Soccer ball covers are meant to protect the construction of a ball, and make it more durable and long lasting. Manufacturers use two types of materials, mainly polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl carbonate (PVC). PVC is the cheaper and much affordable variant, but it is more durable than PU. It has scuff-resistance, which makes it perfect for training soccer balls. PU is used for match balls, since it is softer than a PVC soccer ball and tends to respond better to contact.
The flight of the ball is accurate to the type of kick that put it into motion because of the 12 panels pieced together flawlessly. The Aerowtrac grooves allow the ball to soar through the air swiftly. The interior bladder is restricted to produce a healthy sphere full of air. The shape is retained even through heavy use and harsh playing conditions.
Much like the Adidas ball we saw earlier, this offering from Adidas is top-of-the-line. This a premium match ball that also has received the highest rating from FIFA. To get that rating, it passed tests on its weight, how it retains air, the shape, and how well it keeps water out. It also has seamless panels like the Hi-Vis Champions League ball. Although not a cheap ball, this is worth a look if you are interested I premium match balls.
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.
In the year 1863, the first specifications for footballs were laid down by the Football Association. Previous to this, footballs were made out of inflated leather, with later leather coverings to help footballs maintain their shapes. In 1872 the specifications were revised, and these rules have been left essentially unchanged as defined by the International Football Association Board. Differences in footballs created since this rule came into effect have been to do with the material used in their creation.
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!
That Mikasa ranks #2 on the list comes as no surprise to me as I have had great experiences with Mikasa. This is a great mid-range soccer ball that falls into the match ball category. Many users have claimed that they have been able to play with these balls for a couple of seasons! That’s unheard of for most soccer balls because the stitching begins to come off. This is a FIFA Approved Professional ball, meaning that it is up to the standards of professional players. This is rare to see an approved ball for this price. This is a great mid-range ball to have.
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.