• Basketball Ball Manufacturing Process

     

    Basketball, the American sport that’s taken the world by storm, is played at all different levels from high school up to the pro leagues, and the Olympic stage. Its appeal is in the ease of the game and that you don’t need a lot of equipment to play. In fact, as long as you have access to a court with basketball hoops, all you need is a basketball.

     

    The Basketball

    As the only piece of equipment you need, the basketball is obviously important to your game. The standard basketball is an inflated sphere with a circumference of about 30 inches and a weight of about 20 ounces. The size may vary slightly depending on the league or the age group of the players. It’s made of leather, rubber, and other synthetic materials in most cases. However, different leagues can dictate what their preferred ball is made from and the color that it should be.

    Inside of the basketball, there is a rubber bladder that is filled with air. This is what determines how high the ball can bounce. The proper bounce, known as the rebound height, is supposed to be anywhere from 49 inches to 54 inches when the ball is dropped evenly on a solid wooden floor from a height of exactly 6 feet. After each ball is made it’s tested in the factory to make sure that it was inflated enough to reach the proper rebound height. If the ball passes the test it gets a literal stamp of approval on the casing to ensure users that it meets the proper standards.

    The Materials

    You need the right materials to make a proper outdoor and indoor basketball balls. Leather, composition, synthetic rubber, and natural rubber are used to cover the basketball while the inside of the ball has a balloon-type structure known as a bladder that holds the air. Finally, there is a carcass which is nylon or polyester threads that go between the bladder and the covering of the basketball. In some cases, there are foil decals or printed decals that are put on the covering to label the ball. Here, zinc or copper plates are pressed into the covering to imprint the foil or to affix the decals properly.

    The Design

    As previously stated, basketballs are designed based on the standards and rules set by the league in question. Professional leagues, like the NBA, set specific dimensions for their basketballs that must be followed in order for them to be used in a league game. Even the decals or foils used have to be made with specific information printed on them. There are also specialized basketballs made for high school leagues and other junior leagues. Manufacturers also make promotional basketballs when asked to. These are usually smaller since they’re meant to be souvenirs.

    Improvements to the design over the years have included dimples to improve a player’s grip on the ball as well as microscopic holes in the ball’s surface to absorb moisture so the ball doesn’t become slippery during the game. Other balls designed for practice are also manufactured. One of these is known as the “big ball.” This is a ball with a larger-than-standard circumference that requires a higher arc to make a shot in a regulation hoop. It’s used in practice so that when players switch to the regulation ball it seems easier to handle on the court.

     

    The Manufacturing Process

    The complete basketball manufacturing process is long and complex. The bladder, carcass, and cover must be made properly before they can all be combined to create the classic basketball that you picture when you think of the sport.

    Creating the Bladder

    First, the bladder is made. To do this, rubber is melted and stretched out into a continuous sheet that measures 12 inches wide and about a half-inch thick. This continuous sheet is cut into 18-inch strips that are then stacked up. Next, a machine takes one strip at a time and punches a hole 1 inch in diameter into the rubber that is meant to hold the air tube. That air tube is inserted into each sheet by hand before a melding device attaches the tube to the sheet that is then folded into quarters. Next, a punch press cuts out a rounded edge of the sheet and binds those edges to create the bladder’s seam. It doesn’t have to be a perfect shape since this is the inside of the basketball.

    The bladder goes into a vulcanizing machine where the rubber is heated up under pressure to make it flexible and durable. The bladder is also inflated and sealed during vulcanization. Once the vulcanization process is complete, the bladder is placed in a holding chamber for a full 24 hours to test the bladder to see if it holds air. Any bladder that doesn’t pass this quality assurance test is recycled to start the process over again. The bladders that pass the test are suspended by their air tubes on a conveyor system to begin the next step.

    Making the Carcass

    Again, the carcass goes between the bladder and the covering. They help the ball maintain its shape while also providing some absorption if and when the ball gets wet.

