Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (2022)

If you have talked to someone who has played basketball for a long time and ask him about his favorite indoor basketball, the Spalding TF-1000 comes up more often than not. Times and minds change, and at some point in their history, Spalding decided to stop manufacturing the TF-1000.

While that paved the way for other brands to dominate the market, Spalding eventually brought back the TF-1000 and renamed it Spalding TF-1000 Classic. Spalding also manufactured a similar product called Spalding TF-1000 Legacy, which is identical to the Classic in many ways but has deeper channels for better ball control.

Regardless, aren’t we just glad that the TF-1000 is back? There are reasons why this product is approved by the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Association) and is adopted by the high school sports governing bodies in the states of California, Idaho, and others. Let’s take a closer look at the Spalding TF-1000 and see why it warrants your consideration.

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (1)

Spalding TF-1000 Classic ZK Indoor Game Basketball , Brown , Size 7, 29.5"

  • COMPOSITE LEATHER MATERIAL: ZK microfiber composite cover that turns butter-soft after break-in
  • SUPERIOR GRIP: Wide channel design for easy handles
  • BUILT FOR PERFORMANCE: Rotationally balanced butyl bladder for ultimate air retention and nylon windings for excellent structural integrity

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (2)

What We Review hide

I.What are the Features of Spalding TF-1000 Basketball?

II.Why Choose Spalding TF-1000 Basketball?

IV.Things to Consider When Deciding To Get Spalding TF-1000 Basketball

V.Wrapping Things Up: Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review

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(Video) The Spalding TF-1000 Classic 2k Microfiber Composite Basketball Review

What are the Features of Spalding TF-1000 Basketball?

The ZK Microfiber

The ZK Microfiber is a Spalding exclusive, so you won’t find that technology anywhere else. However, that could be a double-edged sword. The composite leather is durable, but it feels more like rubber than leather the first time you use it. It requires a break-in period before you can feel the perfect grip for dribbling and shooting.

That is not necessarily a bad thing since you want your basketball to last long and to feel better each time you use it, not the other way around. In that regard, the Spalding TF-1000’s exclusive ZK Microfiber technology delivers in a big way.

Channel Design

There is a reason why other basketballs come with a wide channel design. If you feel the Spalding TF-1000, this is an inherent feature that readily jumps out at you. It has noticeably wide channels to serve a couple of purposes. One, it allows you to handle the ball easier. This is helpful when you’re playing in a court with less than ideal visibility conditions, such as poor lighting. Second, the wide channels dispel sweat and moisture quickly. This makes the ball more comfortable to handle, and it won’t give you constant slippage problems.Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (3)


This is where the Spalding TF 1000 Classicindoor basketball is in a league of its own. If you’re asking why Spalding redesigned the original SpaldingTF 1000 basketball, this is the very reason. They did it with improved durability in mind. This is all made possible with the nylon windings, fortifying the ball’s structure and making it extra firm and durable. Aside from durability, the 100% nylon windings also contribute to the consistency of the bounce and the grip.


A ball’s design is literally the last characteristic that you should pay attention to, but it’s still a factor. In our opinion, it has too much of a vintage look, and a touch of modern makeup couldn’t have hurt. Adding the word “classic” made it all worse. Even so, this is just a minor detail that you can overlook since it doesn’t take away anything from the ball’s performance.

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (4)Why Choose Spalding TF-1000 Basketball?

The original Spalding TF 1000 basketball was one of the best composite leather basketballs ever made, and that’s not an exaggeration. Well, the Spalding TF 1000 Classic indoor basketball is nothing like the original (except for the cushion under the cover, which feels exactly the same), but it does have excellent selling points.

The first selling point of the Spalding TF 1000 is its durability. This is important because if you can use the ball longer, the more time and money will be saved in the long run. Whether you are a serious basketball player or a recreational one, you won’t like the hassle of changing balls every now and then just because it has already worn out after a couple of months.

With its long-term reliability, the Spalding TF-1000 can be used occasionally as an outdoor basketball. Now, that’s not recommended, and it will eventually eat up into its life span, but if you don’t have a choice, this ball can hold its own even in an outdoor setting.

