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Soccer Training Ball vs Match Ball: Here’s What You Need

Soccer balls different, it takes the professionals weeks of training to get used to a type of soccer ball. Before a World Cup, the team uses the new ball in training to adapt.

Soccer balls vary in weight and feel to touch. There have been many debates with top professionals when a new soccer ball is used.

Soccer balls used in training are different to ones used in match for most players, apart from the pros.

In this article, we’ll go into more detail to what really makes the difference between the balls.

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Soccer training ball vs match ball?

The surface material, quality, durability, and cost. training balls are used more often and take more damage and match balls are for precision.

There are benefits to each type of ball, so it’s important to adapt to the type of ball and how it bounces. You may need to adapt your game in order to get the best from the ball.

Before we take a look at training balls and match balls, we need to look at each material construct of a soccer ball so that you know each part.

This is important when looking at the manufacturer’s specs when you buy a soccer ball.

Soccer Ball Materials – Training Ball vs Match Ball Details

Outer Coating

The outer coating of a soccer ball normally consists of two materials, PU polyurethane, and PVC polyvinyl carbonate.

PU balls are made stronger to be able to withstand knocks of a harder playing condition and the PVC balls have a softer touch, therefore they’re less durable.

Panels

The panels that are recommended by FIFA contain 32 segments – this allows for the ball to be more spherical, therefore allowing for more accuracy when hitting the ball.

Other balls can contain 26 or 18 panels, but they’re more rigid and generally of lesser quality.

Bladders

The most common types of the bladder – the rubber inner that holds the air of the ball are made of latex or butyl. Most professionals prefer latex as they’re softer to the touch.

The advantage of the butyl bladder is that they hold the air for much longer and don’t need to be inflated as much.

Best Balls for SoccerSpecs
CoatingPU
Panels32
BladderLatex

Training Soccer Balls

Training balls are made to be stronger match balls. The outer materials, whether it’s PVC or PU. If you’re looking for a ball that’s going to last a long time then one that’s made of PVC is best.

If you’re playing on concrete indoors, the ball is going to take more impact by hitting the solid floor and also metal fencing that’s around the field.

Soccer training ball
Soccer Training Balls

So if you want the ball to last for a long time then a training ball is the best option. But if you want a great ball that strikes well and money is not an issue, a match ball is best.

Nike Pitch Training Soccer Ball...
  • The Nike Pitch Training Soccer Ball features high-contrast...
  • Visual acuity graphics improve tracking on the pitch.
  • Durable and smooth casing for lasting play.

Match Soccer Balls

Most match balls are made with PU outer, which makes the ball have a soft touch. When you pick up one of these balls you’ll notice how your finger sinks slightly into the cushioning.

Soccer match ball
Soccer Match Ball

When you notice that the outer is soft to the hand, it’s the same for your foot. You’ll be able to hit the ball with more precision.

If you’re trying to curl or swerve the ball, this is more easily done with a match ball.

adidas MLS Official Match Ball
  • 100% polyurethane cover
  • Butyl bladder
  • Thermally bonded seamless surface for a more predictable...

Turf Balls

Turf balls sometimes have a slight pattern on the outside that allows for the ball to be controlled in wet conditions.

Indoor Soccer Balls

Balls that are made for the indoors are specifically made so that there is less of a rebound when the ball hits the boardings on either side of the goal.

Otherwise, the ball can bound too much when hitting the walls and also when it lands on the ground.

Futsal Soccer Balls

The Futsal ball is made not to bounce and is different from the other balls mentioned. Only buy a futsal ball if that’s what you’re intending to play.

There is very little bounce with these balls – they’re made for a game that’s focused on passing and control, with the ball on the ground.

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SELECT Futsal Super Futsal Ball,...
  • Highest quality: a futsal ball of the highest quality for...
  • Hand-sewn craftmanship: hand sewn 32-panel-technology...
  • Strong, durable cover: a unique shiny 1.9 mm pu synthetic...

Soccer Ball Sizes for All Ages

Depending on what age you’re, will mean that you have a different size soccer ball. Heavy large adult balls are no fun for kids.

Make sure you get a size for your age if you’re a youth.

Here are the standard size soccer balls;

AgeBall SizeMeasurements
All agesSize 1 – Mini18-20 inches
3-6Size 2 – Midi21-22 inches
6-9Size 323-24 inches
9-11Size 425-26 inches
12+Size 5 27-28 inches

These are the size balls used for different ages. The size 1 mini ball is used for all ages and it’s great for improving ball control.

The Professional Soccer Match Balls: Elite Standards

Professional soccer players use match balls when they’re training and when they’re playing a match. They’ve got the resources to have the best equipment.

Playing at the highest level, you want the same effect when you hit the ball all week long in training as you do when you play a match.

The recommended details for a match ball from FIFA are;

  • Pressure equal to 0.6 – 1.1 atmosphere (600 – 1,100g/cm2) at sea level (8.5 lbs/sq in – 15.6 lbs/sq in)
  • Weight Between 410 g (14 oz) and 450 g (16 oz) in weight at the start of the match
  • Circumference of between 68 cm (27 ins) and 70 cm (28 ins)

Matchday balls are marked by FIFA with a symbol. All of their approved balls are marked with the first two;

  • “FIFA Approved”
  • “FIFA Inspected”
  • “International Matchball Standard” 
Ball standards - FIFA soccer ball standards

Take a look at the most expensive soccer balls in the game and why you need to get one, in this detailed article.

What is a glider soccer ball?

A Glider soccer ball contains a bladder that’s made from butyl. This bladder keeps the air pressure in longer and it needs to be pumped up on a lesser basis.

What is a heavy soccer ball?

A heavy soccer ball within the recommendations of FIFA weighs 450g.

What is a premium soccer ball?

The best premium soccer balls will contain all of the FIFA approved logos listed.

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