The sport that uses the largest ball in professional play is basketball.
Basketball is a sport that is played by two teams of five players each. The objective of the game is to shoot a ball through a hoop that is 10 feet high, which is mounted to a backboard. The ball used in professional play is referred to as the official basketball and it measures 29.5 inches in circumference and weighs between 20-22 ounces.
The official basketball was first introduced in 1949 by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and it has remained unchanged since then. Before 1949, the ball used in professional play varied in size and weight. The introduction of the official basketball helped standardize the game and make it more consistent across different leagues and countries.
The size and weight of the basketball is important to the game because it affects how the ball is handled and shot. A larger and heavier ball would be harder to handle and shoot, while a smaller and lighter ball would be easier. The size and weight of the official basketball is designed to be a balance between these two extremes and to allow players to perform a variety of skills, such as dribbling, passing, and shooting.
In addition to professional play, the official basketball is also used in college and high school basketball, as well as in international competitions. The popularity of basketball has led to the sport being played at all levels, from amateur to professional, making the official basketball one of the most recognizable and widely used sports balls in the world.
In conclusion, the sport that uses the largest ball in professional play is basketball and the official basketball, with a circumference of 29.5 inches and a weight between 20-22 ounces, has been used in the game since 1949. The size and weight of the official basketball is designed to be a balance between handling and shooting, making the game more consistent and enjoyable for players of all levels.