The downside? They’re expensive. Like, really expensive, depending on which one you get. Whether you really need one depends on your budget and how you’re going to be using your ball. For example, I use official match balls for practicing freekicks because they fly through the air really nicely. However, I don’t use them for training because if I lose my ball I’ll be set back $100-$300.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
Of everything that we have analyzed about these soccer balls, one of the biggest things that you can look at for is the external material of the ball. TPU seems like it is the standard in durability for soccer balls in this price range. Machine stitching is another thing that you want to make sure that you have, as it appears that some balls that are stitched otherwise can split open and leak. In any case, make sure that you have your own soccer pump so that you can always be sure that your soccer ball is properly inflated.
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:
Every four years there’s a new ball for the World Cup—and every four years players are unhappy with it. Maybe it’s too light and has too much lift, like the 2002 Fevernova. Or maybe it wobbles unexpectedly in the air, making it harder for goalies to predict its motion, like the 2006 Teamgist. Or maybe the ball suddenly changes speed, dropping out of the air and causing accidental handballs, like the 2010 Jabulani.
From the players at the World Cup to the best clubs in the world battling it our for the Champions League title, the little round thing at the center of the field is an Adidas soccer ball. The 2014 World Cup Brazuca soccer ball became an instant winner, with the unique panel design that helps the ball fly straight, far, and accurate. The UEFA Champions League match ball features a star panel design, helping the stars on the field play at the top level. These soccer balls are considered some of the best in the world. When looking for a lower price on a match ball, the Adidas Competition soccer ball uses a traditional panel design to deliver the best touch and play. The Adidas Top Training soccer balls are perfected to help retain air and shape while taking a pounding during a touch training session. The Adidas Top Replique and Replique soccer balls perform well as a trainer or quick game. The Adidas UCL Capitano is a great ball to always have on hand for a game with friends.
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.
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.
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.
Everything becomes scaled down for smaller soccer players compared to the adult game. Kids play on small fields nowhere near the size of a full regulation field 100 or more yards long, with as few as three players compared to 11 for grownups. Even in a league, parents may serve as referees, games may last only 20 minutes and scores more than likely won't be kept. In keeping with this small world, kids' soccer balls are also smaller.
The history of soccer balls date back to ancient times. From a couple centuries BC to about 200 AD, the Chinese used balls made from animal skins in a game called 'tsu chu', in which players had to pass them through a net stretched between two poles. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and even the Egyptians are recorded to have enjoyed a similar game that involved kicking a makeshift ball.
A Futsal ball is basically an indoor soccer ball used for playing 'Futsal', a term literally meaning 'indoor football'. Futsal is a kind of soccer played on a basketball-sized court using a smaller, heavier, less bouncy ball, and demands many of the same skills as outdoor soccer. Size-wise, FIFA-approved futsal balls are just shy of 25 inches in circumference, slightly smaller than a Size 4 soccer ball. The ball is created with less bounce to facilitate indoor play.
The type of soccer cleats or indoor shoes needed depends on what kind of field your child’s team will be practicing and play on. Have your child try on Firm Ground cleats with hard rubber or plastic studs if playing on a pitch made of natural grass or on well-worn artificial turf. Look for Artificial Turf shoes with a super low profile and an outsole evenly covered all-over in small rubber studs for the best traction on an indoor or newer outdoor turf surface.
Having just the right soccer ball can make it easy to sharpen your skills each time you step on the soccer pitch. Official-sized Nike soccer balls provide a realistic feel and bounce as you move down the pitch, or choose colorful Brava soccer balls to show off support for your country's World Cup team. Pick up adidas soccer balls that highlight your love for your favorite football club, so that everyone will know if you support Man U or Chelsea.