One size does not fit all kids for shin protection. The right size shin-guard is critical to comfort and protection for your mini. Most kids shin-guards have padding in an attached ankle guard for extra protection. When first starting out, look for a single strap system with a front closure to keep ankle and shin-guards in place to eliminate constant adjusting on the field.
The new ball is a product of four years of design and testing, and looks are about the only thing it shares with its older relative. The original model was comprised of 32 individual panels that had to be hand-stitched together. The new one, manufactured in China and Pakistan, has just six panels that are machine-stitched around a newly designed latex bladder, ensuring a more stable performance from ball to ball.
When any object goes through the air, a thin cushion of air wraps around it that stays relatively still. This boundary layer is why you get dust trapped on your ceiling fan. At slower speeds, the air around a soccer ball moves smoothly over the surface and separates off the sides of the ball at its widest points. Imagine a ball moving from right to left across a clock, Goff explains, so traveling from the 3 to the 9. With laminar flow, the air flows over the surface and then flows off at the 12 and 6, which creates more drag in the air. Drag slows the ball down faster. At higher speeds, the air moves turbulently across the ball’s surface and peels off at the 2 and 4. The wind effectively wraps around the back. This turbulent flow has less drag, which means the ball keeps moving at high speed for longer.
The ultimate determination is how a soccer ball feels and performs for you on contact. A good soccer ball will not only be tough enough to hold up to your fast and furious play, it will feature a soft casing for comfortable heading, and durable stitching (if stitched). It should handle well, and have good response. Most good soccer game balls feature a poly-urethane (PU) casing. Most leagues prefer 32-panel designs for its performance value. Also check for a warranty. Your new soccer ball should come with a manufacturer's warranty against defects and damage caused by normal play.
In 2010, the infamous Jabulani balls for the World Cup in South Africa transitioned from turbulent to laminar flow between 50 and 45 miles per hour, right at the speed for corner and free kicks. The transition between these different types of flow causes even more drag on the ball, which caused the Jabulani to wobble in the air and drop in ways that players weren’t expecting.
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.