The downside? They’re expensive. Like, really expensive, depending on which one you get. Whether you really need one depends on your budget and how you’re going to be using your ball. For example, I use official match balls for practising freekicks because they fly through the air really nicely. However, I don’t use them for training because if I lose my ball I’ll be set back $100-$300.
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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Bought this as a birthday gift for a 10-yr old boy who loves soccer. The ball is made of a durable rubber material, but it is official weight and size for those who are wondering. The rubber exterior gives the ball more bounce than a typical "official" soccer ball, but IMO it makes the ball more fun to kick around as well as more durable. There are 2 LED lights inside the ball which illuminate when the ball is kicked or tossed onto the ground. LED's shut off automatically after about a minute of inactivity which helps conserve the batteries. No more calling off the soccer game when the sun sets, this ball makes it possible to play in pitch dark conditions and is a blast to kick around. Fun for all ages, kids as well as adults. Great buy, 5 stars.

Another imprint you’ll find on your Adidas 2016 MLS Official Match Ball, is the FIFA quality seal. As you recall, the FIFA testing involves many aspects of testing in order to pass certification and earn this imprint. This ball passed in all categories including circumference, sphericity, rebound, water absorption, weight, loss of pressure, and shape/size retention.
Today’s generation of the ball allows teams to be more accurate with their passing and their shots, leading to a myriad of strategies being employed.  Some simply wait and try to shoot from way outside because of the wall the ball flies.  Others use the ball on the ground.  Whichever way, we are certainly all lucky to be able to use today’s technology in our games!  There are a few things to consider when buying a soccer ball.  There are various sizes, materials, qualities, and levels of play which will help determine which one you need for your specific purposes.
It depends on its intended use. Soccer ball casings are made from three kinds of synthetic materials. Polyvinyl carbonate (PVC) which is what most less expensive training balls are made from, Polyurethane (PU) which is the preferred ball for soccer tournaments, and a combination of the two. There are also foam and rubber training soccer balls for kids. Some kids' soccer balls are made of 100 percent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is a kind of foamy casing material so the ball is very soft. There are greater and lesser grades of each kind of material. PU-covered balls are generally softer, livelier, and have a better feel to them, and are what most people seek when looking for a optimal performing soccer ball.
Still, when it comes to soccer ball, which should work well for most people, we recommend the adidas Adidas WORLD CUP Official Match Ball. Every aspect of this ball is designed for professional play including the stitching that actually uses the superior thermal bonding for a truer flight. Even better, this ball as an NFC chip to provide feedback on your play.

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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