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Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (5)Another evidence of the Spalding TF-1000’s durability is that you will hardly see marks such as punctures or scratches on its cover. Some may not like that type of firmness for the cover, but that’s just a testament that this ball is built to last.

The second selling point of the Spalding TF-1000 basketball is the wide channel design. It is well-made, absorbent, and reduces instances of slipping even in less-than-favorable playing conditions. In our opinion, these two factors are the most significant determinants of why you should choose the Spalding TF-1000 basketball.

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (6)Is TF-1000 Basketball Worth the Money?

The TF-1000 classic basketball belongs to the middle end of the spectrum when it comes to pricing. It’s not a cheap low-end rubber basketball, nor is it a top of the line genuine leather basketball such as what the NBA uses.

Still, it’s worth a little fortune, and not everyone has the budget for it. But if ever you decide to get one, is it worth the money? Absolutely! The combination of durability and the fact that the ball’s exclusive ZK Microfiber technology allows it to perform better with age, then this is worth the investment. Some have reportedly used the ball for three years, and it felt like it’s brand new!

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (7)Things to Consider When Deciding To Get Spalding TF-1000 Basketball

Like any other product, the Spalding TF-1000 basketball is by no means a foolproof commodity. If you buy this thinking that it is like the original Spalding TF 1000 basketball, you will be disappointed. That’s not to say, though, that the Spalding TF-1000 basketball is not worth a purchase. It is, if you are specifically looking for things that match what this ball offers.

So what are some things to consider when deciding to get the Spalding TF-1000 basketball? If you want the ball to last years, to absorb sweat and moisture, and to guarantee tight grips every time you use it, then this ball is made for you.

Now, here’s the deal: The Spalding TF 1000 basketball won’t feel like it’s playable right out of the box. It may feel a little too firm initially, that you will wonder if it is really made of rubber, instead of composite leather. Don’t fret. It comes with the territory. As we said, it’s nothing like the original TF-1000, which many swear has the best out-of-the-box feel compared to other basketballs, but its moisture-absorbing properties and durability is second to none.

You may have noted the two existing variants of the TF-1000 basketball– the Spalding TF 1000 “Classic” vs. Legacy.” Actually, it doesn’t have much of a difference outside of the price and the deeper channels. The deeper channels of the TF-1000 Legacy allow you to get a better grip of the basketball, but when it’s all said and done, it merely boils down to personal preference.

Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review | Hoops Addict (8)

Spalding NBA Official Game Ball Orange, Official NBA size and weight: Size 7, 29.5"

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  • Pro minded: For over 3 decades, Spalding has joined forces with the NBA to create the gold standard basketball
  • Horween leather: The full-grain leather construction turns butter-soft once broken in
  • Natural grip: Wide channels that provide a great grip that feels second nature

Wrapping Things Up: Spalding TF-1000 Basketball Review

Spalding is not a big player when it comes to composite leathers because they seem to fix their attention on cheap rubber basketballs and the top-of-the-line genuine leather balls used in the NBA. That said, if you were looking for the exact things the Spalding TF-1000 offers, it’s safe to say that Spalding got it right in their redesigned composite leather models.

The Spalding TF-1000 is made to last with the ZK Microfiber technology. It also has nylon windings that support the overall structure of the ball. According to several purchasers, there are hardly any scratches and punctures with the cover at all! One player who prefers using the TF-1000 over any brands said it was three years since he made the purchase, and the ball still feels brand new.

On the other hand, the strengths of the Spalding TF-1000 can also be a cause for complaint. Its hard cover may be too firm for your liking, which means you have to be patient and break the ball in before it feels what it’s supposed to feel.

For some, it starts out feeling like a rubber basketball rather than one made of composite leather. Many who have loved the original TF 1000 basketball points these things out as major flaws for the redesigned basketball since the first installment has that game-ready feel straight out of the box. With these things considered, we still feel the Spalding TF-1000 basketball is a great purchase even if it is nothing like the original.

