How to Use an Inflatable Ball Pump for Basketballs


When playing basketball, the inflation of the ball directly affects the entire game. As the players move around the court, they must dribble the ball by bouncing it on the ground. A basketball that is under-inflated does not provide a sufficient rebound from the ground when dribbled and will cause the player to loose control of the ball. Conversely, an overly inflated ball is too lively to effectively play the game. To ensure consistency in the game, it is important to play with a properly-inflated basketball. To inflate a basketball, you must use a ball pump.

Things You'll Need

  • Ball pump
  • Ball needle
  • Insert the needle into the end of the ball pump.

  • Lubricate the needle using a small amount of saliva.

  • Locate the air valve on the basketball, the a small, black rubber piece with a hole in the center.

  • Insert the needle into the hole in the air valve. Twist the needle back and forth to ensure it is completely inserted. Listen for air leaking out of the ball. Pull the needle out slightly until the leaking stops, or is minimized.

  • Inflate the ball by moving the pump handle back and forth or up and down, depending on the pump.

  • Remove the needle from the ball when it is firm. Twist the needle back and forth while pulling it out of the air valve.

  • Hold the basketball at eye level. Drop the basketball and observe the height at which is bounces. Remove air from an overly inflated basketball by inserting the needle into the valve until you hear the air escaping. Allow the air to escape and then remove the needle and test it again.

Tips & Warnings

  • On some pumps, the needle screws into the end of the pump. On other models, you must insert the needle into the air nozzle and then pull the latch on the rear of the air nozzle down to lock the needle into place.
  • A properly inflated basketball will bounce to waist-height. If the ball is under-inflated it will not reach your waist, at which point you must add more air. If the ball bounces above waist-height it is overly inflated.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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