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.
Adidas says its design was motivated by Russia's urban landscapes. It uses textured graphics and a metallic sheen to bring a modern look to the classic design. The ball is made of six panels of thermally bonded TPU and about 15% silicone. The materials allow for better trajectory, accuracy, responsiveness, and low water absorption. It also feels well-padded and slightly lighter than previous match balls.
The outer casing of a soccer ball is composed of panels made from synthetic materials, such as PVC, PU, or a combination, sewn or glued together. Soccer ball casings are rarely leather anymore, since leather tends to absorb moisture making the ball heavier and not perform as well. The number of panels or sections of the outer casing varies according to design. Most professional soccer balls are the 32-panel design. More panels mean a rounder and stabler ball, and a more accurate flight.
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.
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.

Your kids can continue to play soccer in their yard even after the sun goes down. The Glowcity Light up Soccer ball is equipped with two high bright LED lights. The lights are housed inside the ball and only turn on upon impact. The lights will also stay on during the game. Since the lights and batteries are on the inside, they will continue to work if moisture gets on the ball. The ball is built to survive countless night games as it is composed of a rubber material. The black color with the LED lights gives this ball a super sleek look that will have children excited to play.
This makes such a cute gift for a toddler or baby! I love the fox design. I bought this for my 1 year old for Christmas and he loves it. It comes deflated and comes with a small air pump and it’s super easy to inflate. I also like that it’s made of a sturdy material if a baby or toddler bites into it, they aren’t going to get a chunk out of it (like they might with foam toys). It doesn’t bounce, but it’s fun to kick around and won’t hurt too much if kids are throwing it around and it happens to hit someone on accident. (I would know because my 3 year old loves to throw it at his little brother, lol.)
Whether it was a size 3, 4, or 5, we found that the Adidas Starlancer performed as it should. This allows beginning players at any age to begin getting a feel for what it is like to have the ball at their feet. There are two color options that come with the Starlancer as well and each performs as it should. For normal passing, crossing, and shooting drills, we found this soccer ball to be true to form. The machine stitching is strong and offers a fairly long lasting performance.
When a tournament is held (like the FIFA World Cup), the sponsor of the event will design a brand new ball. These are official match balls – they’re used by professionals during real matches. They are designed to the highest possible build quality, have textured surfaces to improve stability in flight, and feature thermally-bonded panels for durability.
The first step in purchasing a soccer ball is determining the proper size for your age group. Many soccer leagues have different size requirements, so be sure to check with your coach or organization to find out which is the proper size for the age group that the ball will be used with. Soccer balls for match use come in three different sizes which range from size 3 to size 5.
Please note, there are only 3 sizes available for this model; size 5, size 4, and size 3. So it is crucial that if you are looking for size 2 or size 1, then this is not an option for you. So, choose the right size before buying so that you don’t regret after receiving the purchase. If you are not sure which size means what then click here to read our guideline.

This makes such a cute gift for a toddler or baby! I love the fox design. I bought this for my 1 year old for Christmas and he loves it. It comes deflated and comes with a small air pump and it’s super easy to inflate. I also like that it’s made of a sturdy material if a baby or toddler bites into it, they aren’t going to get a chunk out of it (like they might with foam toys). It doesn’t bounce, but it’s fun to kick around and won’t hurt too much if kids are throwing it around and it happens to hit someone on accident. (I would know because my 3 year old loves to throw it at his little brother, lol.)
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.
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.
If you're headed to the park to play a quick pickup game, brightly colored adidas soccer balls can help make it easy to distinguish your match from other games that might be being played nearby. Dribbling skills conducted with mini Nike soccer balls can hone your control skills, so you can glide past defenders with ease. Look for 12-panel soccer balls that provide a true, accurate flight with each strike, and rubber butyl bladders that offer excellent shape and air retention, so you can quickly jump into a game without looking for a pump. If you prefer playing indoors, check out a futsal ball that's slightly smaller than regulation soccer balls and is designed for use on hard indoor courts.
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