Typically outdoor basketballs are likely to be left out in the rain. Basketballs can get wet by playing a pickup game in the park, and an unexpected rain storm drops in.
Basketballs are made from leather. When leather gets wet, it gets heavy and must be completely dry to feel like a normal basketball again. Avoid getting a basketball wet at all costs.
What happens when a basketball gets wet? Should the ball be automatically thrown away? We did some research into what you should do with a basketball when it gets wet.
What Happens When Basketball Leather Gets Wet?
Basketballs are typically made from natural leathers, rubber material/compounds and synthetic leathers. Each basketball is made differently, based on the manufacture.
Each leather and rubber material is treated differently. Some leathers can get wet and have no issue. Others will absorb the water and start to become “water-logged” the more water that is absorbed.
If you’ve ever played on a basketball court that looks like this, you’ll undestand what a wet basketball feels like. Playing on courts that are flooded, like the ones in the picture above can effect your basketball.
More often than not, basketball players will play on this wet surface and disregard their basketball. The basketball will instantly get water logged and will be unplayable for 2-3 days after. In order to preserve your ball for the upcoming days, we recommend taking the day off if the courts are wet.
It may be hard to do, especially if you’re playing with all of your friends. However, it’s in the best interest of the ball to take one day off, as opposed to taking 2-3 days off for the ball to get dry.
Can Basketballs Get Wet?
Basketball can get wet, but they shouldn’t. A wet basketball can get water-logged, similar to how a football or baseball can get water-logged.
For those who don’t know, water-logged is a term that’s used to describe a ball or object that has absorbed water, making it substantially heavier than it’s original form.
Basketballs are no different than other balls. They too absorb water and get soaked overtime, ultimately becoming heavier. Shooting a heavier basketball, is like swinging a weighted bat. It will throw off your timing on your jump shot and alter the release.
Basketball is a game of feel, and shooting a weighted ball will throw off the release point. If you’re a serious basketball player, playing in the rain could alter your jump-shot. If you’re a casual pick up game player, shooting a basketball in the rain won’t hurt!
Wear & Tear Of A Wet Basketball
Basketballs that are consistently played with in the rain will also start to wear and tear the more they’re used. The outside of the basketball will start to develop cracks, as it’s consistently slammed on a hard concrete surface. The outside leather will start to soften, which will ultimately cause a bump in your basketball.
Once a basketball has a bump, it will officially be of no use anymore, forcing you to purchase another basketball. If you live in a state like Florida that often has rain, we recommend you consistnetly check the weather.
Basketballs can get rather pricey, if you’re consistently playing in the rain or leaving the basketball outside in the rain. The basketball getting wet will accelerate the wear and tear, as the wet leather hitting against the hot , hard surface will naturally smooth out the outdoor basketball.
All of this can be avoided by simply keeping the basketball in your room, or somewhere in your house where there is a controlled temperature.
Garages are not the best place to store basketballs because it will get too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
How To Store A Basketball
We recommend (if your budget allows for it) having a basketball for indoors and a basketball for outdoor pickup games. This allows your indoor basketball to not face any wear and tear overtime. It will stay fresh for longer and save you much, more money in the long run.
We recommend storing basketballs in a warm dry environment. There’s a few reasons we recommend a warm dry environment:
- A cold dry environment conduces the air in the ball, causing it to deflate when it’s stored in the cold temperature. The minute it meets a hot or warm air temperature, causing the ball to re-inflate. This constant deflating and inflating will start to loosen the ball’s rubber coating, which will eventually develop a bump or lump.
- A hot environment will do the complete opposite, constant sun on the ball ( maybe that’s left outside) will cause the ball to inflate slightly. It will also soften up the rubber or leather and be more prone to pop when slammed upon a hot concrete surface
This is why we recommend you store the basketball either in a room in your house or a bag somewhere inside of your house. Houses are typically controlled at room temperature and will have little to no alterations to the ball.
Basketballs can get wet, but we recommend that you dry them off as soon as you’re done playing. Purchasing two separate basketballs, one for outdoor and one for indoor will also help solve this issue.
The outdoor basketball should only be used drying dry days. As mentioned above, having an outdoor basketball that is consistently bouncing up and down in puddles can throw off the timing of your shot. Basketball is a muscle memory sport, and your brain relies on the fact that it knows exactly how much power to put into the basketball at certain distances.
Using a wet basketball will throw off the timing of the shot and will set you back a few days. This is why recommend you skip the wet day, and not mess around with a wet basketball.
If you’re a sharpshooter from deep range, your strength will be in the distance shot.
Proper storage will also help maintain the longevity of the basketball, as it’ll stay at proper inflation for longer.