Soccer balls have several panels that influence their flight characteristics and the amount of control a player can have while playing. International soccer competitions use a 32-panel ball. Major leagues use an 18-panel ball and indoor leagues use a 6-panel ball. High-end soccer balls have hand-stitched panels with a synthetic thread. A low-cost one for practice and training will usually have its panels glued together.
Still, despite how impressive the materials used for the soccer ball are, Adidas is not done providing one of the best products available. For instance, this ball uses thermal bonding instead of either hand or machine stitching. This has the advantage of allowing the ball to fly truer as well as resisting water better. On top of that, some sellers even have balls with embedded NFC chips, which provide all kinds of valuable feedback information on you play.
For the most part, the materials used with the GlowCity soccer ball are generally considered the worst materials by competitive players. Both the casing and the bladder are made of rubber. The only bright spot in terms of materials is the lining, which is made of wound nylon. While these materials are generally less desirable than many others are, they do have the advantage of making the GlowCity soccer ball one of the most durable that we reviewed.
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.
This soccer ball was purchased as a birthday gift for an 8 year old boy. He loves to play soccer and was thrilled to get this ball. However, as it comes deflated in a mostly plain white box - no pictures and no real description of what's inside, we inflated the ball and wrote a description ourselves. There was no printed info inside the box either, except for instructions in very tiny print on how to change the batteries. Nowhere were the size of the batteries identified! So, I was not happy with the packaging of this ball as a gift. However, the ball itself seemed to be of good quality and lit up easily when dropped or kicked and was a real "kid-pleaser". So overall, the product was good, but the packaging could be improved.
Update (2 years post-purchase): Still love this ball and it's in its fifth season of use! I've just ordered another for our team since the fall season makes for darker and darker practices on our unlighted scrimmage field and we've come to rely on this ball so much. My teenagers use this ball at home all the time, including playing "soccer tennis" on hard surfaces and for banging against a brick wall (all of the print is long gone from the outer surface). We even took it to the beach this year. It never fails to get a reaction from people who see it bouncing around in the dark. I did have to replace one of the two lights, but they're available from GlowCity and are very reasonably priced (I purchased a couple of extra lights, just in case). I also bought a pack of 100
In early FIFA World Cups, match balls were mostly provided by the hosts from local suppliers. Records indicate a variety of models being used within individual tournaments and even, on some occasions, individual games. Over time, FIFA took more control over the choice of ball used. Since 1970 Adidas have supplied official match balls for every tournament.
Whereas plenty of manufacturers that we reviewed opted to go with a soccer ball that was more durable than responsive, Mikasa takes the opposite approach and focuses primarily on the touch that their ball can provide. This is most apparent in the soccer ball’s choice of casing material. The synthetic leather casing of the Mikasa is by far the softest and naturally responsive-without the inclusion of texture-out of any other soccer ball we reviewed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OKagE2ZIRA