This is what the majority of quality soccer balls are made out of. It offers a great blend of durability and responsiveness and is the material most commonly used by professional leagues for their game balls. In fact, FIFA uses polyurethane, or PU, exclusively for their game balls. One thing that allows PU to stand out above many of the other materials is its versatility.
The outer casing of a soccer ball is composed of panels made from synthetic materials, such as PVC, PU, or a combination, sewn or glued together. Soccer ball casings are rarely leather anymore, since leather tends to absorb moisture making the ball heavier and not perform as well. The number of panels or sections of the outer casing varies according to design. Most professional soccer balls are the 32-panel design. More panels mean a rounder and stabler ball, and a more accurate flight.
To be honest, this ball’s a bit like a classic car, in that it’s awesome – when it works. The Jabulani is prone to valve issues, although they can be fixed. If you need something durable, we wouldn’t recommend this ball. However, if you’re looking to add an awesome ball to your collection – and you’ve got the cash – consider grabbing a Jabulani before they go extinct.
The inner lining and the bladder are some of the key components of a soccer ball’s construction. These components are the factors that give control to the shape and the feel of a soccer ball. The usual match soccer ball has four layers of a blended polyester and cotton material in its lining, while mid-range ones have two cotton and polyester layers.
Outside of PU and TPU, pretty much every other material used for a soccer ball’s casing will be specialized for either durability or responsiveness. When it comes to synthetic leather, the focus is also exclusively on responsiveness and this is by far the most responsive material used for a soccer ball’s casing. It is important to note that PU, TPU, and PVC are all often labeled as synthetic leather.