Why Are Basketballs Orange? Is the Color Random Or Has A Special Meaning? 


Why Are Basketballs Orange

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It always attracts tens of millions of viewers every year. Immediately after the NBA (The National Basketball Association) officially selected their ball color, the image of an orange basketball became the symbol for this sport. You can easily find it in many places around you. 

However, even basketball players sometimes wonder, why are basketballs orange? Is it the result of a random choice or some other special reason? If you are also wondering about this, do not ignore our following article.

1. What Color Was The Original Basketball?

Thanks to its growing popularity, basketball images quickly became familiar to everyone, including the eye-catching orange balls. However, not many people know that it is not its original color. So what did the first basketballs look like?

In 1891, college student James Naismith invented basketball. This popular sport started with just two baskets of peaches and a soccer ball. At the time, the original basketball was brown.

The original basketball was brown

With unique, attractive gameplay, it quickly attracted everyone’s attention. However, many people still have difficulty finding a way to throw this brown ball into the basket. The main reason is that the visibility of brown is too poor. 

Basketball is a fast-paced, continuous sport, while the brown balls look rather dull and hard to see. Some people felt it was not suitable for matches anymore. So, what happened next then?

2. Who Invented Orange Basketball?

Due to poor visibility, playing on this brownfield causes many vision problems for the players. As a result, many people tried to find a way to overcome this drawback.

In 1892, Butler College basketball coach Tony Hinkle changed the ball’s color to make it more visible during games. After considering everything, he decided to dye the ball with oil from the local pine tree. This layer of oil has an eye-catching orange color compared to the previous brown color.

Although founded in 1946, it was not until 10 years later that the NBA used orange basketball in their leagues. In 1958, it appeared at the NCAA finals in Louisville, Kentucky. Experiencing many big and small tournaments, in 1977, the NBA recognized orange as the official basketball color and used it widely.

3. Why Are Basketballs Orange?  

Some people think that the color of the basketball is the result of random selection. Whether it’s orange, red, blue, or any other color makes no difference. In fact, it is one of the factors that directly affect the outcome of the game. Professionals choose orange because of its excellent visibility – something very few colors have.

The excellent visibility of orange basketball

Orange is easy to spot from a distance, so players can quickly respond to situations during the game. Thanks to the good contrast, the audience can also easily watch the match on TV. 

Consequently, orange is the perfect choice because it offers many visual benefits for both the players and the audience.

4. Are All Basketballs Orange?

As we said above, basketball is orange because of its visibility in competition. However, do all basketballs have to be orange?

The answer is No! Other colors can also be used but are not common. In fact, you can find them in different colors like yellow, white, red, etc. The history of world basketball has also witnessed a few special cases occur. 

Specifically, from 1967 to 1976, the American Basketball Association (ABA) used red, white, and blue basketball in competition. After the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, their distinct colors were wiped out and replaced by the familiar orange color.

Some people regret the old ABA basketball colors, but to be fair, those colors are not suitable for such professional tournaments. 

Multi-colored basketballs will be distracting when spinning in the air, and it is difficult to determine where the ball will fall. Not only that, but the colorful colors on a ball will also make the players eyestrain and disoriented. 

No matter how much some people prefer other colors, unfortunately, there is no indication that the NBA plans to replace the orange basketball shortly.

However, this NBA rule does not affect if you are merely a basketball lover or a non-professional player. You are still free to use a basketball of any color for practice or informal matches. But we still appreciate the effect of oranges more.

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In Short 

Many people think that the color of the basketball is not important, but actually, each choice has many hidden meanings behind it. Orange basketballs increase visibility, make the game fairer and more effective. But you can still use a different colored ball in regular matches. 

Hopefully, through this article, you will find the complete answer to the question “Why Are Basketballs Orange?“. If you still have other questions, don’t hesitate to leave them below. 

Reference Source: Why are Basketballs Orange?

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