In 1937, the regulation soccer ball put on a little weight, increasing from 13-15 ounces to 14-16 ounces. Soccer balls used to be made exclusively of leather. Not so these days! Current technologies have come up with leather-like synthetic materials that are softer, more lightweight, water-proof, and perform as well if not better than leather soccer balls. As for the look, early soccer balls were tan but difficult to see from the stands; although white leather-washed soccer balls are known to have been used. White soccer balls replaced their tan predecessors in the 1950s, and were composed of 18 panels. Black spots were added to allow soccer players to track the ball's swerve. Today's soccer balls come in an array of colorful designs and styles to suit every player.
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.
New! 2018 FIFA® World Cup Russia Telstar Mechta Ball: Get your own official knockout stage ball, designed with a new red color to represent the host country. While the Telstar Mechta features an intensified look, it has the same high-quality construction as the Telstar 18 ball used in the group phase. Mechta means “dream” or “ambition” in Russian, honoring both players’ and fans’ FIFA World Cup ambitions.
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.
The Adidas Glider is machine stitched with a durable TPU exterior. Such an outer layer makes it a durable product as this ball stands tall against scratches as well as abrasion. It also has a butyl bladder which makes sure that once you pump the air into it, it stays there for an extended duration. So regardless of the rough usage, this ball will stay inflated for years to come.
These are used in international level matches and top league matches like UEFA Champions League, Italian Serie A, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga, Major League Soccer. Not only these but also all the tournaments approved by FIFA. So you can easily understand that these are the highest quality balls with the highest level of air retention, shape, water absorption, trajectory, curve, and performance. Otherwise, FIFA would not have approved these balls.
“Had I seen the drag curve for Jabulani prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa I would have been calling FIFA and Adidas saying please don’t use this ball,” Goff says. The fact that the Jabulani became unpredictable and beach-ball-like during these long passes really helped Spain win in 2010, Goff says. The Spanish team relied almost entirely on short precise passes, without long kicks that became unstable with the Jabulani ball. “That was the perfect example of a team that really fit the style of play for that ball,” Goff says.
Well, panels are not any different component. Panels are the segments or octagon quilt that are seen outside the balls. Of course, nowadays you will find some other shapes besides octagon. FIFA official balls usually contain 32 panels. But nowadays you will also find 26, 18, 14, 8 or even 6 panels with different shapes and designs from those of conventional balls.
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.
For those taking their game to the next level, it’s important to train with a ball similar to what is used for your matches. Your passing, shooting and general foot skills will be different for lighter soccer balls made with a premium bladder like latex. Try out an NFHS approved ball which is used for some club, high school, and college teams. To be NFHS approved, the soccer ball needs to: