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How Many Dots Does A Basketball Have? Quick Look


Spalding was one of the first companies to produce the official game ball for basketball professionally. Still today they are the official basketball of the NBA. But one thing many people often wonder is what is the purpose of those dots and exactly how many are there on the ball.

How many dots does a basketball have? A Men’s basketball which is 29.5 inches in circumference has 122 dots per square inch on the basketball. This roughly translates to over 35000 dots (also called pebbles, dimples, or bumps) over the total surface area of the basketball.

What is the point of those small dots, dimples, or bumps on the basketball? What are they called, exactly what is the use for them? Is that there for design or decoration? After being a little curious and researching the purpose of these dots, all this will be answered further down below.

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What is the purpose of the dots on the basketball?

The purpose of the dots on basketball is not just for show or decoration but to provide the necessary grip for the basketball player to have control of the ball. The dots provide more points of contact with the hand of the player or the hardwood court and basket. This design gives maximum control possible to the player. Spalding was the first to come up with this design while everyone else followed suit.

What are those little bumps called then?

There is no right terminology for these dots but you can see that they are raised small bumps that are circular and are all over the ball. The bumps on the basketball is a special design that has stayed relevant for many years coupled with the basketball material of being leather, this was the perfect duo to provide basketball players around the world with maximum control.

Basketball Design

You will see these raised pebbles on a basketball on almost every type of ball, leather, composite, and rubber. There is a reason for this and that is because it is by far the best design for a basketball.

This basketball design is efficient in being resilient to players sweating all over the ball and having sweaty hands from the vigorous play during a basketball game. There is a reason they have people who mop up the sweat during the free-throw line as these players are standing in one spot dripping in sweat, the floor would be slippery and players would get hurt.

In the case of the basketball design with all those small pebbles, there are times where the ball may need to be wiped with a towel but most often than not it does the job protecting the surface area of the ball from being wet. This prevents any slip-ups with the ball while shooting and dribbling during the game for maximum performance.

Why do basketballs have lines?

Each basketball has 8 panels that make up the basketball. Separating those panels are the lines usually black in color which is made of rubber. These lines are there to give the hand of the player grip and control of the basketball. If you notice a used worn-out basketball is harder to control without the lines, as the basketball’s grip is worn down to the lines making it one even surface. Having the lines will help the basketball player control and stop the basketball very briefly in the hand so he/she can control it.


What are the dimensions of a basketball?

A Men’s size 7 basketball is 29,5 inches in circumference and around 9.5 in diameter. It weighs 22 oz and requires anywhere from 7.5 to 8.5 PSI also know as pounds per square inch. More on these measurements and of other size balls click here!


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