In June, 32 nations gather in Russia for soccer’s most prestigious international event. Now, you can get the ball that will be used throughout the tournament—the adidas 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Telstar Official Match Ball. The design is based on the original Telstar ball introduced in 1968, updated with pixelated detailing for a modern aesthetic and an all-new panel shape for superior performance. Step up your game with a Russia 2018 soccer ball today.
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.
However, in Goff’s wind tests, he and his team noticed that the Telstar 18 had a little more resistance at high speeds, and predict that the ball will go about eight to nine percent less distance down the pitch on long kicks. This means that Manuel Neuer, the goalkeeper for Germany who was considered to be the x-factor that brought Germany the win in 2014, might not have quite as much of an impact clearing balls from the goal this time around Goff says. “You’d see him just kicking the ball way, way down the pitch, and [this World Cup] you might notice that some of those kicks aren’t quite as long as before,” Goff says.
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.
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.
This year, the ball shouldn’t have that kind of impact on which team wins the World Cup. In wind tunnel tests, Goff found that Telstar 18 has a very similar aerodynamic profile to the 2014 Brazuca ball, which flew without the wobbles of the Jabulani. The Jabulani was the first ball to have six seams and despite having a roughened surface, it was too smooth, says Goff. When the Brazuca was released, it had 68 percent more seams than the Jabulani to help change the airflow around the ball. The Telstar 18 is even more improved. Instead of transitioning to laminar flow in the middle of free kicks, Goff found that the Telstar 18 goes through its drag crisis at a lower speed of 38 miles an hour.
Adidas started to make soccer balls in 1963 but made the first official FIFA World Cup ball in 1970. This is the first ball used in the World Cup to use the Buckminster type of design. Also, the first ball with 32 black and white panels. The TELSTAR was more visible on black and white televisions (1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico™ was the first to be broadcast live on television).
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.
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
A soccer ball can look awesome, but if it lacks good response you're never going to fall in love with it. Your game really comes down to how well your ball performs. One trick you can do in the store to test a ball's performance is to give it a spin in the air. A well-balanced ball should spin smoothly. That will mean smooth sailing on the field. If you can, try it out. Try several of them until you find the one that feels just right.
With the exception of the Wilson Traditional soccer ball, each of the soccer balls above is unique. Not only by the bold colors and detailed designs but the machine stitching technology that has sewn the panels together. Kids can benefit greatly from having a soccer ball that stands out because it will encourage them to learn more about soccer so that they can really use their cool, unique soccer ball. A unique ball will also distinguish their ball from many others at soccer practices and camps.