Early footballs began as animal bladders or stomachs that would easily fall apart if kicked too much. Improvements became possible in the 19th century with the introduction of rubber and discoveries of vulcanization by Charles Goodyear. The modern 32-panel ball design was developed in 1962 by Eigil Nielsen, and technological research continues today to develop footballs with improved performance. The 32-panel ball design was soon overcome by 24-panel balls as well as 42-panel balls, both of which improved performance compared to before, in 2007.[citation needed]

Of everything that we have analyzed about these soccer balls, one of the biggest things that you can look at for is the external material of the ball. TPU seems like it is the standard in durability for soccer balls in this price range. Machine stitching is another thing that you want to make sure that you have, as it appears that some balls that are stitched otherwise can split open and leak. In any case, make sure that you have your own soccer pump so that you can always be sure that your soccer ball is properly inflated.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
Whether you’re shopping for a street soccer ball or looking for the best football ball to help improve your skills and learn a few drills before your next competitive soccer match, you will never go wrong with any of the above soccer balls. We made sure to highlight the best products available in the market today made by top brands like Adidas and Nike so that you can find a high-quality ball with unique features that will help you improve your skills. These products will be a great long-term investment, and a must buy to add to your soccer equipment.

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.

Elements of the football that today are tested are the deformation of the football when it is kicked or when the ball hits a surface. Two styles of footballs have been tested by the Sports Technology Research Group of Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Loughborough University; these two models are called the Basic FE model and the Developed FE model of the football. The basic model considered the ball as being a spherical shell with isotropic material properties. The developed model also utilised isotropic material properties but included an additional stiffer stitching seam region.
You have to wonder if a brand recognized mostly for baseball can make a good soccer ball, but this one seems like a worthy effort. It certainly has the look and feel of a high end ball, and the overall build seems pretty solid. It looks like they put some effort designing this product. My son and his team practiced with this several times and I would say the wear and tear look normal. No tearing at the seams or unusual gashes. He says the padding gives the ball a nice, soft touch even when fully inflated. One bonus is, with such an uncommon soccer brand, it easier to identify if it gets lost on field. The reason for the lack of 5 stars is that our sample has trouble holding air after a couple of days. I do not know if it is a characteristic of the ball or
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
The score is 2-2; the soccer player knows everyone is counting on him to make this goal. With a well aimed kick, the match ball soars through the air and into the net, and the crowd goes wild. If you too want to play like the professionals, you will need an official match soccer ball to make this dream come true. Be the next David Beckham or Diego Maradona and purchase a new or gently used match ball on eBay. There you will find a large variety of FIFA-approved soccer balls made by brands like Adidas and Nike. You can forget your traditional black and white soccer ball; these are a thing of the past. A match ball nowadays is usually covered in bright graphics and easy to spot colors to make soccer matches easier to play. Convenient shipping options also make it possible to send an official soccer ball straight to your front door.
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.
When I buy a soccer ball at a local store, how do I know if I am buying a good soccer ball?  Ball material information on the packaging of the balls is minimal at best. Marketing hype is hard to understand. So people are very frustrated when buying soccer balls for their clubs, teams or own use. Parents of soccer players have always asked me about what type and where to buy soccer balls for their up and coming star. "Go to the local store and pick out one that is on sale" I would tell them. The only recommendation I could make was to check out soccer balls that I previously used and knew they were good quality. 
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Built for durability, recreation balls are made of soft synthetic materials for play on nearly any field. Typically, these balls are slightly heavier for beginner’s slower play, yet, competitors of all skill levels use these balls for practice and recreation on hard turf fields due to their resilience. Machine-stitching is the most stand-out visual difference between match balls and training balls and it offers a consistent touch for any player.

You may be worried because you feel it sells too expensive but this is not the case. With all these great features, the ball still ranks as an affordable ball. It features a machine-stitched construction with internal nylon wound carcass that ensures maximum durability and long-term performance. Further, the TPU material used on the exterior will resist abrasion, and the butyl bladder provides best air retention to keep it in shape and remain inflated for a long time.

This was one of the few soccer balls that came our way that didn’t come inflated out of the box. How well the ball is inflated will depend on the long-term viability of the butyl bladder in this ball. When properly inflated with the correct needle, the air can be held for weeks, or even months, at a time. Compared to latex bladders, which need to be inflated about once per week on average, this Nike soccer ball offers a minimal maintenance experience. As a practice and play ball, the Nike Pitch Premier League Soccer Ball offers players a number of options that can help them improve their skills.
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!

The fact that this ball was not only tested but used in 2016 Euro qualification matches makes it a trusted choice. Its graphics are minimal with the majority of the surface being white in color. A hint of red and silver streaks breaks the monotony of the white yet maintains a simplistic appeal which appeals to the simplistic users. The graphic designs go against the panels which gives it a unique appeal. Its casing uses 100% PU leather and the panels are thermal-bonded which makes the surface smooth. Its bladder uses butyl material which improves air retention. The surface of the ball provides lower water absorption which contributes to its durability and gives it a better feel.


1. The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia stole the attention of soccer fans around the globe this summer and the tournaments official ball, the adidas Telstar 18 World Cup Official Match Soccer Ball, ran away with the title ‘Best Selling Soccer Ball of 2018.’ (We don’t see any ball catching it over the next months). The ball was inspired by the famous Telstar ball that debuted at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico and released in November 2017. The design drew some criticism from fans but once on the field it lived up to its namesake in looks and performance.
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.
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