Premium Match Balls. These are the most expensive soccer balls that you’ll find on the market today. They are FIFA-approved balls, so they meet all of the standards necessary for international play. Air retention, water-resistance, and performance are far superior when compared to a training ball. Virtually every professional league uses a ball of this quality for game play.
Although the length of kick may end up being a little shorter, the changes make the Telstar 18 more balanced, says Alam. On other balls, Alam and his team have found that there is a difference in how the ball flies based on where it’s kicked in relation to the seams. His tests have found that the Telstar 18 ball doesn’t have as much variation. The total length of seam of the Telstar 18 is 14.1 feet, 3.28 feet more than on the Brazuca. With the longer seam, and more symmetric panels, no matter how the ball is turned there is the same amount of seam exposed. “The other two balls were not like that, they were significantly different,” he says.
With the increased seam length, Goff says there was actually a risk that this ball would be too rough. “Very little changes in those textures can have noticeable aerodynamic effects,” he says. The fact that the Telstar 18 has almost the same drag curve as the Brazuca, with aerodynamic properties changing at about the same speeds, is impressive. “It has to be an engineering and technical challenge,” he says.
It is a common misconception but, believe it or not, soccer was not actually invented in England. Although the sport, known across the pond as football, was revolutionized by the country in the mid-19th century, records actually trace its origin back over 2,000 years to ancient China. Called “association football” when it was played by the British 200 years ago, the terms “football” and “soccer” were both eventually derived from abbreviations of the longer name over time.
While this ball is absolutely adorable and feels like it's a good quality, I'm disappointed with the one I received. It has little chips in the design—there are a few little white marks in the sections that are orange. Also, there is some sort of sticky stuff on the ball, almost like residue from an old sticker. I can probably remove it with Goo-Gone... I'm just not thrilled that it seems to be used or at least bought and returned. While I'm sure my nephew will love it for his 1st birthday party tomorrow, I'm mildly embarrassed to give it to my brother and his wife because of the appearance. If the party weren't tomorrow, I'd return / exchange it. Frustrating!
As always with Nike balls, the Merlin has an excellent feel, particularly when passing. The ball is also great for shooting due to Nike’s 4-panel construction, 360-degree sweet spot technology and the soft polyurethane outer material. It won’t deviate too much in the air due to the thermally-bonded pentagonal panel layout, so it’s perfect for training as well as games.
Another type of soccer ball that some players may find to be useful is the indoor soccer ball. Indoor balls are designed to have less bounce and rebound to them, making it possible to control the ball on a tighter court or field. The cover of an indoor ball is also the strongest of any category, so it can withstand play on turn, hard court surfaces, and impacts with walls.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
Some of the best moments are made with a soccer ball. Whether it’s an official World Cup, Copa America or Champions League ball, we have licensed competition balls to ignite your gameday play … and the training balls that will get you there. Find performance-crafted soccer balls at Hibbett Sports in just the right size, from size 3 for the youngest players to size 5 for the most experienced. Shop indoor play with 6-panel balls, or 18- to 32-panel outdoor panel balls with ultimate control and playability. We have the right ball for natural or artificial turf. Select from match, premium match or training balls. Is Futsal your game? We have those too. Hibbett Sports’ high-volume purchasing power means in-stock access to the brands you trust like adidas, Nike, Select and more. Shop soccer balls in the store or online at Hibbett Sports.
Controlling the game is everything. From touch, shape, and movement, to flight of the ball, the construction of your soccer ball can impact how well you command the pitch. Competitive soccer players usually have different types of soccer balls for training, match day or just to kick around. See the options below for choosing the right adidas soccer ball for your favorite type of play.