Soccer Training Ball Vs. Match Ball (Club Vs. Practice)

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Soccer balls are 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 differ from those used in games for most players, apart from the pros.

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

Women training with a soccer ball ○ Soccer Blade

Soccer training ball vs. match ball?

The surface material, quality, durability, and cost. Training balls are used more often and take more damage, and game 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 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.

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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 withstand knocks of a harder playing condition, and the PVC balls have a softer touch. Therefore, they’re less durable.


The panels recommended by FIFA contain 32 segments – this allows the ball to be more spherical and more accurate when hitting the ball.

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


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

The butyl bladder’s advantage is that it holds the air for much longer and doesn’t need to be inflated as much.

Best Balls for SoccerSpecs

Training Soccer Balls – what is a training soccer ball

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

If you’re playing on concrete indoors, the ball will take more impact by hitting the solid floor and metal fencing around the field.

Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watches his players during a training session for the Beijing match of the 2016 International Champions Cup China in Beijing, China, 24 July 2016
Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watches his players during a training session for the Beijing match of the 2016 International Champions Cup China in Beijing, China, 24 July 2016

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

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Bangkok July 13Ryan Giggs R of Man Utd. drives the ball during Singha 80th Anniversary Cup Manchester United vs Singha All Star at Rajamangala Stadium on July 132013 in Bangkok Thailand ○ Soccer Blade

Match Soccer Balls

Most match balls are made with PU outer, which gives the ball 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.

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

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Turf Balls

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

Indoor Soccer Balls

Balls 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 it hits the walls and 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 intend to play.

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

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Soccer Ball Sizes for All Ages

Depending on your age, it 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 that pros use;

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 one mini ball is used for all ages and is great for improving ball control.

The Professional Soccer Match Balls: Elite Standards

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

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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)

FIFA marks matchday balls 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

This detailed article will look at the most expensive soccer balls in the game and why you need to get one.

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 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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Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade

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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