The game of soccer has evolved greatly over the years and the ball has evolved with it. In days past, defenses played with as many as six men back. Then things changed around the 1950s to allow when many teams played four forwards at one time! Now, we are in a period where we see (sometimes) one natural forward in a team. The changes that have happened in the game have oftentimes been a result of the changes to the soccer ball itself. Through its many changes, it has allowed teams to change strategies.
We covered the quality in small detail above, but we’ll look into a little further here. The quality of the ball you pick is very important. If you want exactly what the pros play with, then you will have to pay a little more as a result of picking the premium choice. Those balls fly better and more true than their counterparts, but they are not meant to be practiced with on a regular basis. Premium balls tend to have a softer impact on both your cleats and ankle guards to allow for more ball control and handling. After the “premium” match ball category is the “match ball” category. These aren’t nearly as expensive as the premiums are, but are still very good in match situations. These aren’t meant for practice, but they typically can hold up for extended periods of time, possibly a season or two. The third type is “training balls.” These balls are meant for training and practice, and they can be used continuously without doing damage to it. I have some great training balls that have lasted upwards of six years! The quality of training balls has gone up drastically over the years that I have been playing. When I was younger, some of them were so hard that you’d feel like your foot was broken after kicking them. Nowadays, they literally feel like a premium ball with their softness and their flight. So, almost any ball is great nowadays from the right supplier!
Sizing is very important in selecting a soccer ball. For the purposes of this article, I will mostly concentrate on size 5 outdoor soccer balls, but I will quickly go over the various sizes and let you know what they are used for. Size 1 soccer balls, or skill balls (also known as mini balls), are primarily used by youth players that are just being introduced to the game. These are typically 1-3-year-olds. Another use for Size 1 balls is for older players to learn to juggle. It is much harder to juggle a size 1, so instead of using a hacky sack, they use a skill ball. This is done because the texture and materials are similar. Size 3 balls are slightly bigger than size 1 and are used for ages four through seven. They do this so that the ball isn’t too big in comparison to the players. Size 4 balls are used for age eight through eleven. Size 4s are smaller than size 5, which is used for everyone past the age of eleven. This is the same size that the professionals use. Making sure that you have the proper ball is just as important as picking out which materials one has.
6. Mexico had the top selling jersey at the 2018 FIFA World Cup so it should come as no surprise that the adidas Mexico Soccer Ball has been a top seller in 2018 as well. El Tri is an adidas sponsored team so their ball had the team name and similar pixilated design as the Telstar 18 ball. And it was at a great price of $19.99 making it affordable for all players and great to take to the match for a kick-about before watching the national team play.
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.
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
This ball is a premium match ball from Adidas, whom I consider to be the best of the best at making soccer balls. This is a high-visibility ball, coming in a bright orange, to help teams just in case of inclement conditions such as rain or possibly snow. This ball has the highest possible rating from FIFA because of its seamless makeup and its latex bladder which allow for excellent rebound in your shot. The seamless panels also allow it to take in very little water, making this an excellent buy if you are looking for a premium match ball.
Huge fan of Bend-It, I would not consider buying any other brand of ball. I have 4 or 5 different styles that have been used and abused during club training and off-season indoor games. It's fun watching another coach pick it out of a crowd of balls to check the brand. I've even had a pro player pick this ball out of a crowd to use in group training sessions (Go STL FC!!)
Some additional information worth noting with this Adidas smart soccer ball is that you cannot use the sensor features for kicks once the ball is in motion. Users report you cannot use it for tracking stats associated with, for example, a drop kick. The ball must be sitting still on the ground before being kicked if you wish to track the statistics.
Law 1: The Field of Play Law 2: The Ball Law 3: The Number of Players Law 4: The Players' Equipment Law 5: The Referee Law 6: The Other Match Officials Law 7: The Duration of the Match Law 8: The Start and Restart of Play Law 9: The Ball In and Out of Play Law 10: The Method of Scoring Law 11: Offside Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct Law 13: Free kicks (direct and indirect) Law 14: The Penalty Kick Law 15: The Throw-In Law 16: The Goal Kick Law 17: The Corner Kick
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.