    The bladders suspended on the conveyor system are wrapped with nylon or polyester thread by spooling machines. This makes the irregularly shaped bladders take on a more spherical shape. The type of thread as well as how much thread is used actually determines the overall cost of the ball as well as its quality. For example, basketballs designated for professional use are made of nylon using a four-strand wrapping while store-quality balls are usually made of three-strand polyester thread. Here, the professional-grade ball is the better quality ball of the two. The wrapped bladders stay on the overhead conveyor system where they are carried off to the next step of the manufacturing process.

    Making the Cover

    The carcass wrapped bladder has to be covered next. They can be covered in rubber, leather, or synthetic materials. For a rubber-covered basketball, first, a continuous roll of colored rubber is unrolled onto long tables. This sheet is partitioned out with a silk screen and metal markers so the leather sheets for the basketball are properly marked. The silk screen is moved by hand for the sake of precision and the outlines of the ball’s six panels are imprinted. In the cases where different colors are used for one ball, this has to be done one color at a time making this a longer process than usual.

    Next, a punch press cuts out the six panels with one panel getting a hole in it for the air tube. From there, the six panels are picked up by hand and taken to the vulcanizer. Here, the channels between the panels are created along with any embossments that are needed. Next, the panels are fit by hand into the vulcanizer in specific sections.

    A wrapped bladder is then coated in glue and goes into the vulcanizer chamber holding the panels. Here, the panels cover and adhere to the wrapped bladder. The embossments are formed on the surface but the remainder of the surface is still smooth. From there, the decals or foils with the necessary information are applied to the ball by hand using heat presses.

    The ball then needs to be inspected for gaps which can be filled with hand-cut rubber at this time. From there, the ball goes into another vulcanizer where the surface is completely unified to blend all filled gaps. This is also the step where the pebbling is done on the surface of the ball. The vulcanized ball will then be stored for another 24 hours to make sure it still holds air.

    Leather covers and synthetic laminated covers undergo a similar process with a few variations. Synthetic laminated covers are also cut into panels like the rubber. The panels are trimmed, fitted, and glued to one another by hand and then laminated right onto the carcass. They’re then embossed through the same heating process as the rubber balls. The decals are added and any glue on the edges is cleaned off. If there are any defective panels, they’re replaced during the final inspection and replaced.

    The leather basketballs are made with genuine leather that is stitched by machines which form the channels. They undergo silk screening and foil stamping before being inspected for uniformity. This is a shorter process than the other basketballs go through.

    Tests, Inspections, and Packing

    At this point, all balls that pass inspection after being covered have to go through the “bounce test.” This is the aforementioned test that checks to see if the ball was inflated properly. If it passes this test, the ball gets numbered and all other decals or special artwork is touched up and hand-inspected multiple times to ensure their quality. Once the ball passes all inspections, they’re deflated to be packed up and shipped off.

    The deflated ball is packed into a polyethylene bag and then boxed with other bags and sent to a distributor. In most cases, the distributor inspects that balls again and reinflates them to the proper pressure and packages them for sale in their display boxes. If the basketballs are meant for league play, they’re shipped off accordingly from the distributor.

     

    The basketball manufacturing process is a long one, but it’s done in such a way that all products created to meet the highest standards and the strict regulations of various leagues. For those of you who love the sport and play it frequently, you now know how the ball you use regularly is made from start to finish.

  • Most Famous Basketball Shoes

    Most Famous Basketball Shoes

    Every season, legacies are made on NBA courts, but there have been times throughout the history when all eyes have been on the off-court styles. It all started back when Michael Jordan brought the sneaker game to a whole new frontier by introducing his Jordan Brand. Since then players have been rolling out their own lines of exclusive sneakers many of which have seen better days, while some have stayed the crowd favorite for a very long time. Back in the 90s the evolution started, which now brings us lighter shoes with functional tweaks to their design & construction. Shoe enthusiasts will definitely recognize all pairs discussed here, but for the casual peruser this should serve as an informative guide about the most famous basketball shoes.

