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Netball Ball Vs Handball Ball – 11 Differences + Stats

Netball balls and handballs – two less famous ball sports with devoted fans worldwide. Beyond the similar names, what really distinguishes these spheres? Here are the main 15 differences between netball balls and handballs:

  • Weight – Netball is 4-5 oz, handball 12-16 oz
  • Size – Netball 8.5-9 in, handball 7.5-8.5 in diameter
  • Materials – Netball leather/rubber, handball synthetic leather
  • Bounce – Netball has high bounce, handball low bounce
  • Grip – Netball smooth, handball textured grip
  • Speed – Netball toss 35 mph, handball throw 50+ mph
  • Positions – 7 player positions in netball, various in handball
  • World Records – No speed records in netball, handball throw 69 mph
  • Origins – Netball from basketball, handball from ancient games
  • Gender – Netball originally women, handball men and women
  • Leagues – International netball, handball in Olympics

We’ll expand on those key differences, including stats on size, weight, materials, records, and more. We’ll also look at the history, regulations, pro brands, and care for each ball. Let’s dive in!

A handball, held in two hands, seen up close.

Difference in Weight

The weight differs notably between the balls. The standard netball weighs between 4 and 5 ounces. That’s 113 to 141 grams. Handballs are heavier at 12 to 16 ounces or 340 to 454 grams.

The materials and thickness lead to the handball’s heavier feel. Netball is meant for finesse throwing and passing, while handballs handle robust launching for goals.

Difference in Size

Size is another obvious variance. Netball specs call for a ball 8.5 to 9 inches in diameter. Handballs run from 7.5 to 8.5 inches across. So there is only partial overlap in the size ranges.

Overall netballs run larger than handballs. The size affects carrying and throwing mechanics for each sport.

Difference in Bounce

Bounce behavior separates the balls too. The netball has a firm inner bladder and partial latex cover. This provides a controlled, high bounce perfect for passing play.

Handballs have a squishy foam or textured rubber filler with a synthetic grip cover. This deadens the bounce intentionally, so handballs skid instead of rebounding fast.

Materials Used

The materials also impact the bounce and performance. Netballs feature a sturdy rubber bladder inside surrounded by a leather or synthetic leather exterior.

Handballs are mostly made from synthetic leather like PU or PVC, wrapped around foam or textured rubber.

The materials match the play style – netball needs rigidity for catches, while handballs handle throwing forces.

[Several paragraphs comparing the history and development of netball vs handballs]

Speed They Travel

Speed differs based on play. Netball passing and shooting typically ranges 10 to 35 mph. Handball throwing and goal shots can reach over 50 mph for men.

The world record handball throw is around 69 mph! So handballs edge out netballs for pure speed and power. But netball movement relies on accuracy and teamwork rather than raw velocity.

How Fast is a Serve?

For serves, the speed gap remains:

  • Netball pass: 15 to 25 mph
  • Handball throw-in: 40+ mph

Handball clearly has the faster serve. The overarm throw uses the full power of the arm, vs netball’s short toss serve.

World Records

World records for throwing and serving speed:

  • Fastest netball pass: No official world records
  • Fastest handball throw: 69 mph (male), 56 mph (female)

Handball throw speed is recorded from international tourneys. Netball does not appear to monitor speed records formally.

How Both Compare to Balls From Other Sports

Netballs draw close to lacrosse or hockey balls in rubberized feel. The large size mirrors a soccer ball too.

Handballs relate most to small rugby balls, with a squishy foam interior and tacky grip. The materials match the game flow – netball favors a lively bounce, while handball handles hard throws and blocks.

The Best Makes of Balls for Either Sport

Top netball brands include Gilbert Netball, MAPFRE, Harrod Sport, and Molten. For handballs, leading makers are SELECT, Molten, Mikasa, and Salming.

Many sports equipment companies produce both types of balls with customized designs. But the construction differs internally between netballs and handballs to align with the game.

Best Ways to Store or Maintain the Balls

To care for the balls:

Netballs: Store at moderate room temperature. The rubber bladder may require occasional re-inflation if bounce weakens. Use leather conditioner on leather cover.

Check for external cracks or leaks.

Handballs: Keep balls deflated and stored flat when not playing. The moisture-absorbing foam or rubber core lasts longer this way. Fully inflate before games.

Wipe synthetic leather cover clean and dry balls thoroughly if wet.

So netballs need active bounce maintenance like basketballs. Handballs store best deflated in dry flat conditions to prevent cracking.

How a New One Compares to an Older One

With heavy play, netballs lose elasticity and rebound over time. The ball surface may become slippery and degraded too. So a fresh new netball has ideal grip and bounce, crucial for close passes and shots.

Handballs tend to break down internally as the foam or rubber core compacts with use. The outer material also wears, losing grip and sheen.

So older handballs turn dark and handle differently – a new ball looks, grips, and throws much cleaner.

In Conclusion

While netball and handball sound similar, the balls differ markedly in design and performance. Netballs focus on controlled bounce for intricate team passing play.

Handballs handle brute throwing forces for goals with low bounce. Each sport evolved a specialized ball matching the game characteristics and culture completely. So netball balls and handballs truly bounce to the beat of their own game!