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.
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.
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.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
My friend and I were kicking a soccer ball around the front yard. It was maybe 2007 and I was getting ready to leave for a couple weeks on a trial. Trying to be cute, I tried a handling skill where I flipped the ball up behind my back and then kick it with my heel so it comes back over my head again. So I kicked the ball too hard, it goes out into the street, and a truck promptly runs it over.

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Telstar Official Match Ball: A throwback to the classic Telstar ball used during the tournament in 1970, the 2018 version features a thermally bonded six-panel design to maximize flight and pace with pixilated detailing for a modern aesthetic. The 2018 official match ball also comes with an Interactive Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that allows you to interact with the ball through your smartphone.
“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.

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.
One of the top brands recommended by coaches, Adidas has a large line of fantastically designed soccer balls available in just the right size for your little one. The Ace Glider II is the perfect way to give your child a soccer ball that not only lasts but also shines on the field! The unique colorings of this ball make it visible from a long distance away, giving you a great way to spot your little one against others on the field. Not just a pretty face, the Glider II is also a sturdy and well-constructed soccer ball that utilizes top-quality materials for long-lasting play. The cover is made of durable TPU material that has been built to withstand daily practice and can handle both indoor and outdoor play. Unlike similar balls that tend to develop blisters over time, this ball uses heavy machine stitching that can significantly extend the life of the ball.
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.
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.
Enough learning on different aspects of soccer balls? Let’s have some fun then. We are going to give you our other specific reviews on different types of soccer balls so that you can choose the right option for you applying the knowledge you have just gathered. Obviously we suggest you to buy from the ones that we reviewed above. But you can consider the following ones as well.
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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.
Each of these soccer balls on our list is designed specifically for kids. Developmental appropriateness in toys is very important because if a kid cannot understand how to use a toy or the toys is the wrong size for them, they will not benefit from it. These soccer balls are colorful enough to keep your kid’s attention without distracting them from the game. Additionally, these soccer balls for kids are all great for both well-seasoned players and beginners.
The highest in cost, top match balls for elite soccer players are constructed with a supreme quality cover, backing, and bladder for the most predictable flight pattern and striking ability. Some of the most impressive official match balls on the field are made with the threadless, seamless, beveled edge (TSBE) technology which provides a seamless surface for touch and less water uptake to stay in control. adidas soccer balls that pass a demanding series of tests, set by FIFA, on the shape, weight, performance, rebound and water absorption have the highest ranking a soccer ball can get. Most adidas training and pro match balls are FIFA approved so you can lead the charge down the pitch.