How Hard Should A Soccer Ball Be? (Here’s The Pressure)

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If a soccer ball is overinflated, it’s harder to kick. Further, the impact on a player’s body or head is more severe. If it’s underinflated, it won’t travel in a straight manner. And, it won’t go as far!

Soccer balls usually last longer if they’re properly inflated. Also, getting the inflation pressure of a soccer ball right is mandatory before any soccer match. A wrongly inflated soccer ball can easily affect the play.

So, how hard should soccer balls be? The short answer is rock solid because harder balls travel faster. In this article, I will discuss this subject. I will also explain how to know if a soccer ball has enough air.

You will also learn a few extra tips that will help you win every match in the future. Without further ado, let’s learn everything you need to know about inflating balls to the right pressure.

Soccer Ball Be Rock Hard

Should A Soccer Ball Be Rock Hard?

The FIFA regulations say that the soccer balls should have a pressure between 8.81757 psi (0.6 atm) and 16.1655 psi (1.1 atm). As you can clearly notice, FIFA has a wide range of pressure values for soccer balls since every ball needs a different amount of air pressure inside for proper work.

So, how hard should your soccer ball be? Should it be rock hard? Well, it depends!

If you’re considering this sport as a career option, then you should always utilize a rock-hard soccer ball when you’re playing or practicing soccer. Utilize the air pressure required by FIFA for professional games.

This way, you will develop your muscle memory utilizing a soccer ball with a pressure value equal to the one utilized during professional games. It’s important to get familiar with rock-hard professional soccer balls if you’re planning to play professional soccer in the future and become a professional player.

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However, if you’re just playing with your friends for fun, then you might need to utilize a soccer ball that isn’t so hard. Utilize something with less pressure than the one utilized during professional soccer games because hard soccer balls can cause worse injuries during a game. And that’s not fun!

Injuries with rock-hard balls can happen when a player is making a header. A header can be quite dangerous if it’s not performed properly. And a hard rock ball can make things worse.

Most balls include labels that state how much air pressure should be utilized. Thus, if you’re playing soccer with friends, then opt for a pressure amount from the lower range.

How Do You Know If A Soccer Ball Has Enough Air?

Now that you know how much air pressure to go for, you need to learn how to tell the ball’s actual pressure. I’ve listed a few effective methods that you can use below and recognize a properly inflated ball.

Air pressure gauges

The best way to determine the exact amount of air pressure inside your soccer balls is by utilizing an air pressure gauge.

It’s easy! Just import the needle into the soccer ball’s valve and read the pressure level. Just make sure that you import the needle perpendicularly not to destroy the soccer ball.

Your muscle memory

The air pressure gauge will enable you to get an accurate amount of the air pressure inside your soccer balls. However, you can also utilize your muscle memory to test the air pressure.

In my opinion, it’s better to test the air pressure with your hand instead of using a pressure gauge because you want the ball to feel right. And what better manner to test than to play with it?

While you’re inflating the soccer ball, keep pressing it with your fingers. Stop inflating it when you believe you got the proper amount of air inside it.

Once you’re done, utilize the soccer ball for a couple of seconds. Kick the soccer ball and you will easily notice if the air pressure inside isn’t right. Utilizing your muscle memory, you will be able to see if your ball needs more or less air pressure. Then, keep customizing the air pressure until it feels appropriate.

Typically, professional soccer players can easily determine if the soccer ball isn’t inflated right by kicking it a couple of times. If they determine a non-properly inflated soccer ball, they require a check by the referee or replace the ball. Muscle memory is a very powerful thing that can help you in these cases.

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And don’t worry! After you play a few matches, you too will be able to easily state if a ball isn’t properly inflated.

Again, if you’re planning to play professional soccer, then your soccer balls should be rock-solid when you’re playing or training soccer. Do you have any extra tips? If so, drop a comment!

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Extra Ball Maintenance Tips

The air pressure in your soccer ball can make or break your game!

Meaning, too much air pressure, and your soccer ball might burst and won’t feel as good to kick. Too little pressure, on the other hand, won’t provide a straight trip and fly far.

So, aim for something in between that feels right!

Deflate your soccer ball

Furthermore, don’t forget that well-maintained and well-inflated balls have a longer life. I highly suggest that you regularly deflate your balls after every practice or game. It’s a smart idea because it lowers any stress on it. Therefore, it will last longer. Just let some of the air out and store it properly.

Keep your soccer balls in a safe place until your next practice or game. Further, it’s easier to ensure that your soccer balls are properly inflated if you have to inflate them before you utilize them.

Just utilize your pump and gauge to ensure that they’re at the right pressure. Most manufacturers state the range for your pressure. And it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your game. If you dance around the maximum, your soccer ball will be more difficult to kick. However, it will also go further.

And if you keep it lower, you will gain more control over everything. It’s crucial to ensure that your balls are properly inflated so that you can enjoy your game and extend the life of your soccer balls.

Clean your soccer ball properly

Last but not least, clean your soccer ball properly. Utilize a damp cloth with some water to clean scuffs and spots off the surface. Power-washing, harsh brushing, and other more aggressive cleaning methods can damage the soccer ball and distort your ball’s shape and look, so keep that in mind when cleaning.

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Also, avoid harsh detergents and chemicals. They can cause damage on the surface, so it’s best to clean your soccer balls with synthetic leather cleaners, mild soaps, or even just water. Furthermore, store your soccer ball in a secure spot that blocks out moisture to ensure they’re safe and dry at all times.


If you’re a well-experienced soccer player, then you won’t have any issue determining if your soccer ball is soft or hard. Ideally, your ball should be firm but not super tight.

It should have some give in it but you shouldn’t be able to push the soccer ball in with your hand. Thus, any soccer ball should be around 11.5-13.5 psi pressure (hard but not too hard).

Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Soccer Products FAQ

Can I Use Running Shoes for Soccer? 

You can play soccer in running shoes, but you won’t have the best performance unless you wear cleats or soccer boots.

Why are soccer balls black and white?

Soccer balls are traditionally black and white because when soccer was first shown on TV it was in black and white, so the mix of black and white on the balls helped viewers see the ball easier. 

How hard and what pressure should a soccer ball be?

The FIFA regulations say that the soccer balls should have a pressure between 8.81757 psi (0.6 atm) and 16.1655 psi (1.1 atm). If you’re playing soccer with friends, then opt for a pressure amount from the lower range.

What is the size of goals in soccer?

5-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-7 and under-8 soccer games
7-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high again. Such soccer goals are for under-9 and under-10 soccer games
9-A-Side has dimensions that are 16-ft wide by 7-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-11 and under-12 soccer game
11-A-Side or full-size soccer goal has dimensions that are 24-ft wide by 8-ft high for the under-15 and over. Whereas, for the under-13 and under-14, it is 21 ft wide by 7-ft high

What is the soccer ball size and weight for each age group?

Size 1 - 3 years or under - 18 to 20 inches - 195 to 205 grams
Size 2 - 3 to 5 years - 20 to 22 inches - U4 - 250 to 280 grams
Size 3 - 5 to 8 years - 23 to 24 inches - U5 to U8 - 300 to 320 grams
Size 4 - 8 to 12 years - 25 to 26 inches - U8 to U12 - 350 to 390 grams
Size 5 - More than 12 years - 27 to 28 inches - U12 to Pro - 410 to 450 grams

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