That is an excellent question, and luckily it
is even the type of question that you can answer
yourself through experimentation. Below I will
outline a scientific experiment that you can do to
find the answer to your question, but in case you
don't have the time, I'll also tell you what is
When we inflated a basketball we are filling it
with lots of air. Basketballs are actually very
similar to balloons, except that they have
thicker, harder skins. The more air we pump into
them the more squished the air has to become to
fit inside the ball. As the air becomes more
squished, it pushes more on the inside of the
ball. When you have a ball which is more inflated,
there is more force pushing on the inside of that
ball. (We call that air pressure). When a bouncing
ball hits the ground, you are temporarily pressing
on the ball which squishes the air even more. The
air doesn't like this, and presses back with a
certain force. That force is what causes the ball
to come back up. With more air in the ball, the
air starts at higher pressure and pushes back that
much harder when the ball is bounced.
So that short answer is that more inflated
basketballs bounce better because they have more
air pressure inside them.
This is easy to test. Just get an inflatable
ball and a pump. Have an adult help you take most
of the air out of the ball, then try to bounce it.
Look at how high it bounces. Then use the pump to
put a bit of air into the ball. Again, look at how
high it bounces. Do this several times, until the
ball is completely inflated. This simple
experiment involves all aspects of true science.
You begin with a question, design an experiment,
make observations and then draw a conclusion.
I hope that helps. Thanks for the question.