A Quick Guide to Best Soccer Balls for Players of Every Age

A Quick Guide to Best Soccer Balls for Players of Every Age

Soccer can be played with whatever ball you have. However, serious soccer leagues and competitions have to be played just with properly sized soccer ball. Here is our quick guide to best soccer balls for different age categories.

Soccer Balls material

At the start just quick tour of materials used for soccer balls. What you do not see is the inner part of a soccer ball. It is usually butyl or latex bladder who holds the air under the pressure. Over it is synthetic leather surface. In past, soccer ball cover was made from natural leather. Currently, the balls are made from synthetic (polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride) leather due to better water resistance and absorption parameters. Leather balls have a tendency to absorb water in wet conditions and became too heavy for play.

The outside covering of the ball is usually a 32-panel ball. In past also 18 and 26-panel constructions were used but currently 32-panel construction is solely used. Panels are either stitched, glued or thermally molded together.

Soccer Ball Sizes

There are three official size categories of soccer balls.

Size 5 is the official size of soccer ball used in professional soccer leagues and competitions. Size 5 ball circumference is 27 to 28 inches (69 to 71 cm), with weight 14 to 16 oz (410 to 450 grams) and pressure equal from 8.5 to 15.6 PSi (0.6 to 1.1 atmosphere at sea level). Size 5 is for players 13 years and older, it is a normal ball for adult matches too.

Size 4 is for youth players aged from 8 till 12 years. The circumference of Size 4 ball is 25 to 26 inches (63 to 66 centimeters) with weight 11 to 13 ounces (350 to 390 grams).

Size 3 is for junior players under 8 years. The circumference of Size 3 ball is 23 to 24 inches (58 to 61 centimeters) with weight 11 to 13 ounces (350 to 390 grams)

Other smaller balls are not official soccer balls.

SIZE 5

SIZE 4

SIZE 3

for Adults and Kids over 13 years old

for Kids between 8 to 13 years old

for Kids 8 years old and younger

adidas Performance Tango Soccer Ball

NIKE Pitch Training Soccer Ball

Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball

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Need a kids soccer cleats? Check our guide for kids soccer cleats sizing here and soccer shin guards here

FIFA certification

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) as highest soccer governing body awards quality labels to best soccer balls.

FIFA performs seven tests under different conditions and releases three different FIFA quality marks. The highest mark is FIFA QUALITY PRO (65% of certified balls), the second tier is FIFA QUALITY (22% of certified balls) and third is IMS – International Match Standard (13% of certified balls).

FIFA QUALITY PRO

FIFA QUALITY PRO

FIFA QUALITY PRO

SIZE 5

SIZE 5

SIZE 5

Nike Premier League Pitch Soccer Ball

adidas Soccer Confederations Cup Official Match Ball

Under Armour NASL Official Match Soccer Ball

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Official Soccer Balls for FIFA World Cup

Adidas as official ball partner of FIFA World Cup develops a new soccer ball model for every World Cup. Here is a quick recap of balls introduced for every World Cup since 1970, when the tradition started.

MEXICO 1970

GERMANY 1974

ARGENTINA 1978

SPAIN 1982

adidas Telstar

adidas Telstar Durlast

adidas Tango Durlast

adidas Tango Espana

MEXICO 1986

ITALY 1990

USA 1994

FRANCE 1998

adidas Azteca

adidas Etrusco

adidas Questra

adidas Tricolore

KOREA, JAPAN 2002

GERMANY 2006

SOUTH AFRICA 2010

adidas Fevernova

adidas Teamgeist

adidas Jabulani

BRAZIL 2014

RUSSIA 2018

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER 2017/2018

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2017/2018

adidas Brazuca

adidas Telstar 18

adidas Performance MLS Top Glider

adidas Performance Champions League Finale

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