Orange balls are traditionally used in basketball today, but they weren’t always orange.

James Naismith invented the sport in 1891. Players had to use soccer balls in their matches back then. The creator asked Albert Goodwill Spalding, founder of the Spalding company, to develop the first official basketball. It arrived in 1894 and it was brown.

Until the 1950s, most balls were made of brown leather. Tony Hinkle, who was a basketball player and coach, noted that this dark color made it difficult for athletes and spectators to see. In 1957 he began working with Spalding on the development of a redesign. The orange color was chosen for visibility reasons. In 1958 the new ball was used for the first time in an official competition in the United States.

Although it also creates products for other sports, Spalding is one of the most popular brands in the world of basketball. His ball was the official NBA ball between 1983 and 2021, the year in which the American League changed it to the Wilson signature ball.

The sports regulations followed in the Endesa League in Spain indicate: “The official game ball will be the one determined by the ACB (Association of Basketball Clubs) and must comply with the technical specifications of the FIBA ​​Official Basketball Rules for basketball competitions. Level 1”.

The FIBA ​​(International Basketball Federation) states that the ball must “be spherical, with a maximum of 12 seams that do not exceed 6.35 millimeters in width and with a single shade of orange”, although it can also have a combination of colors approved by said body. For example, in the following ACB photo there is a Spalding ball in orange and black.

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