As for the redesigned TF-1000 basketball, it comes in two variants: The Spalding TF-1000 “Classic” and the Spalding TF-1000 “Legacy.” Now, in our opinion, the deeper channel design of the “Legacy” should not be worth that much, and it’s not like the “Classic” doesn’t have deep enough channels, to begin with. The choice will ultimately be up to you since some people like a basketball with a wider and deeper channel design, while some like it as it is.

In conclusion, we do think the Spalding TF-1000 basketball is not as bad as some of the old heads made it up to be. It’s not going to cure your nostalgia for the original, but it is made to last and gives that superb grip with each use like no other basketball can.

Did you find this post helpful? Then you may also like our post on the best Spalding basketballs here.

More helpful basketball reviews here:

> The Best Indoor Basketballs

> The Best Outdoor Basketballs

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Is the Spalding TF-1000 a good ball? ›

The dry grip microfiber cushioned cover gives it a soft game-ready feel right out of the box. It's the light color makes the PRECISION TF-1000 stand out, but it's the exceptional control that will make it your favorite ball. The NFHS-approved PRECISION TF-1000 is the perfect game ball for leagues of all ages.

Is Spalding TF-1000 an outdoor ball? ›

Spalding TF-1000 Legacy Indoor/Outdoor Basketball - Intermediate Size 6 (28.5") Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

Is Spalding basketball good? ›

Spalding genuine leather balls are simply the best indoor basketballs on the market, according to most of the sources. The fact that it's being used in the NBA, top basketball league of the world, just speaks louder than words and screams about best quality.

What is TF Spalding? ›

The Spalding® TF® line today is structured for use from outdoor to indoor, featuring rubber, composite leather, and genuine leather basketball options. The Spalding® basketballs that carry the TF® shield are made with exclusive materials engineered for performance, so athletes can play their best anytime, anywhere.

What does TF mean in basketball? ›

- 3FG = Three-Point Field Goals Made By Team. - 3FG% = Three-Point Field Goal Percentage By Team. - FT = Free Throws Made By Team. - FT% = Free Throw Percentage By Team.

What ball does the NBA use? ›

You could say 2021 has been a great year for Wilson. Not only did the 107-year-old brand open their first flagship store, Wilson became the official game ball of the NBA after 37 years.

Is Spalding basketball durable? ›

Whether you're a serious player or just getting started, Spalding's NeverFlat Elite Indoor-Outdoor Basketball is ideal for its ease of use, durability, and grippy surface. The composite faux leather cover makes it a good choice for both indoor or outdoor play.

Is Spalding better than Wilson? ›

When it comes to how the ball feels in the hand; how slippery or firm it is, then the Spalding basketball is the better choice. The reason why the Spalding outshines Wilson in terms of feel is the premium genuine leather used in its construction.

Which basketball has the best grip? ›

Best Basketball For Grip - Spalding TF-1000 Classic ZK.

Does NBA use Wilson or Spalding? ›

Wilson, who manufactured the basketballs for the league from 1946 until 1983, replaced Spalding as the official supplier for the NBA at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Is Spalding TF 500 good? ›

Very similar to the TF-1000, which is basically the standard of all basketballs, but for the price of a decent indoor/outdoor ball. It is good enough to be your child's indoor-only ball. The grip is very good, it seems to be true to round, and bounces very well for good ball-handling.

How much does a leather basketball cost? ›

Price. For a good quality composite leather indoor basketball, look to spend in the region of $40-$60. Genuine leather basketballs cost considerably more and are priced in excess of $100.

Do they still make leather basketballs? ›

Indoor Leather & Composite Basketballs

Our collection of TF Series indoor basketballs were designed to be soft with improved grip and feel for a seamless crossover. Choose from a wide variety of leather and composite leather basketballs played within college, high school, and leagues around the world.

What does a G mean in basketball? ›

Position abbreviations in Fantasy Basketball
PositionWhat It Means
SFSmall Forward
PFPower Forward
4 more rows

What does C mean in basketball? ›

The center (C)—also known as the five, the pivot or the big man—usually plays near the baseline or close to the basket (the "low post"). They are usually the tallest players on the floor.

