Soccer balls (or, for most of the world, footballs): without them, there’s no game. However, not all balls are made the same, and which kind you use will vary depending on several factors. Here’s how you can pick the right soccer ball for your soccer player.
Age and sizing
First, think about how old your child is. There are five sizes of soccer balls for players:
- Size 1 – mini soccer balls used for footwork or for fun; these are perfect for anyone under the age of 4
- Size 2 – rarely ever used because they’re so close in circumference to size one (but they do exist!)
- Size 3 – smallest official ball used during youth matches for kids under 8
- Size 4 – used during matches for kids between ages 8-12
- Size 5 – ‘regular’ sized soccer ball; largest official ball and standard for all players over the age of 12
Even if your child is just getting started with soccer, make sure to buy them an appropriate size so they can get a feel for what they’ll be using when games start.
Soccer balls are actually two parts: a bladder and the casing. Casings can come in a variety of materials, but they’re typically either PVC, PU, a combination of PVC/PU or synthetic leather. Leather balls are typically used in professional matches. PU balls are higher quality, softer and more responsive than PVC balls. PVC balls are typically the cheapest, harder, and very durable.
Where you’re playing
Standard soccer balls can withstand a variety of field conditions, but there are other types of balls that can be used on specific fields. Turf soccer balls are made to withstand rougher surfaces like turf. Indoor soccer balls are made to have less bounce, as they’re rebounding off of turf and walls of an indoor field. Beach soccer balls, while rare, are lighter than official grass soccer balls and softer for bare feet.
If you’re looking for a way to get your kid involved with soccer, try our development league. If your child already loves soccer and has experience, register for our competitive league. And if you’ve still got questions for us, contact us and our team will get back to you.