A question of balls-literally

Why exactly does the WNBA use white and orange balls, as opposed to a solid color like the NBA? I know the ABA used to have the red white and blue. Was there a purpose behind that one? These questions have been tugging at the deepest strings of my souls for… going on 3 hours now. For the love of god, will somebody help me?!

If you can tell me why the NBA uses solid orange ones, then I can tell you why the WNBA uses white and orange.

Because that is the natural color of the leather after it goes through the tanning and oiling processes necessary to give it it’s texture. Now tell me the answer.


Thought you were going to be all clever and shit!


No, I don’t know the answer, but I can guess:

Because they want to differentiate themselves in every way possible from the NBA?

yeah, but why? it’s just annoying.

I thought that was the entire purpose of the WNBA.


Gotta agree with you there. I mean, three years, 6’7’’ players and never a dunk. What the hell kind of leauge is this anyway?

If you make a different colored ball for the WNBA, fans are little more likely to go to a souvenir stand and say, “Hey, gimme one of those cool-looking WNBA basketballs!”

Having nothing to do with the color of the ball, but women’s basketballs are slightly smaller than men’s.

And just why are the women supposed to dunk? Is it a requirement for playing basketball?

Powepuff, can you tell me why you found it necessary to quote triton’s ENTIRE question in your post. Jesus Christ I hate that. It’s not like your post would end up in some other thread. Please stop it.

PowerpuffKue, feel obligated to answer stuyguy’s question. But only feel obligated to answer it once he takes the time to look at your name and spell it correctly.

Welcome to the SDMB.


I think that it’s for the same kind of reason that the WNBA chooses to use players that have vaginas.

Over coffee (god forbid that it was overly hot McDonald’s coffee! :D) one day, someone said, “How about this?”

Jeez. That’s pretty cynical, Mister.

I think the balls are colored to match the outfits of that super-hip funk band that ESPN used to use to advertise the WNBA, instead of the sub-par play of the athletes. Some might argue that the band was more interesting than the sport itself.

I must say that that is a most insightful comment. Actually, they were all pretty insightful, except for that one reply that was just a spelling correction, but hey, let’s just dwell on important things. BobT, regarding your question: hell yeah they are required to dunk. What the hell kind of a candy ass basketball league doesn’t have dunking? I motion that those of us sick of the WNBA’s lack of pizazz (from dunking to players choking coaches) develop a petition to ban the WNBA from television until somebody jams. I’m not that motivated though, so I’ll just continue to sit back and complain. Nuff said.

      • I always giggled at that TV commercial that had the women playing basketball in dress pumps. ! Maybe WNBA should require 6" heels; it could lead to a whole new type of footwear. - MC

Basketball survived for many years without players dunking.

I think this question has veered sharply from GQ and is turning into Pit material.

Okay, back to the balls… or lack thereof.

I used to have a red, white, and blue basketball when I was a kid. Once, someone left a regular tan ball at my place. I found I was shooting much better with that ball instead of the colored one.

In retrospect, I think that part of the reason I shot better with the regular ball is because I could track the ball better in the air. I think the multicolored ball sort of threw off my concentration and therefore I couldn’t correct my mistakes. Could this account for the abysmal league-wide field-goal percentage in the WNBA?

Second question: sometime back around 1979 or 1980, the L.A. Lakers picked up a female player. They dropped her before she had a chance to play, but women have at least been considered for the NBA. Does the existence of the WNBA now preclude the NBA from recruiting female players in the future?

Third question: what is the name of that funkalicious band that represents the WNBA? The thirty-second sound bites I’ve heard of them are pretty good.

From this fan site for the WNBA:


My WAG is that because the WNBA uses the “small” balls, they also wanted a different color so that they would never accidentally use the wrong size ball.

Hmmmm. Very interesting. The key at MSG is orange. I wonder if they would have found a different color less distracting if they had tested the balls elsewhere.