Does anyone know why basketballs have the pattern they do on their surface? Most have a pattern similar to a baseball except for two extra seams; what all basketball patterns I’ve found have in common is that they give the ball a series of “ribs” in a longitudinal pattern, or like wedges of an orange. Does this affect the way the ball handles somehow?
Moved to The Game Room from Cafe Society.
This picture of Dr. Naismith suggests the pattern of the seams goes back to the earliest days. Naismith’s first games were played with a soccer ball, perhaps that is what soccer balls looked like in those days, instead of the more familiar pentagon/hexagon pattern.
I put the tips of my fingers in the seams when shooting, if possible. I think it offers a little more control. More seams = more areas to quickly adjust hands to for a shot.
The pentagon/hexagon pattern is fairly recent for soccer balls- Wiki says it was instituted around 1970 when it was called the “Telstar” ball. Before that 18-panel balls were common.
Just WAG, but the pattern of a baseball is a very effective way of covering a sphere with a natural material like leather. A basketball is spherical.
As Barkis is Willin’ mentioned, having the hand on a seam helps with the shooter’s control. Baseball pitchers use the seams religiously. That’s how they make the ball do all that strange stuff.
Probably with the size of the basketball the extra seams were added to make it easy for the shooter to put his fingers on a seam and therefore control his shot with more accuracy.
Speaking of the ball’s design, the one for the Olympics is different.