Football and basketball are among the most popular sports in the United States, and the popularity doesen’t stay within the borders either. The best players in sports are superstars, and as you might know already, it isn’t easy to become one. There are many differences between football and basketball in many categories. This article will walk you through the differences and similarities between the two sports. So, what’s the difference?
Football is different from basketball, such as more equipment and an outdoor playing field, whereas basketball is played indoors with less equipment. Also, football is considered harder, yet it’s more difficult to get into the NBA. Football is more popular in the US, and basketball is globally.
As you can see, there are many considerable differences in every area mentioned. However, the differences doesen’t stop there, as there is more. Stick with me, and I’ll explain the differences in each category more in-depth, such as which is better, harder, more popular, and so more.
Let’s start with the playing grounds!
- Football Field & Basketball Court Differences
- Football & Basketball Equipment Differences
- Is Football Better Than Basketball?
- Is Football Harder Than Basketball?
- Is Football or Basketball More Popular?
- Earning Differences Between Football and Basketball
- My Favorite Football Equipment
Football Field & Basketball Court Differences
Basketball and football are so different, but the most noticeable is the field and court they are played on.
Football is played outdoors on gigantic fields, measured at 360 feet (110 m) long by 160 feet (49 m) wide. In contrast, all professional basketball games are played on smaller indoor courts with diameters of 94 feet (28.7m) by 50 feet (15.2m).
In addition to the location and size, the materials they are made from vary drastically.
Modern football fields are made from artificial turf instead of grass because of easier and cheaper maintenance, yet authentic grass fields exist.
However, all proper basketball fields are made from maple hardwood, yet other materials such as asphalt exist outdoors. Hardwood is the optimal court material for the ball’s bounce, and surface feel.
Last but not least, the score object is widely different too. In football, it’s called goalposts or uprights, and in basketball, it’s called a coop, basket, or a goal.
In football, you will score a goal by advancing to the opponent’s end zone with the football. The team will get six points by advancing with the ball to the end zone, which is called a touchdown. However, the ball can be kicked through the goalposts, which will award three points.
The only method to score points in basketball is to get the ball through the hoop. However, not all scores are the same. Three points are awarded if you shoot a basketball behind the three-point line. If the shot comes inside the three-point line, it’s two points for the team.
Football & Basketball Equipment Differences
The biggest difference between football and basketball equipment is the ball. The only similarity between them is the color and material.
Footballs are shaped like an egg but even more spherical. The polar axis of footballs is greater than its equatorial diameter, which serves football purposes better. This allows spiral motion, easy throw, and secure catching for the players.
In contrast, basketballs are perfectly round as they should for a consistent bounce.
Both professional footballs and basketballs are made from leather, yet synthetic and rubber balls exist. Leather is the most expensive material of the three, but it’s the best performance-wise because it’s soft and supple.
Football and basketball shoes have some noticeable differences too. In short, football cleats are made for outdoor use; they have plastic studs on the outsole, the outsole is overall more durable, whereas basketball shoes are meant for indoors; they absorb shock very well and provide good lateral support.
As football is played on grass, studs must penetrate the surface for traction. However, basketball is played on a hard wooden floor, so a sticky flat outsole is better to provide the necessary traction.
On top of other equipment that isn’t much for basketball, you can find a ton more for football. For basketball, you will only need a basketball to play with, basketball shoes that arent’ even necessary, and clothing. However, football equipment includes;
- Shoulder pads
- Hip Pads
- Thigh Pads
- Knee Pads
- Athletic cup
That said, the average basketball equipment price is around $100, whereas it’s as high as $800 in football, potentially more.
Oh, and you will naturally need a basketball court and a football field in addition to the equipment.
Is Football Better Than Basketball?
One of the most asked questions is whether football is better than basketball and vice versa. Overall, this is an opinion-based answer, yet, there is an answer to be said when examining the facts on both sports.
Overall, basketball is better than football because it requires a more versatile skill set, it isn’t as dangerous, there are more participants both in the US and globally, and it can easily be played recreationally. In contrast, football is more dangerous, expensive, and it’s harder to play recreationally.
That said, the answer is ultimately opinion-based, as you might imagine. However, when weighing all the sports’ pros, cons, features, and attributes, basketball is equipped with more benefits.
