Rim Height and Ball Size: A Guide for Young Basketball Players

Rim Height Guidelines

These rim heights will not only make it easier for a child to score a basket, but also assist in a child's basketball development. Whether a rim is six or 10-feet high, a child must still show proper shooting form to make a basket.

If a child were to use a 10-foot rim, shooting form is likely to unravel since the child is simply throwing the basketball as hard as he or she can. This is similar to a half-court heave an adult might attempt. Fun, yes, but proper shooting mechanics go out the window. Also, seeing the ball go through the hoop, which is likelier to happen on a shorter rim, adds confidence and makes the game more fun, no matter your age.

As a side note, dunking is fun but not necessary. In fact, lowering the basketball rim for the purpose of dunking leads to more jammed and broken fingers from getting entangled in the net and rim. And lowering the rim to such heights could affect a child's shooting development. For these reasons, ASEP's recommendations for each age range are above the heights most children can conceivably reach. But, that doesn't mean you can't lower the rim in your driveway for a fun dunk contest.

Ball Size Guidelines

Dribbling and a child's general "handle" of the basketball is the most important skill a young basketball player can master. While a larger basketball might be easier to dribble—giving a child more surface area to contact—a smaller ball teaches greater control. Also, a smaller, lighter basketball is easier for a child to shoot and pass.

Remember, these heights and measurements are just recommendations and are in no way a sure path to mastering basketball. If a child is technically sufficient and is outgrowing the shorter rim in either size or ability, don't be afraid to hand over a larger basketball and raise the rim. But for larger youth games where participants range in skill level, just remember that scoring is what makes the game fun.

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