How Easy Is It To Get A Basketball FIBA Approved?

Moltne FIBA Approved Basketball
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Basketball FIBA Approved?

To get a basketball approved by FIBA, the manufacturer has to decide if the costs are worth the effort. The brand will need to weigh up the costs and the benefits, of having FIBA Approval on the ball. If their ball is to be used in level 1 category competitions then the ball must have FIBA Approval. Fees involved and the level of these fees depends on the size of ball being tested. The fees are also larger if you are applying for level 1 status rather than level 2 approval. The headline cost for a size 7 basketball granted FIBA Approval for level 1 could cost in excess of CHF60,200. Over a four year period this can amount to £50,000 over the length of the approval.

Spalding TF-1000 FIBA Approved Basketball
What Costs Are Incurred When Trying To Get A Basketball FIBA Approved?

Costs incurred when seeking FIBA Approval assume the balls pass 1st time. If the basketballs fail the initial testing, a second testing fee will apply. The time to create the application and any postage for shipping samples has not been valued during this estimate. The costs of fees may change so are only estimated based on fees charged for the 2015 to 2019 licence.

Brands and manufacturers need to be registered with FIBA to begin to get a basketball approved. The brand has to complete a detailed questionnaire and supply supporting material. If accepted, they will be issued with ‘The Handbook and Equipment Approval Agreement Template’. The cost for this process if CHF1000 (£830).

What Happens Once A Basketball Has Been Accepted Onto The FIBA Programme?

Once the basketballs have been accepted onto the testing programme, a testing fee will need to be paid. This is paid to FIBA on behalf of the test house, plus any relevant vat for the country concerned. I have not included vat in this article. It is assumed that vat can be claimed back by the companies involved.

A basketball seeking level 1 approval the costs will be approximately;
Size of BallFee in Swiss francsApprox Fee In GBP£
Size 7CHF3200£2657
Size 6CHF2700£2242
Size 5CHF2000£1661

Testing fees are non refundable as they cover the cost of the test.

Level 2 Fees Are Slightly Lower And The Costs Are As Follows;
Size of BallFee in Swiss francsFee in GBP£
Size 7CHF2200£1827
Size 6CHF1700£1411
Size 5Not ApplicableNot Applicable

Once a basketball has been approved, the brand will need to pay FIBA a annual licensing fee. This fee varies depending on the size and category as shown in the table below:

Licensing FeeSwiss FrancPaid AnnuallyLicensing FeeSwiss Franc
Size and CategoryLevel 1Size and CategoryLevel 2
Men Size 7CHF14,000Men Size 7CHF8,500
Women Size 6CHF9,500Women Size 6CHF5,500
Mini Size 5CHF6,500Mini Size 5Not Tested

The licensing fees shown above are paid annually and will also incur vat. FIBA are based in Switzerland but you might not be able to claim this back.

Basketball Court
Basketball Approval
How Many Basketballs Get Tested When Seeking FIBA Approval?

The amount of balls required to be tested, depends upon the category and the size of balls being tested. 2 balls are sent to FIBA with the initial application for assessment. The stated amount of balls below, are then sent to the test house for thorough testing.

Level 1 – Leather, synthetic or composite leather basketballs
Size Of BallAge GroupHow Many Balls Are To Be Sent
Size 7Men's8 Sample Balls
Size 6Women's6 Sample Balls
Size 5Mini's5 Sample Balls
Level 2 – Rubber basketballs
Size Of BallAge GroupHow Many Balls To Be Sent
Size 7Men's5 Sample Balls
Size 6Women's4 Sample Balls
Size 5Mini'sNot Applicable

In addition to this each year upon request, 2 additional samples may need to be supplied to FIBA. They may carry out random quality control tests and this is at the cost of the applicant/manufacturer. This extra stage is to ensure integrity of  FIBA and the brand of basketball tested. It ensures no manufacturer will risk lowering the quality of the product already tested.

A Tough Basketball Game
How Much Would You Pay For A FIBA Approved Basketball
How Long Is The FIBA Approval Granted On A Basketball?

Given the costs to get FIBA Approval, manufacturers want the ball to be given the full term of approval. FIBA have a new badge every 4 years, this carries the years covered by the licence granted during that term. If a ball is granted approval in January 2015 the years covered by that licence would be 2015 – 2019. On the 1st January 2020 new testing would need to be carried out. This would then allow a new 4 year licence to be granted. At the time of writing, balls will be covered during the period of 2020 – 2023. Brands tend to stay with the designs they have for 4 years. New models, are then introduced when they are seek the new licence.

Molten BG3800 Basketball
How Much Does FIBA Approval Add To The Cost Of The Basketball?

You cannot put an exact figure on how much the testing procedure adds to the cost of a basketball. Without the testing, the basketball cannot get the FIBA Approved badge for use in level 1 basketball competitions. This is turn reduces the amount of exposure the ball and brand will get. Obviously this might reduce the potential sales the ball might achieve. If you were able to buy the exact same quality of basketball without approval, would you? If it hasn’t gone through the testing process then surely this would make the ball cheaper. Some manufacturers produce the exact same ball and call it a different name, at a reduced price.

How Does IT Cost 50K To Get FIBA Approval?
Is It Worth A Brand Seeking FIBA Approval?

A brand must equate how many balls they would expect to sell with or without the FIBA badge. A size 7 basketball achieving level 1 approval will need to recoup at least £50,000 over the 4 year period. If they intend to sell 12,500 balls per size, per year then this only adds £1 per ball. However, if the market is 50% less then it will add £2 per ball. This figure gets added to the retail price of the ball and is normally at least doubled. The consumer can expect to pay at least £4 per ball more just for carrying the FIBA license.

Are you interested in what rules are imposed on a basketball manufacturer? Then this article should show you what hoops (no pun intended) they have to go through.

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