Basketball Court Advice: Outdoor vs. Indoor Basketball

Man holding basketball on outdoor basketball court

You’ve probably been to the sporting goods store and spent some time staring at the indoor and outdoor basketballs. What’s the big difference between the two? Can an outdoor basketball work just as well on an indoor basketball court? Will you kill an indoor basketball if you expose it to the elements of an outdoor basketball court? What makes one ball perfect for one surface but not another? Rocky Mount Event Center takes a look at what makes an indoor basketball different from an outdoor basketball.

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Materials Used

The main physical difference of the two different types of basketballs coincides around the material used. If you have ever seen an indoor ball at the basketball court and dribbled it or shot it, you probably know the surface feels softer to the touch than an outdoor ball. That’s because indoor balls are made from full-grain leather. The leather gives them better grip and feel.

Outdoor basketballs focus less on the feel and grip than on durability. Very few leagues and no professional games are played in the elements, and outdoor balls are made for recreational players. This means they need to stand up to the elements just as much as they need to provide consistent feel and play. An outdoor basketball court can ruin a high-quality indoor ball, so the outdoor balls are typically made from composite materials or rubber.


Durability separates the two types of basketballs. An indoor basketball can survive and play perfectly well for years but only if played indoors. Once taken outdoors, the leather can split or crack from the rough court. You can take an outdoor ball into an indoor court, though. You might not get the highest quality shots and ball control, but your ball will withstand the court just fine.

Price Range

Indoor basketballs can cost a pretty penny. Some indoor basketballs sell for over 100 dollars. Depending on how much money you want to spend and how high quality of a ball you wish to play with, you can spend as little as 20 bucks for an indoor ball. You will notice a substantial difference in the quality of an expensive and inexpensive indoor ball. For outdoor balls, you can typically get a good ball for 20 dollars. You won’t need to shell out the big bucks, and you know the ball will last for years to come.

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Get Your Game on at Our Basketball Courts

If you are looking for a basketball court to improve your skills, check out Rocky Mount Event Center. We have eight full-size courts available. You can rent out our sports facilities for a tournament or join a league. Either way, come on down and see what we’ve got to offer!