Why did NBA leave Spalding? ›

After unhappy players criticized the composite material, which some said cut their fingers because of its friction, and the league office for their lack of a voice in the switch — only a small group of retired players tested the new model — the NBA ditched it and returned to its all-leather model after two months.

Why is Spalding leaving the NBA? ›

But Spalding's sponsorship contract with the NBA expires after this 2020-21 season, and they were unable to agree on terms for a new deal. Spalding will continue to produce the official NBA backboards and rims, plus a full line of other basketballs, including the TF-1000 and my personal outdoor favorite, the Neverflat.

Why did Wilson replace Spalding? ›

Wilson was the official maker of the NBA basketball for the first 37 years of the league before Spalding took over for the next 37. As Spalding failed to renew their contract, Wilson takes over ball-making duties once again.

Which basketball is better leather or rubber? ›

Ball Handling

Rubber basketballs for outdoor use have fewer pebbles and feel rougher to the touch. Even covered with sweat, properly broken-in official leather game balls for indoor use are not slippery. Their ball handling characteristics are superior to those of rubber basketballs.

How do you pick a good basketball? ›

How to Choose the Right Basketball - YouTube

What ball does the NBA use 2022? ›

Whether you're taking your passion to the court or repping your team's colors, bring home a piece of the game with Wilson, the official ball of the NBA, WNBA, Jr. NBA, and Basketball Africa League.

What ball is used in college basketball? ›

The NCAA uses a Wilson ball during the NCAA tournament, so nine power-conference schools use Wilson throughout the season. UCLA switched from Adidas to Wilson before last season.

Why did NBA change the ball? ›

“For the NBA and the players association — I think everybody wanted consistency,” Wilson GM Kevin Murphy told the Daily News. “The idea behind the change wasn't about fixing a problem, it was a bigger partnership transition. The ball on the court is the most important thing and we have to deliver.

How do I make my basketball less slippery? ›

How To Get More Grip In Basketball - YouTube

How long can a basketball last? ›

It really does depend on when you go to see a game in all honesty. If you count in overtime (which can range from 5-minutes to 3-minutes per side, depending on the tournament), then the game could easily last beyond an hour and a half. The average length of time for a basketball game is around 2-hours.

What is the best basketball size? ›

Size 7 basketballs are the standard ball size for most men's professional basketball associations, as well as men's college and high school basketball leagues.

How much does a real NBA basketball cost? ›

At most sporting goods stores, you can get an indoor basketball for probably around $30. If you guessed either of those prices for how much an actual NBA game ball costs, you'd be way off. According to the Spalding website, an official NBA game ball costs $169.99.

Is the new NBA ball different? ›

Clippers star Paul George spoke on the differences with the new game ball. "Not to make an excuse or anything, it's just a different basketball," George told reporters following a 99-94 Clippers victory over the Thunder. "It doesn't have the same touch or softness as the Spalding ball had.

Does NBA have a new ball? ›

The NBA switched its official ball from Spalding to Wilson. Some star players, including Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, believe that's a reason shooting percentages are down approximately two percent.

What is the difference between TF 250 and TF-500? ›

Engineered for the demands of the indoor and outdoor courts, the Excel TF-500 is the perfect all-rounder ball for ballers to master their skills on the court. Similarly, the React TF-250 features a durable composite cover, which is perfect for the transitions between concrete and the hardwood.

What does TF 250 mean in basketball? ›

Spalding TF-250 Basketball Review - YouTube

Is the Spalding TF 150 good? ›

This basketball is a great game ball for my 10-year old. It arrived already pumped up full and bounces great. It meets our expectations and is a good value. It will be used for a very long time during the season and all year.

How do you break in a leather basketball? ›

How to Break In the Spalding Official NBA Leather Game Basketball

What is the difference between a size 6 and 7 basketball? ›

It changes everything! Size 7 vs Size 6? Choose the right basketball for ...

What size is NBA? ›

During NBA and FIBA play men use a Size 7 basketball, with a circumference of 75 centimetres, while women use a Size 6 ball measuring 72.5cm around.

