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.
“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.
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.
Changes in temperature will also affect the inflation level of the soccer ball. Extreme heat or extreme cold will alter the shape of the bladder and this will affect the integrity of the soccer ball. Although it doesn’t seem like you could reach an extreme temperature that could do this to a soccer ball, just leaving a ball in your trunk or the back of a van on a hot Summer’s day will do it.
In terms of durability, you can’t really go past Select. The polyurethane cover on the Numero 10 is tough enough to withstand dog bites and general wear and tear, but still feels nice and soft when kicked. Although this ball is a bit more expensive than other replicas, it comes with a two-year warranty for peace of mind when buying. It also retains its bounce very well over the years – perfect for practicing volleys and clearances.
When it is about quality, these are almost same as premium match soccer balls but obviously not the same. To be exact, you can say official match soccer balls are positioning between premium match balls and training soccer balls regarding quality. That means these balls also offer an excellent level of air retention, shape, water absorption, curve, and performance. Although usually, they are not as durable as training balls but as a whole, they are very much durable.
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.