Thank you very much for your exceptionally informative guide. It provides excellent detail around the composition of soccer balls, different types of balls on the market, and what balls appear to be the best on the market in each category. A really useful website that I have bookmarked for consideration when I am next in the market for a new soccer ball (which will be soon as my old champions league ball from several years ago is getting a bit tatty!)
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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!
Latex bladders are one of the best materials when it comes to ball construction. However, with latex bladders, air won’t last as long as butyl bladders and will need more attention for proper inflation. Butyl-blend bladders hold in the air much better, but they are harder and less receptive in play. Mid-priced balls will usually have a mix of butyl and rubber. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1SVcjYY6TE