Despite the similarities with the Brazuca, the few differences between this ball and what players have gotten used to over the last four years will have an impact on play, says Firoz Alam, an aerodynamics engineer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, who has also performed wind tunnel tests on the Telstar 18. “When the player is making a short pass, they have to push a little harder, because at less then 60 kilometers per hour [or 37 miles per hour]it has more flight resistance than the Brazuca,” says Alam. The mid-range passes and corner kicks that gave the Jabulani so much trouble have been resolved. Compared to the Brazuca, the Telstar 18 is also more aerodynamically efficient in the 40-50 mile an hour range, so Alam says players will actually have to kick a little softer or they’re likely to overshoot. Over 55 miles an hour the two balls will feel very similar.
At the World Cup level, these tiny changes in a ball’s aerodynamics can legitimately impact a team’s performance, so the intense scrutiny of the World Cup ball is perhaps to be expected. “You could argue that it’s the most important piece of equipment in the most popular sport in the world,” says John Eric Goff, Professor of Physics at University of Lynchburg.
Trendy names, fancy designs, and higher prices don't necessarily mean some soccer balls are better than others. Don't fall for advertising hype. A moderately-priced soccer ball might perform and hold up just as well as the one that costs three times as much. With today's advanced technologies and materials replacing good old-fashioned leather, there are many soft and durable, lightweight synthetic soccer balls that may just as well suite you, in fact leather soccer balls are no long the norm since they tend to absorb moisture. There are also things you can do to extend the life of your new soccer ball, such as storing it correctly, cleaning it, and using it properly. But the mark of a truly sweet soccer ball comes down to feel and performance, which is highly individual.
This Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball has a very traditional yet updated look, hence the name. The outside of this soccer ball is made of soft synthetic leather, making this ball feel quite smooth to the touch. The inside, also known as the bladder, of the ball is composed from Butyl rubber to provide an airtight compartment that is tough. In addition to that, Butyl rubber helps greatly with shape retention as your kid is sure to get many kicks out of this spectacular soccer ball by Wilson. Due to their reputable brand, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this traditional soccer ball by Wilson.
This soccer ball by American Challenge comes in three different vibrant colors, lemon yellow, lime green and orange. This is a great soccer ball for your young kid as the outer covering is made from high grade thermoplastic polyurethane. Even more sustainable, the backing material is made up of two layers of poly and cotton lining. The inside of this American Challenge Soccer Ball, also known as the bladder, is composed of Hybrid SR and retains air for up to two to four weeks. This is amazing, as your young kid is sure to play with this colorful ball often.
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.
Using a wind tunnel, Goff has researched the flight properties of the Telstar 18, drawing its drag curve to discover where the ball might dip and swerve in the air, similar to the knuckleball free kicks favored by Cristiano Ronaldo “Even if aerodynamically the Telstar 18 isn’t that different from the Brazuca, it’s still going to wobble a little bit differently because the panel shapes are different,” Goff says.
Soccer, also known as "the beautiful game," is an excellent sport to increase physical fitness and the concept of teamwork. Get your little superstar started with one of our top 10 soccer balls varying in sizes and age ranges. Our list was recently updated to include new products as well as updated product specifications like construction materials, size, cost and availability.
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: