If I may ask, have you ever thought that one day you would sit down and start contemplating how to deflate your basketball? Deflating a basketball has never been of great concern in any activity. You will never find a group of players discussing how they can flatten their basketballs, and if they do, it would be in low tones. It is, therefore, something of less importance to any team. Well, I am here to challenge that mentality and state it clearly that deflating and inflating basketballs are all vital in equal measures. We have come across many blogs on how often should you wear basketball shoes, or will basketball shoes stretch during the match, but less is talked about how you treat the ball after each game.

Deflating a basketball is slowly taking headlines in players' diaries, and it is something that needs to be addressed for the betterment of any ball. You will often find players stacking their fully inflated basketballs in their travel bags, not knowing that there are high chances of being pricked by anything. You will notice others throwing them under their beds after every game, only to pick them on their next match or training session. These habits have led to a lot of losses and frequently buying new balls. You can stop this, or we can end this by learning a few tricks on how to deflate basketballs safely. It pains checking on how much are the converse basketball shoes and, at the same time, worry about the price of a new ball, simply because we did not inquire about how we can correctly deflate it.

Why Deflate a Basketball

Deflating a basketball may be caused by several reasons. Sports doctor, however, advise leaving your ball inflated with at least 80-90 percent of air pressure at all times. The idea behind this that leaving the ball deflating is likely to over shrink the rubber panels on the ball, leading to panel pulling away from the ball. However, there comes a situation when you will need to deflate it. Here are two reasons why you would need to flatten your basketball.


Have you ever tried playing on overinflated basketball? You might be having a different experience from mine, but the fact remains that playing on an overinflated ball has never been my take. The only pressure amount advised is at least 80 percent. Too much air will make the basketball bounce higher than expected, making it difficult to control. I know many players enjoy dribbling overinflated basketball; as they say, it is a bit easier. But what they do not take a keen concern is how the ball affects their scoring percentage. Excess air pressure will make the ball pass farther than estimated during your shooting resulting in the too hard bounce off the backboard and the rim, and you will miss the shot. So, as you enjoy easy dribbles, think about the higher goal.

Other causes of the overinflated ball are air temperature and altitude. For air pressure, maybe you inflated your ball on the outside cold air with the correct amount of 80 or 90 percent, when you take it inside on warm air, the air pressure inside the ball increases and you will notice some change in the bounces. The same thing happens with the changes in altitude. For instance, pumping your ball in a place where the altitude is about 700 feet like Indianapolis, then taking the ball in an area with about 5200 feet of altitude like Denver, the air pressure inside the ball will increase, causing the ball to be overinflated. This will demand you to deflate the ball before playing. Altitude changes also affect how and why basketball shoes good for running.

Travelling and Storage

You look at the size of the ball and the travel bag, and you start thinking of how it will fit in the suitcase—deflated it, buddy. A deflated ball will take less space in your bag, drawer, or briefcase, making it easier to carry. When storing it after plays, it is also recommended to deflate it to prevent bouncing off the drawer or shelf. However, flattening a basketball because of such reasons comes with precautions. Ensure that you deflate it slowly as you check the synthetic panels not to separate from each other. Therefore, it is wise not to flatten it entirely because it can damage the ball if you plan to store it for a longer time. You may want to deflate it up to a correct level that will fit in your bag or drawer. You only need to worry less if you play with rubber balls since they rarely get damaged.

What Do I Need to Deflate a Basketball?

This question has been posted several times. Just like you would need money before you start asking how much are the converse basketball shoes, you also need specific tools to deflate a basketball. However, not all deflating cases might need tools. You may still flatten it without tools and get the same results. But, if you have the means, do not ignore them. The most common tools are;

Inflation Needle

Inflation needles are readily available in all stores dealing with sports equipment. They are also cheap, so you do not have the reason not to have it in your toolbox. However, if you miss it, you can go for one whenever you want to deflate your basketball.

Air Pressure Gauge

Although it is an optional tool in this task, you may need it to deflate your ball because it is overinflated. Air Pressure Gauge helps in checking the pressure of your ball before playing. It can be purchased on online shops and from your local store selling sportswear. However, it is quite expensive, so it is not a must tool in this task.

Note: There have been many articles flooding the internet on the use of other items such as paper clips and sewer needles to deflate basketballs. I do not advise against this practice, but you need to know that you are likely to damage the air valve. Inserting any kind of tools in the air valve and twisting it can break blocking the plug, or even permanently disengaging the valve. The final result: your ball would be completely useless.