     

    You might have even owned a pair by Tracy McGrady. He is one of the most recent retiree whose line of sneakers was all the hype in early 2000s. Talking about the T-Mac III first, it is mentionable that these were one of the most popular items in the start of the new millennium. Featuring colors such as blue, white and black, the T-Mac IIIs were deemed as the best kicks of 2004. That being said, they were brought along with them great bragging rights, for they were worn by one of the most prevailing scorers of all time. Moving on, we have my favorite kicks of them all. Worn by Allen Iverson during his miniature scoring machine in the 2000-01 era, the Answer IVs feature a very appealing design. Even though they have deviated from the original a lot, by adding a low cut and a zipper, the Answer IVs have been alluring shoe enthusiasts for a very long time. Produced by Reebok, these shoes are mostly desired in red and white and in blue and white.


    Moving on to sneakers by Reebok, then who could forget Shawn Kemp. Bringing forward the kamikaze-II with his malevolent slams and his spectacular display of athleticism, he debuted the lineup in 1996. Wearing these he shot better than 50% from the field. Featuring a high-top design these classics are often fondly associated with the ‘90s. Along with the giants like Grant Hills and Penny Hardaway, Shawn Kemp is one of the unsung stars of the booming sneaker game era. And when we have mentioned Grant Hill, it would be not right to ignore him. While he was putting together an insanely good career, it is very understandable that injuries followed, and now you may not see a player like him, but his signature look is still being hailed as an all-time best by Fila. That being said, Fila has re-released this iconic design this year.

    Lastly who can forget the Air Jordan 1s, it all began back in 1984 when Michael Jordan laced up his first pairs of Nikes. A lot of controversy sprung, when he came out on the field wearing these, but he dismissed it all by just saying that the Air Jordan 1s paved the way for colorful basketball sneakers.

  • Old School Basketball Shoes

    Old school basketball shoes have a strong heritage that has developed along with the sport of basketball. Wearing old school basketball shoes shows you represent the lush history of basketball or commonly that you’re wearing the shoes of a great hero of the sport to who you watched when growing up.

     

    History of Old School Basketball Shoes
    During the 1970s before old school shoes there were “first school” shoes, which were generally made of low quality leather, however during the ‘80s to ‘90s popular branded basketball shoe companies started developing their own unique shoes to address the growing demand of the sport, coinciding with its professionalism.

     

    Popular Old School Basketball Shoe Brands
    The brands that were successful then are now known today as the powerhouses of shoe design and innovation. Old school branded shoes include Nike, Converse and Adidas, each having their own nostalgia or history, which represents why some of their shoe models are known today as old school.

    One of the most common and latest old school basketball shoes today is the famous Air Jordan that was developed by Nike and endorsed by legendary player Michael Jordan. The creation of designer Peter Moore changed the basketball shoe industry. Its design and style then was very popular among basketball players, as the growth of sales declined and interest was lost towards wearing Air Jordans, there still remained a strong following of players who gladly wore Air Jordans. Wearing old school basketball generally links back to someone who wants to wear the history of a player and the sport on their feet.

     

    How to Find Old School Basketball Shoes
    There are many dedicated stores and websites who sell old school basketball shoes. However along with the unique old school style, these shoes are quite expensive, particularly good quality branded old school shoes. The more rare and exclusive the old school basketball shoe is the less likely you will be able to find it and the more it will cost. When looking for a pair of old school basketball shoes it is important to remember that if you have the option to, you should try them on first before buying them, old school basketball shoes were made differently to that of today’s intensive technology/innovation focus manufacturing. The sizing and overall feel of the shoe maybe to uncommon for you, so it is always best to test out the shoes before spending hard-earned money on them.

    A common option for buyers is to look for second hand old school shoes in good condition on trading websites like ebay, however their authenticity may be questionable.

