with padding made of impact-absorbing foam or the chemical called polyurethane.
  • Mouth guard: A mouth guard is meant to protect against breaking or losing teeth in case of a fall.
  • Braces. If your child has a history of accidents on the court, you can get bracing for protecting the ankles, knees and elbows.
  • Eyewear: Sometimes the ball ends up hitting the face. Glasses or glass guards prevent injury to the eyes and cheeks.

If you’re after quality, functional and stylish equipment for your basketball and we have them at And1. Shop now or contact us today!

5 Reasons Basketball Is The Right Sport For Your Kids

It has been widely acknowledged that sport can have a positive effect on a kid’s development. As the popularity of basketball surges worldwide, we have provided the five most significant reasons as to why basketball, in particular, is the right sport for your kids.

1. The mental health perspective

In a world where mental health issues are becoming more widely acknowledged and discussed, basketball could be one of the best sports for your kids to try out. Unlike traditional solitary sports such as golf or tennis, basketball is a very social sport and could help your child develop their self-confidence. This can also occur in a more gradual manner than in sports such as Australian football, which have large teams and can often be overwhelming. Some kids aren’t comfortable in large groups, so basketball could be a great starting point as there are only 5 players from each team on the court at one time.

Basketball is also a universally fun game to play, which means it may offer mental health benefits for your kid – it has been proven that there is a link between taking part in sport and the production of endorphins, the happy hormone. Basketball can also help to reduce stress by acting as an outlet or a distraction for pent up emotions.

2. Social Growth, Respect and Communication

In addition to this, another reason why basketball is the right sport for your kids is that these increased levels of social interactivity can greatly improve their communication. For example, when participating in a game, it is expected for players to come together as one, therefore providing your kids with the opportunity to learn appropriate ways of communicating with their peers. They will also develop a sense of teamwork, recognising the role they play within a group, which again is a great transferable skill. This will prove useful throughout their life and will help your kids understand how to better communicate their emotions and how to respond in a more appropriate way when others are upset or hurt, developing empathy.

3. Practical development

As well as the previous psychological reasons as to why your kids should play basketball, more practical developments must of course be taken into account. Basketball can be very strategic, so your children will have the opportunity to develop proficient critical thinking skills, learning how to use tactics to their advantage. This is another major benefit of playing basketball – its cognitive nature allows for the development of problem-solving skills that will be greatly beneficial throughout your kid’s life.

4. Physical development

As basketball is a physically demanding sport, it proffers all sorts of physical benefits for your kids. For example, the significance of hand-eye coordination in basketball is immense. In general terms, basketball greatly relies upon hand-eye coordination to ensure safe passes of the ball between players and when shooting at the hoop. This can have profound benefits for your kid’s developing eyesight and more general athletic practice, eventually leading to greater overall health.

5. Health benefits

Last but not least is the benefits basketball has in terms of health. It is a fast-paced sport, and there are various situations where a player may have to out-run another player. This means that stamina and agility – among other skills – are crucial. Stamina is built up through regular but balanced examples of prolonged physical activity, therefore, it can be developed in your kids through regular games. This will lead to great physical and health benefits, allowing them to build up muscular and cardiovascular strength, for example.

Stamina, in specific relation to basketball, however, would be greatly aided by the type of shoe that your children will wear to play. This is because different types of shoes are created for different types of feet, for example, wide shoes. Ultimately, the right shoe will positively impact your kid’s sporting performance. At AND1, we recognise this, which is why we stock a wide range of shoes for every foot type. We have created guides to greater aid your selection, and have dedicated members of staff on hand to help you with any further queries. For quality basketball shoes Australia wide, contact us at AND1 today.