The Effect of Introducing a Smaller and Lighter Basketball on Female Basketball Players' Shot Accuracy
Our study examined whether the introduction of a smaller and lighter basketball (no. 6) affected the accuracy of female basketball players' shots at the basket. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) introduced a size 6 ball in the 2004/2005 season to improve the efficiency and accuracy of technical elements, primarily shots at the basket. The sample for this study included 573 European female basketball players who were members of national teams that had qualified for the senior women's European championships in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. A size 7 (larger and heavier) basketball was used by 286 players in 1,870 matches, and a size 6 basketball was used by 287 players in 1,966 matches. The players were categorised into three playing positions: guards, forwards and centres. The results revealed that statistically significant changes by year occurred only in terms of the percentage of successful free throws. With the size 6 basketball, this percentage decreased. Statistically significant differences between the playing positions were observed in terms of the percentage of field goals worth three points (between guards and forwards) and two points (between guards and centres). The results show that the introduction of the size 6 basketball did not lead to improvement in shooting accuracy (the opposite was found for free throws), although the number of three-point shots increased.