What basketballs are used in high school? ›

What basketballs do high schools use? The correct basketball for use in High School boys is the 29.5-inch (Size 7) ball. For the girls, the ball is 28.5 (Size 6) inches. They weigh 22 ounces for the boys, and the ladies' rock is 18 ounces.

What animal is a basketball made of? ›

Creating the Ball

The NBA Game Ball is made of leather that comes exclusively from the Horween Leather Company in Chicago. Horween is one of the oldest leather tanneries in the United States and receives shipments of 3,000 cowhides a week, which go through a rigorous three-week process.

Are any basketballs made in USA? ›

The NBA has parted ways with longtime sporting goods company Spalding, which produces the NBA's custom made basketballs, the league announced Wednesday. The new game ball will be manufactured by Chicago-based company Wilson, starting with the 2021-22 season, the league announced.

Is the Spalding TF 150 good? ›

This basketball is a great game ball for my 10-year old. It arrived already pumped up full and bounces great. It meets our expectations and is a good value. It will be used for a very long time during the season and all year.

Are Molten basketballs good? ›

The best indoor outdoor basketball

The best hybrid ball we tested is the Molten – indoor/outdoor. In our tests, no ball performed better. It lost no air, wicked away water like no other ball, and had amazing grip and feel, a must-have for outdoor play.

What is the difference between a size 6 and 7 basketball? ›

Size 6. Size 6 basketballs measure 28.5” and have a standard weight of 20 oz. Logically, size 6 balls are slightly smaller than size 7 basketballs, making them ideal for players with smaller hand spans.

How many sizes of basketballs are there? ›

There are four standard basketball sizes used in game play; 29.5" circumference, 28.5" circumference, 27.5" circumference, and 25.5" circumference. Below you'll find more information on these four sizes, including the recommended age groups for each.

Is Spalding TF 500 good? ›

Very similar to the TF-1000, which is basically the standard of all basketballs, but for the price of a decent indoor/outdoor ball. It is good enough to be your child's indoor-only ball. The grip is very good, it seems to be true to round, and bounces very well for good ball-handling.

What is TF 150? ›

Varsity - TF-150

The Varsity TF-150 is a durable rubber basketball designed for recreational outdoor play. Featuring full ball pebbling and raised grip design to give the player a better feel and control of the ball. Its rugged rubber cover can stand up to the harshest of concrete courts and playground jungles.

Why is a 3x3 ball so small? ›

But the 3x3 ball is a bit smaller at 28.5 inches. This change was introduced to allow improved ball handling, which is crucial in the street style of the sport. It is also better suited to the faster pace of the half-court game.

What kind of basketball should I get? ›

Most adult men's leagues — which range from ages 13 and up — use a size 7 basketball, which is 29.5″ in circumference. By comparison, most women's leagues and youth leagues that cater to children ages 9 – 12 use a size 6 ball, which comes in at 28.5″.

What size basketball does a 13 year old use? ›

For boys, a size 6 basketball should be used between the ages of 12 and 13. For girls, a size 6 basketball should be used once they hit 12-years-old and is the official size used at the high school, college, and professional level. The circumference of the basketball should be 28.5" and the weight 20 oz.

What size basketball should an 11 year old use? ›

Size 5 27.5” 17 oz Boys and girls ages 9-11 years old. This is the standard youth basketball you find in most stores. Size 4 25.5” 14 oz Boys and girls ages 5-8 years old.

How do you pick out a basketball? ›

How to Choose the Right Basketball - YouTube

How big is a size 6 basketball? ›

Basketball Size Chart - Recommended Sizes for Kids & Adults
Size 628.5"20 oz
Size 527.5"17 oz
Size 425.5"14 oz
Size 322"10 oz
3 more rows

What size basketball does a 7th grader use? ›

Grades 7-8:

Boys - Size 29.5 (regulation size men's ball)

What size basketball Do girls use? ›

The 28.5” women's basketball, or size 6 basketball, is the official ball size for most women's professional basketball associations, including the WNBA, including women's college and high school basketball leagues. This ball has a 28.5” circumference, just one inch smaller than the one used in the NBA.

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