To see the most notable ones side by side, see the table below, and you can get a good idea about it. However, this doesen’t mean that football can’t be better for you than it is for thousands if not millions of people.
|Skills||Position based skillset||Versatile skillset|
|Average equipment price||$800||$100|
|Price of play||Much more expensive||Less expensive|
|Participation in the US||8.9 million||30.3 million|
|Global fanbase||410 million||2.2 billion|
|Danger||More dangerous||Less dangerous|
|Playing opportunities||Only outdoors||Indoors & outdoors|
|Annual average pro earnings||$3.26 million||$8.32 million|
Is Football Harder Than Basketball?
The difficulty is yet another highly popular topic of debate between football and baseball players and fan. Which sport is the more difficult one, or can it be said and proven?
Generally, football is harder than basketball because of higher physical demand, constant tackles, and hits. However, it’s more difficult to get to the NBA than in the NFL because there is fewer position, they all are similar, and there are more basketball players in the world.
The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as it’s in difficulty between baseball and softball. Nonetheless, there is an answer, and it’s also ranked by ESPN. ESPN states that football is the world’s third hardest sport, whereas basketball is the fourth.
To further understand the analysis by ESPN, take a look at the ten skills the analysis is based on, and you can see why football is considered harder than basketball.
This, however, can be looked at from different points of view that result in different answers. In short, football is harder because the physical toll and safety risks are higher, yet, basketball requires more skill to play as a team has fewer positions, there are more players, and the positions are very similar compared to football positions.
Is Football or Basketball More Popular?
I have already revealed that football and basketball are some of the most played sports in the United States. In addition, they both belong to the ”big five”, including football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, and soccer. So, which positions itself higher on the popularity scale, football or basketball?
Football is the most popular and watched sport in the United States. However, there are more participants in basketball both in the United States and globally. In addition, there are more basketball fans globally too. Thus, football is more popular in the United States, whereas basketball is global.
In a situation like this where the participants and fans vary both in the United States and globally, it’s difficult to say an overall answer which sport is more popular.
In the United States, 37% of people say that football is their favorite sport, whereas 11% vote for basketball. However, there are 8.9 million football participants in the US, whereas basketball players exceed 30.3 million. This is because football is rarely played recreationally, whereas you can find a basketball court in every neighborhood.
When moving beyond the borders of America, the difference is clear which sport is more popular. When looking at the top 10 most popular sports, basketball comes third with over 2.4 billion fans, whereas football or American football globally isn’t found from the list.
Below you can see where football and basketball are the most popular. Both sports are globally most popular in the United States, but the following countries might surprise you. Take a look if you will!
|Most Popular Football Countries||Most Popular Basketball Countries|
|1. United States||1. United States|
|2. Canada||2. Australia|
|3. Germany||3. Philippines|
|4. United Kingdom||4. Canada|
|5. Mexico||5. New Zealand|
Earning Differences Between Football and Basketball
Last but not least, the top players’ salaries in both NFL and NBA would make the average joe faint where he stands. It doesn’t surprise me, as if I would see an increase of tens of millions of dollars or more each year on my bank account and other means, I would faint too. A victor needs to be stated, so which is the king of earning salaries, football or basketball?
|Top 5 Football Earners||Top 5 Basketball Earners|
|1. Patric Mahomes, $45 million||1. Stephen Curry, $45.7 million|
|2. Josh Allen, $43 million||2. James Harden, $44.3 million|
|3. Dak Prescott, $40 million||3. John Wall, $44.3 million|
|4. Deshaun Watson, $39 million||4. Russell Westbrook, $44.2 million|
|5. Russell Wilson, $35 million||5. Kevin Durant, $42 million|
As you can see, the earnings are astronomical for both sports. The average human like me and presumably you can’t begin to comprehend what those numbers can buy you. Oh, and those numbers aren’t going to end for most guys soon, but they keep coming each year!
Now, the difference isn’t big, but it’s clear. Professional basketball players in the NBA earn more money than professional football players in the NFL. Although, at that point, I don’t see how it makes a difference as you can buy practically anything you want with each earing.
After seeing the basketball player earnings, especially how close the top 5 are to each other compared to the football players, it’s no wonder that basketball players earn the most of all sports, on average. Some individuals, such as Roger Federer from tennis, managed to earn $106 million in one year, but that’s not what you would call average.
According to Statista, basketball players earn the most on average when we take all players within a pro league in all sports. The average earnings of an NBA player are $8.32 million annually. The second highest might surprise you as it is IPL, the professional cricket league with average earnings of $5.3 million annually.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.