The soccer is the world's most popular and widely watched game. Due to increasing technological advancement and demand for performance, the ball manufacturers have been developing new designs progressively. A traditional spherical football made of 32 leather panels stitched together in 1970s has become only 14 synthetic curved panels thermally bonded without stitches ball in 2006 and more recently 8 panels football in 2010. Despite being most popular game in the world, scan data is available on aerodynamic properties of footballs especially Jabulani, Teamgeist and Fevernova balls. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate aerodynamic performances of these three soccer balls. The aerodynamic forces and moments were measured experimentally for a range of wind speeds. The aerodynamic forces and their non-dimensional coefficients were determined and compared.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Xn84L3Kcs