“I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.
This soccer ball is specifically designed for entry level youth players so that your young boy or girl will have no problem controlling this ball. In contrast to several of the soccer balls for kids on our list, this ball does not come inflated making for a learning experience for your young one. Kids can learn all about the mechanics of properly inflating a soccer ball before they began to play with it. The vibrant color of this ball paired with a dark asymmetrical pattern on the foreground presents a wonderful visual sensory stimulation experience for your young kid.
Every four years there’s a new ball for the World Cup—and every four years players are unhappy with it. Maybe it’s too light and has too much lift, like the 2002 Fevernova. Or maybe it wobbles unexpectedly in the air, making it harder for goalies to predict its motion, like the 2006 Teamgist. Or maybe the ball suddenly changes speed, dropping out of the air and causing accidental handballs, like the 2010 Jabulani.
This time there is no stitching to attach the panels, but they are thermally bonded. This is the interesting part. First, we wanted to see how it performs in the air for a free kick. You will find a decent, predictable trajectory. Although when you are knuckling, the result mainly depends on your skill and the air direction, a ball plays a vital role as well to help your process of a successful knuckle shot.
So it is now clear to you that you won’t have to worry about the air retention capability, durability. Now, how good is the playability? Well, in terms of rebounding, this ball performs almost like a standard ball but obviously not exactly like standard balls. Having said that, we must say the rebound is enough for recreational play and practicing purpose. You will also find this ball a bit heavier than standard balls during the shots. That is why we don’t suggest you use this option for tournament play.
This year, the ball shouldn’t have that kind of impact on which team wins the World Cup. In wind tunnel tests, Goff found that Telstar 18 has a very similar aerodynamic profile to the 2014 Brazuca ball, which flew without the wobbles of the Jabulani. The Jabulani was the first ball to have six seams and despite having a roughened surface, it was too smooth, says Goff. When the Brazuca was released, it had 68 percent more seams than the Jabulani to help change the airflow around the ball. The Telstar 18 is even more improved. Instead of transitioning to laminar flow in the middle of free kicks, Goff found that the Telstar 18 goes through its drag crisis at a lower speed of 38 miles an hour.
My friend and I were kicking a soccer ball around the front yard. It was maybe 2007 and I was getting ready to leave for a couple weeks on a trial. Trying to be cute, I tried a handling skill where I flipped the ball up behind my back and then kick it with my heel so it comes back over my head again. So I kicked the ball too hard, it goes out into the street, and a truck promptly runs it over.
On the other hand, replicas (sometimes called training balls or gliders) are designed to be just like the official match balls but are much cheaper. Their panels are often stitched rather than thermally-bonded and are made of a different material. However, they’re not necessarily less durable than official match balls. So, they’re the recommended option for most players.