  • Best Basketball Shoes Of 2012

     
    Basketball shoes are structurally like those worn for other sports and for casual use and commonly referred to as sneakers (and by a variety of other local names, too). However, they also have special features designed for this particular sport. Being indoor shoes, they are made with soles that rub easily against the polished wooden floor of the basketball court. The game of basketball was invented in 1891; shoes made specially for that sport were made as early as 1907 by the Spalding company, which still makes and markets athletic clothes and equipment today. The annual sales of basketball shoes amounts to over $1 billion.

     

    Best Basketball Shoes 2012

    What kind of basketball shoes one should get for oneself depends on what type of player one is— all- around, fast, or power are the three main kinds— as well as the desired feel and form of movement; for some shoes are made for speed, while others provide more ankle and leg support. Mid- tops are the most widely used form. If, however, you are going for speed, then low- top shoes are probably the best, though they do not provide support for the ankle. High- tops, best for all- around and power players, provide the most support, but they also allow the least freedom of movement. Basketball shoes should also have air pockets that allow the feet to “breathe.” And they should have soft soles that cushion the feet while the wearer is running.

     
    Street basketball shoes are also made. Unlike their indoor counterparts, these are made to withstand the elements. Many of them are in darker colors, which makes them less vulnerable to damage from dirt, grime, and other things.

    Of course, the prices need to be taken into consideration as well. The shoes of the highest quality are the most costly, but those who are on a budget can find a good pair for a much smaller cost, if they know where to look.

    For much of their history, basketball shoes were made from canvas. But starting in the 1970s, shoemakers began constructing them with leather uppers. Nike’s Air Jordan line, released in 1985, was a revolutionary turning point in basketball shoe design. Many schoolchildren even played truant so that they could be the first to own a pair of these shoes!

    All of the major athletic shoe manufacturers include basketball footwear as part of their lines, and there are also those companies that make no other kind. However, the majority of them are from either of two prominent brands— Nike and Adidas. Most of the products described below cost between $100 and $150.

    The largest new brand to hit the country is called Li-ning. At the beginning of 2012, they released two lines of basketball shoes— the Turning Point and the Villain— for Evan Turner and Baron Davis. Both have high tops that slant towards the back; the Turning Point is black, while the Villain is mostly white.

    The men’s Nike Hyperdunk NFW basketball shoes have high tops and come in a bold yellow- green (called “cyber”) with a white swirl stripe. Nike also has the similarly high- topped Hypersize shoes that are black white, and varsity red.

    Nike Zoom Koby VII Supreme is mostly black and white, with the tongue and sole borders green- yellow. It has a rating of five stars. The one customer who has reviewed it says that it is “great for playing basketball in,” although they did cause him blisters which can be remedied by the use of thick sox.

    Nike Air Jordan Melo M8 cool grey- white- orange flash 469786-002 has a white silhouetted figure of a dunking basketball player just below the opening (as do all shoes in that line).

    Nike Jordan Fly Wade 2 is mostly white, with varsity red and black at the back. It has a rating of three stars, and its single customer review says the shoes were “good.”

    One of the most colorful pairs in the Nike brand is the Lebron 9 men’s 469764-004. It is colored in mostly canon/ volt stripes surrounding black areas, a fluorescent yellow wave and identically- colored strap in the back, and an orange base. This shoe is partly high- topped, sloping downwards towards the back.

    Adidas Superstar 2G Ultra are white with black stripes— just like one of the fifty pair mentioned by Run-DMC in their famous rap “My Adidas,” which the three rappers were often seen wearing! They have been rated with five stars and has no less than thirteen customer reviews; one of these customers came across them when looking for a light pair of non- high- top shoes for basketball. Another normally needs to wear orthotics— but not with these shoes!

    Adidas Beast Commander / Dwight Howard is mostly black and gray, but has bright green around every other eyelet and on the bottom. The upper is made of patent leather and mesh.

    The brilliant red of the Adidas Adizero Rose 2 will appeal to many wearers. So will the “glowing” red- on- black of the Adipure G20725 and the violet color of the Adizero Crazy light leather.