How to Use Air Pressure and Inflation Needle

Using air pressure and an inflation needle to deflate a basketball is the only recommended method. The method will safely reduce the air pressure from the ball to an optimum level. To carry out the task, follow these steps;

Step 1: Assemble The Equipment

Although many people skip this step, let me emphasize that it is crucial to deflate a ball. It is evident that a few players do not know how to fix the inflation needle on the air pressure gauge. In case you understand how often should you wear basketball shoes, make efforts to learn how to fix the deflating tools.

Step 2: Moisten the Inflation Needle

Inserting a dry needle into the ball's air valve would likely cause bruises to the valve damaging the valve. Use water or saliva to lubricate the needle, making it easier to enter the air valve.

Step 3: Insert The Inflation Needle and Release the Air

Carefully insert the inflation needle attached to the air pressure gauge into the air valve of a basketball. Press the release valve on the air pressure gauge to release air. Keep an eye on the indicator to monitor the amount of air escaping and release the valve once the desired amount of air has escaped. In case you are deflating the ball for storage or transportation, you may hold the release valve until all the air is released.

Step 4: Remove the Inflation Needle

Once the air has escaped from the ball, carefully remove the needle from the air valve. Do not twist the needle because it might break or stretch the air valve, causing future leaks. Disengage the needle and air pressure gauge and safely store them in a cool and dry place to prevent rusting. Was it not as simple as imagining will basketball shoe stretch when playing on warm air?

Deflating A Basketball with Only Inflation Needle

Using an inflation needle to deflate a basketball is the commonly used method in the courts. It is applicable whether the ball is overinflated or if it is for transport purposes. Not everyone can access air pressure gauge at all times; therefore, using only an inflation needle or any other safe tool becomes the only option. These are the simple steps followed in deflating a ball;

Step 1: Checking The Air Pressure in A Ball

When dribbling a ball during the match and you notice it is bouncing higher than you can control, it implies that it is overinflated, and the air pressure inside needs to be reduced. The DIY technique of checking the pressure inside your ball is holding it at your chest level and dropping it. If it bounces above your waist level, the pressure inside is higher than required. If it jumps way below or at your waist level, it is correctly inflated and no need to reduce its strength. However, if you are deflating your ball for storage or transport, this step is not necessary.

Step 2: Moisten The Inflation Needle and Insert It into The Air Valve

The purpose of moistening the needle with saliva or even water is to prevent it from damaging the air valve. Insert the lubricated inflation needle into the ball's air valve and push it down until it is inside the ball.

Step 3: Check The Air Escaping

The escaping air should give a hissing sound. When deflating an overinflated ball, you should not leave the needle inside the ball longer than two seconds. Keep checking the pressure inside the ball until it is at your desired amount. However, when completely deflating the ball, you may want to squeeze the ball as the air escapes to let more air out.

Step 4: Removing The Needle

When a ball is wholly deflated, or it is at the correct pressure level, safely remove the needle by pulling it straight out of the valve. Carelessly twisting the needle can remove the air valve from the ball or even damage it.

Deflating A Basketball Without Tools

It comes to a situation when you do not have any recommended tool to deflate a ball. This should not bother you since you can still quickly flatten a ball. You can even think about using a fridge. It sounds weird, but it a safer method than inserting any item in the air valve. If you doubt it, try doing the following;

  • First, clean the ball with a damp cloth or towel if you just came from playing on the outside court. It is for hygiene purposes. Indoor courts are not safe, either.

  • Place a clean towel down on one of the shelves in a fridge, place your ball on the towel, and close the door.

  • Check after one hour or two.

  • The cold temperature inside the fridge will condense the air molecules in a ball, making it deflated. Although this is a temporary fix because the air pressure will still increase in warm air outside the fridge, but the final results will be less inflated than the first level.

Final Thought

Learning how to deflate a basketball would help you take good care of the ball outside the courts. It helps to minimize the worries of transporting and storing it. It also prevents the issues of missing your shots because of overinflated basketballs. As you think about how often should you wear basketball shoes casually, you should also learn how to reduce the air pressure inside the ball during the matches. There are easy hacks to perform the task in case you do not have the recommended tools.

However, it is advisable always to keep your basketball inflated with the correct amount of air pressure to prevent the synthetic leather panels from breaking from each other. It is, therefore wise to deflate it only when the situation arises. It is my hope that as you read on why basketball shoes good for outdoor running, you would include this vital topic on your list.


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