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.
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.
It depends on its intended use. Soccer ball casings are made from three kinds of synthetic materials. Polyvinyl carbonate (PVC) which is what most less expensive training balls are made from, Polyurethane (PU) which is the preferred ball for soccer tournaments, and a combination of the two. There are also foam and rubber training soccer balls for kids. Some kids' soccer balls are made of 100 percent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is a kind of foamy casing material so the ball is very soft. There are greater and lesser grades of each kind of material. PU-covered balls are generally softer, livelier, and have a better feel to them, and are what most people seek when looking for a optimal performing soccer ball.
This soccer ball offers the traditional look and design of the pentagon panels in alternating black and white, allowing players to learn foot placement for a good bend. There is enough weight to the ball to allow for accurate crossing and passing drills, while enough rebound exists for dribbling and shooting drills. If you take your game seriously and you want to improve at home, this is one of the best and most affordable options that you’ll want to consider. Multiple sizes are available with this traditional design.
Bouncing a few ideas around on how to improve your game? You might just start with your soccer ball. As we know, the game of soccer involves a lot of fancy footwork, technique, and team work. But what it really comes down to is how well your soccer ball performs for you. Whether you're coaching, playing, or have a child in a soccer league, knowing a little more about the soccer ball, such as how to select one, how to tell a good soccer ball from a cheap one, and how to take care of it, can help you get the most out of yours. And that just might be all you need to kick your season off on the right foot this year.
“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.
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.
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.