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.
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.
Today, soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Championships and league cup events are some of the biggest social and athletic events of the year in many countries. This sport is also one of the most demanding athletically as it requires the use of almost every muscle in a player’s body at once. Playing soccer in a league or just for fun is a great way to receive a cardiovascular and aerobic workout. It can lower your body fat and increase flexibility and endurance. The health benefits of this sport are exponentially higher than some others due to the constant switching between walking, running, and sprinting which improves muscle tone and bolsters bone strength.
A radically new configuration reduced the amount of panel touch points forming a smooth and perfectly round exterior that improved accuracy and control. Prior to the Teamgeist, the surface of World Cup match balls had notable differences depending on where a player would strike the ball due to seams, ridges and other imperfections where panels come together. The revolutionary propeller design of the Teamgeist minimized corners and created a smoother surface for improved play. The ball was designed with traditional colors of the German flag and was accentuated with the golden color of the World Cup trophy.
Weighing 14 to 16 oz., a No. 5 ball is the largest-sized ball, and players 12 and older can feel like grownups upon graduating to this size, also used by adults. Its circumference is 27 to 28 inches. Prices can start at $15 for a cheap training ball and up to $150 for a match quality ball, especially if it is a special edition issued in conjunction with the World Cup or Olympics.
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.
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.
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.
“I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.
When looking for the right ball for your child, you may come across a reference to different sizes of soccer balls. These sizes can vary a bit from product to product but most do conform to certain league standards. A size 1 ball is also known as a mini ball and is typically between 18 and 20 inches in circumference. This size is perfect for toddlers and early walkers to help them develop footwork skills and ball control. A size 3 ball, or a junior ball, is usually between 23 and 24 inches around. This is the type of ball that most peewee soccer teams use as it is designed for children 8 years and younger. As your child grows and continues with their soccer team, they will eventually need a size 4 ball which is 25 to 26 inches. This is known as a youth ball and is ideal for children between 8 and 12 years of age. Finally, the size 5 or adult ball is 27 to 28 inches in circumference. This is the size of the soccer ball used by professional athletes and is suitable for anyone age 13 years or older.
Controlling the game is everything. From touch, shape, and movement, to flight of the ball, the construction of your soccer ball can impact how well you command the pitch. Competitive soccer players usually have different types of soccer balls for training, match day or just to kick around. See the options below for choosing the right adidas soccer ball for your favorite type of play.