How to Deflate a Sports Ball


Improperly inflated sports balls can prevent the ball from acting normally during a game. Over-inflation causes basketballs to bounce too much, making dribbling and shooting more difficult. Over-inflated footballs become lopsided which, in turn, changes the ball's normal trajectory when thrown. The potential of the ball bursting during play also increases. Fortunately, you can remedy over-inflation of any sports ball with a hand-held air pump needle. Remove as much or as little air as necessary for your purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pump needle
  • Grease
  • Remove the needle from a hand-held air pump. Unscrew the needle by twisting to the left. Grab the needle by the base during the removal process. The needle is fragile and likely to break under moderate pressure.

  • Apply grease or an oil-based lubricant to the needle. This allows the needle to slide into the sports ball with minimal effort. This also reduces the chance of the needle breaking inside the sports ball.

  • Slowly insert the needle into the sports ball. Stop when you hear a hissing sound, which indicates the release of air. Squeeze the ball to aid the deflation process.

  • Remove the needle when when the proper air pressure is reached. It may take a few minutes for the sports ball, depending on size and inflation, to completely deflate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not move the needle during the deflation process. This can break the needle inside the ball. Only insert and remove the needle with a straight pulling motion.

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