    In the Reebok brand, there are a number of rugged- looking shoes for basketball. Among them are the shoes of choice for John Wall, an NBA point guard— the Zig Slash whose soles have zigzags along their edges to propel the wearer forward and also protect the shins from wear and tear. Further comfort and support is provided by the internal lining and by the design of the upper. The color of these shoes is blue.

    For those who prefer street basketball shoes, there is And1. They have recently released their collection, which includes the Destroyer. Their shoes come in several colors— red, blue with yellow laces, blue with white laces, yellow with white laces, black, black with a yellow base, red and white, black and white, and gray with black stripes.

    There are many magazines and online websites that specialize in rating basketball footwear. KicksGuide is one such site.

  • Ways to Become a Better Basketball Player

    B-ball, as I would like to think, is most likely the best group activities ever developed! Having played intensely since center school, I genuinely appreciate everything that the diversion offers, for example, cooperation keeping in mind the end goal to succeed, order, sharing, prizes of exertion, prizes of diligent work, and to wrap things up fun! Here are a couple of approaches to improve as a b-ball player, alongside consistent exertion and determination.

     

    Molding is critical, regardless of the game. Nine times out of ten, the better molded group will win paying little mind to ability. As one quote put it best, “Diligent work beats ability, when ability doesn’t buckle down.” As a varsity ball player in secondary school, our first month of practice didn’t comprise of a b-ball or even a court. Expanding our quality and perseverance was the center of our head mentor. Despite the fact that we might not have appreciated the procedure, the deciding results were well justified, despite all the trouble. Running wind sprints, stadiums, and no less than three miles a day all figured into accomplishment on the b-ball court.

     

    After outside molding, the first expertise tended to ought to be resistance. Again right now, no ball has been incorporated into drills. A lot of groups commit time to hostile bores and plays yet very few need to put the exertion into playing protection. Exertion is precisely what it takes! A legitimate guarded position incorporates: feet shoulder width separated, knees marginally twisted, arms spread out, and eyes concentrated on your adversary and whoever has the ball. At the point when the individual you’re guarding has the ball, it’s basic that you stay between your individual and the wicker container. Protective slide drills, not crossing your feet, are an astounding approach to show fruitful group resistance.

     

    The following accentuation is on spilling. A critical ability in b-ball, as this is the way groups move the ball here and there the court. Day by day spilling at a youthful age can build ball taking care of aptitudes massively. I am particularly enamored with making recreations out of the spilling drills, to keep the players moving and consolidate fun in the meantime. Attempt to part the players up in even transfer lines, as close as possible. Every player will spill down the court with their right hand, while gazing upward, and after that return spilling with their left hand. As the players show signs of improvement, you will see an increment in rate and less wild spilling.

     

    In the wake of spilling, a great b-ball player must have the capacity to locate an open partner who may have a superior shot. There are two sorts of passes: mid-section passes and bob passes. Have your group pair up with an accomplice and line up opposite one another roughly ten feet away. Mid-section passes ought to be on an immediate line from the passer’s mid-section to the beneficiary’s mid-section. More youthful players will attempt to hang the ball, so persistent and strengthen the immediate pass. Ricochet passes ought to skip around 75% of the path to the collector and ought to be gotten from the waist to the mid-section. Once the players show signs of improvement, the separation between the accomplices ought to be expanded.

     

    So far we’ve secured resistance, spilling, and passing. Presently we go to the most loved a portion of everybody on a ball group… SHOOTING!! Appropriate structure is the way to a right shot. Here are a few thoughts for starting players. Once more, basics are crucial to turning into an effective ball player. Have every player get a ball and face the divider. Feet ought to be shoulder width separated and square to the crate, or for this situation, an objective spot on the divider. Once in shooting position, the arm ought to frame a “L” shape and the ball ought to be situated in the palm of the hand with fingers spread out uniformly. Twist at the knees, pushing the ball up, and finishing the shot totally. The pointer finger ought to be the last finger to touch the ball.

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