Is It Bad To Use An Indoor Basketball Outside?

Last Updated on: 11th December 2023, 10:57 pm

Regarding basketball, players often debate – is it bad to use an indoor basketball outside. Some argue that indoor basketballs are not designed to withstand the harsher conditions of outdoor play, while others claim that it makes no difference.

is it bad to use an indoor basketball outside

So, is it bad to use an indoor basketball outside?

Can Indoor Basketballs Be Used Outside?

Basketball is a popular sport played both indoors and outdoors. However, not all basketballs are created equal, and some are designed for indoor use. So, can indoor basketballs be used outside?

The short answer is yes, indoor basketballs can be used outside. However, it is NOT recommended.

Indoor basketballs are made of softer materials, such as synthetic or composite leather, designed to provide a better grip and feel on indoor courts. These materials are unsuitable for outdoor use, as rough surfaces, dirt, and moisture can easily damage them.

Furthermore, indoor basketballs are not designed to withstand harsh outdoor elements like extreme temperatures, wind, and rain. Exposure to these elements can cause the ball to warp, lose shape, and become less bouncy.

In contrast, outdoor basketballs are made of thicker, more durable materials, such as rubber or synthetic rubber, designed to withstand outdoor play’s wear and tear.

They are also designed to better grip rough outdoor surfaces like concrete or asphalt.

While using an indoor basketball outside is possible, it is not recommended. If you want to play basketball outdoors, investing in a ball designed for outdoor use is best.

This will ensure that you have a ball that is durable, easy to handle, and suitable for outdoor play.

Why Indoor Basketballs Should Not Be Used Outside

Explanation of Indoor Basketball Materials

Indoor basketballs are designed to be used on smooth, polished indoor courts. They are made of materials optimized for this surface type, such as composite leather, which is softer and more delicate than the rubber used in outdoor basketballs.

The indoor basketballs are designed to provide a consistent bounce, grip, and feel, which is impossible on rough outdoor surfaces.

Learn more about rubber vs leather basketballs here.

Effects of Outdoor Elements on Indoor Basketball

When used outside, indoor basketballs can quickly become damaged due to exposure to the elements. The rough outdoor surface can cause the composite leather to wear out and lose grip, making it difficult to control the ball.

The sun can also cause the ball to fade and become discolored, making it difficult to see during play.

Additionally, outdoor surfaces are often covered in dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate on the ball and affect its performance.

The ball can become slippery and difficult to handle, leading to turnovers and missed shots.

In summary, using an indoor basketball outside can cause significant damage to the ball, affect its performance, and ultimately make it unusable.

It is recommended to use outdoor basketballs when playing on rough outdoor surfaces to ensure the best performance and longevity of the ball.

basketball outside

Alternative Outdoor Basketballs

Features of Outdoor Basketballs

When playing basketball outdoors, using a ball that can withstand rougher surfaces and harsher weather conditions is important. Outdoor basketballs are designed to be more durable and long-lasting than indoor basketballs.

Here are some of the features of outdoor basketballs:

  • Durable Cover: Outdoor basketballs have a tougher cover material that can withstand the elements and rough surfaces. These covers are often made of rubber or synthetic materials more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Deeper Channels: Outdoor basketballs often have deeper channels than indoor basketballs. This helps players better grip the ball, even when playing on a rough surface.
  • Wider Circumference: Outdoor basketballs are slightly larger in circumference than indoor basketballs. This makes them easier to handle and control on a rough surface.

Benefits of Using Outdoor Basketballs

Using an outdoor basketball can provide several benefits for players. Here are a few reasons why players might choose to use an outdoor basketball:

  • Durability: Outdoor basketballs are designed to last longer than indoor basketballs. They can withstand the elements and rough surfaces, making them a better investment for players who frequently play outdoors.
  • Better Grip: The deeper channels and wider circumference of outdoor basketballs can give players a better grip on the ball. This can help improve their shooting, passing, and dribbling skills.
  • Versatility: Outdoor basketballs can be used on various surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, and gravel. This makes them great for players who like to play pick-up games in different locations.

Overall, outdoor basketball can benefit players who frequently play outdoors. By choosing a ball with a durable cover, deep channels, and a wider circumference, players can improve their grip and control on the ball, allowing them to play their best game on any surface.

Tips for Maintaining Indoor Basketballs

Basketballs are designed to be used indoors, and using them outside can cause damage to the ball. However, if you must use an indoor basketball outside, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for maintaining indoor basketballs:

Cleaning and Care

Cleaning and caring for your indoor basketball is essential to maintain its quality and prolong lifespan. Here are some tips for cleaning and caring for your indoor basketball:

  • Always clean your ball after every use. Use a soft cloth and mild soap to wipe the ball clean gently. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, which can damage the ball’s surface.
  • Avoid exposing your ball to extreme temperatures, as this can cause the ball to warp or crack. Keep the ball away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • If your ball gets wet, dry it immediately with a soft cloth. Do not leave it in the sun to dry, which can cause the ball to warp or crack.


Proper storage is also important to maintain the quality of your indoor basketball. Here are some tips for storing your indoor basketball:

  • Store your ball in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in areas with high humidity, which can cause the ball to warp or crack.
  • Keep your ball away from sharp objects and rough surfaces, as they can damage the ball’s surface.
  • Do not stack heavy objects on top of your ball, which can cause it to lose shape.

So, is it bad to use an indoor basketball outside? By following these tips, you can help maintain the quality and prolong the lifespan of your indoor basketball, even if you use it outside occasionally.