This is a decision being made by a league operator or manager of some sort, this section is important for you.  For the individual, there isn’t much of a determination here.  If you want something really nice like the pros, go premium.  But if not, then you probably will just want to go with a training ball.  But for people equipping their teams with materials, this is a decision that needs to be taken seriously.  I would suggest that recreational leagues stick with training match balls, even for matches.  The number of kicks that the ball will get and the improper technique will cause headaches for you if you decide to buy premium balls.  For high schools, I suggest just regular match balls as many are still learning the basics of the game and many teams simply play “kickball” at that age.  For college teams, semi-pros, serious travel clubs, and of course, professional teams, I suggest premium match balls for play!

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We covered the quality in small detail above, but we’ll look into a little further here.  The quality of the ball you pick is very important.  If you want exactly what the pros play with, then you will have to pay a little more as a result of picking the premium choice. Those balls fly better and more true than their counterparts, but they are not meant to be practiced with on a regular basis.  Premium balls tend to have a softer impact on both your cleats and ankle guards to allow for more ball control and handling.  After the “premium” match ball category is the “match ball” category.  These aren’t nearly as expensive as the premiums are, but are still very good in match situations.  These aren’t meant for practice, but they typically can hold up for extended periods of time, possibly a season or two.  The third type is “training balls.”  These balls are meant for training and practice, and they can be used continuously without doing damage to it.  I have some great training balls that have lasted upwards of six years!  The quality of training balls has gone up drastically over the years that I have been playing.  When I was younger, some of them were so hard that you’d feel like your foot was broken after kicking them.  Nowadays, they literally feel like a premium ball with their softness and their flight.  So, almost any ball is great nowadays from the right supplier!

Before reading this I thought a soccer ball was a soccer ball I had no idea there were so many different types for different things. I found this information very useful on where to start with buying a soccer ball for my 5 1/2 year old son who has just joined his first soccer team and is showing great interest in learning new tricks and skills. What would be your best recommendation for him? Thanks

Soccer — or football as it's known around the world — is arguably the most loved sport on Earth. Although Americans still aren't as enamored of the sport as the rest of the world is, teams around the country are stealing hearts and minds, and Americans are getting into the game. For years, soccer has been a sport played by kids, college students, and ex-pats, but it's now being cheered in stadiums and watched on national TV.
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