When a tournament is held (like the FIFA World Cup), the sponsor of the event will design a brand new ball. These are official match balls – they’re used by professionals during real matches. They are designed to the highest possible build quality, have textured surfaces to improve stability in flight, and feature thermally-bonded panels for durability.
Great replica soccer balls! My kids love them. So much so, they are waiting until the fall when their new season starts to "keep them nice." They are authentic Adidas, and even come with the FIFA reflective sticker to place once the ball is inflated. Side note: The balls do arrive flat, so make sure you have a good pump with separate gauge as not to over inflate.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
Adidas says its design was motivated by Russia's urban landscapes. It uses textured graphics and a metallic sheen to bring a modern look to the classic design. The ball is made of six panels of thermally bonded TPU and about 15% silicone. The materials allow for better trajectory, accuracy, responsiveness, and low water absorption. It also feels well-padded and slightly lighter than previous match balls.
“We found that the grooves and pimples on the Telstar 18 ball are very orderly and a little bit flat,” says Alam. The pimples that texture the surface of the ball are not as raised as on the Brazuca, and the seams are narrower and shallower than they have been in the past. All of the elements of the ball—the increased seam length, the more regular pimple pattern, orderly pimple and seam shape—add up to a more symmetrical, balanced ball, Alam says. “We expect this ball to have better flight stability.” And since all 11 stadiums in Russia are at the same altitude, Alam says the ball should play the same way across all matches.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Xn84L3Kcs
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