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.

Bouncing a few ideas around on how to improve your game? You might just start with your soccer ball. As we know, the game of soccer involves a lot of fancy footwork, technique, and team work. But what it really comes down to is how well your soccer ball performs for you. Whether you're coaching, playing, or have a child in a soccer league, knowing a little more about the soccer ball, such as how to select one, how to tell a good soccer ball from a cheap one, and how to take care of it, can help you get the most out of yours. And that just might be all you need to kick your season off on the right foot this year.
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.
A tribute to one of the richest teams in the world, Paris St. Germain, this ball is dressed in their colors.  This is a ball meant for everyday use, so you can get out there and show off your favorite club to everyone.  It is made from polyurethane and has some polyester inside of it, making it slightly different than the Messi ball.  The polyester buttresses the butyl bladder, causing it to retain air and shape.  It is machine stitched and has 26 panels, so it may take a little bit of getting used to the first time.  Like the Messi ball, it comes at a pretty steep price, so it may be a little pricey if you aren’t a PSG fan!
While the ball features high-quality materials, the focus with this ball is all the smart features and less about the physical make-up of the ball, which doesn’t come in handy when you’re researching! What I did find with this ball is that it’s match quality and built to last. It’s also available in sizes 4 or 5 for multiple ages and training levels.
I purchased light-up-soccer ball for my grandson for his father's birthday (Brooks Bowers) who has officiated games, played games and loved soccer for many years. And I have a picture of my grandson (Kieran) smiling at the rolling lighted ball after he kicked it. I thought it a well made, worked as it arrived with batteries already installed and a wonderful gift. To my surprise my grandson at age 3 is already attending soccer camps for young children.
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]

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 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.
As a response to the problems with the balls in the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Adidas created the Adidas Santiago[17] – this led to Adidas winning the contract to supply the match balls for all official FIFA and UEFA matches, which they have held since the 1970s, and also for the Olympic Games.[18] They also supply the ball for the UEFA Champions League which is called the Adidas Finale.
This is exactly the niche that American Challenge’s Brasilia soccer ball is supposed to fill. With a combination of materials that offer a range of different qualities, the Brasilia is able to transition seamlessly from dirt and turf to an indoor court or even on the street. This begins with a casing that is made of TPU. This provides the requisite durability needed while still offering some responsiveness. On top of that, the glossy finish actually benefits this ball in these settings rather hindering it.

However, this has not stopped players from preferring butyl as their bladder material of choice. In fact, this preference is so well cemented by players of all skill sets, that manufacturers professional game balls are just as likely to use butyl bladders as they are latex often times even more likely. It is interesting to note that butyl is more durable than latex but less durable than rubber-despite providing had better air retention.

Shop hand-stitched, machine-stitched and thermally bonded soccer balls for the size and construction you're looking for, like size 5 soccer balls, including adult soccer balls and kids soccer balls. Check out soccer balls from top brands, including adidas® soccer balls, Nike® soccer balls and Select® soccer balls. Shop the best soccer balls for top-rated styles.


The Nike Tracer Soccer ball has a traditional 32-panel design that ensures accurate ball flight. It is machine-stitched and made of TPU material thus enhances touch and equally ensures durability. It is the best ball to add to your soccer equipment for recreational play. Besides, this soccer ball is durable enough to be a training ball if you’re looking to improve your skills and play like a pro. It is available in three different sizes and shades so you can find one that truly matches your needs.
Actual match balls should be of awesome quality.. I was happy to get the chance to review this size 5 match ball from the 2017 Confederations Cup Collection that was used in Russia. With the majority being white and the splashes of red with grey it stands out both on the shelf and on the field when it spins (a plus or x symbol depending on how you turn it)..
If you’re looking for discounted soccer gear and equipment, you’ve come to the right place. soccerloco has it all and more at incredibly low prices in our soccer clearance shop. We carry a wide selection of shoes and apparel for men, women, and children at a highly reduced price, so you can cheer your favorite teams on or score goals in style and comfort without breaking the bank.

This is by far the best ball for younger soccer players. I've had this ball for just under a week now, and I'm already seeing improvement in my knuckles. This ball, similarly to official match balls, has thermally fused panels, and doesn't absorb water. It also glides nicely in the air. It has a GREAT texture, and is fun to practice footwork and freestyling with, in addition to shooting. I looked for weeks to find an affordable match ball, and when I found this, I was thrilled! I am sort of a soccer nerd, and I spend much of my free time looking at cleats, balls, and shooting techniques, so I sort of know what I'm talking about, and I highly recommend this ball to anyone looking to improve their shooting skills, or anyone who simply wants an affordable match ball to use.

These are used in international level matches and top league matches like UEFA Champions League, Italian Serie A, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga, Major League Soccer. Not only these but also all the tournaments approved by FIFA. So you can easily understand that these are the highest quality balls with the highest level of air retention, shape, water absorption, trajectory, curve, and performance. Otherwise, FIFA would not have approved these balls.
A factor that makes this official match soccer ball popular is its high-quality features paired up with its affordable price. Its thermal bonded construction is FIFA’s highest quality standard in construction for match balls. Its exterior uses the PU material and is 100% water-proof. The graphics also facilitate high visual response. The butyl bladder facilitates high air retention while the VPM (Valve Position Marker) technology will show you the precise foot placement.
This ball truly lives up to its name as a “glider,” having a stable flight path when shot and a nice feel when passed. The surface is relatively grippy, which is great for goalkeepers looking to practice their catches. Because the ball isn’t as slippery as some other replicas, you can shoot it with a bit more swerve, and dribbling and skill moves are a bit easier.
Crafted by Adidas, the Telstar 18 is the official ball of the FIFA World Cup. Drawing inspiration from the company's first World Cup match ball, which debuted at the 1970 tournament in Mexico, the new ball reimagines the 12 black panels on an otherwise white design. Fun fact: the iconic original black and white ball was made that way to be more visible for black-and-white TV viewers, and it was dubbed the "star of television."
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