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.
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."
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!
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.
Much like PU or TPU for soccer ball casings, rubber is considered the best of both worlds for soccer ball bladders when it comes to striking a balance between responsiveness and air retention. Oddly enough, this balance does not actually inspire a greater adoption by either manufacturers or players, and as such, soccer balls with rubber bladders are less popular.
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.
This is the 4th one we've ordered! This is a tough ball that glows very brightly at night and comes with an extra battery, but we haven't had to change batteries after 2 summers of playing with it. Whenever my kids brought it out during our outdoor, night-time, community concerts, all the kids wanted to play with it and tons of parents came up to get the information on where to get it. I had originally ordered it so that my son could still see the ball at the end of his fall soccer practices, since they play on a field without lights. Now it is the favorite birthday present to give to all of my kids' friends (ages 7 and 11).
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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.
Just received the ball and was pleasantly surprised. I took it outside with my high school aged kids and kicked it around. We only played for about 15 minutes, but I couldn't find anything to gripe about. It's a slightly textured ball and flew true. I'm probably going to order several for my high school soccer team and see if they hold up over time. I did NOT like that it shipped inflated though.
Latex bladders are one of the best materials when it comes to ball construction. However, with latex bladders, air won’t last as long as butyl bladders and will need more attention for proper inflation. Butyl-blend bladders hold in the air much better, but they are harder and less receptive in play. Mid-priced balls will usually have a mix of butyl and rubber. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1SVcjYY6TE