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Soccer Training Ball vs Match Ball

As a player, it is always nice to have a ball that just feels right. You are able to do what you want on the field. It is hard to know in the store what soccer ball is the right one.

What are the differences between and training ball and a 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.

When buying a soccer ball, I can go into a store and purchase one because I see and feel it. It’s not a great place to strike your foot through it to see if it hits sweetly! They won’t be too happy in the store.

Online stores, always provide a lower cost for products, so if we know what ball we need then that’s the place to go. Unless we have had a soccer ball before and we just replacing the same one, then we need to know what is right for our game.

Where we Play Soccer

An amateur can play football in the park, indoors or in cages. Various places and they all have different surfaces, playing conditions and surroundings.

Soccer Ball Sizes

Depending on what age you are, 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 are 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 is great for improving ball control.

Types of Soccer Balls

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 are 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 are 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 are 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

Turf Balls

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

Indoor 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 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 Balls

The Futsal ball is made not to bounce and is different from the other balls mentioned. Only buy a futsal ball if that is what you are intending to play. There is very little bounce with these balls – they are made for a game that is focused on passing and control, with the ball on the ground.

Training Balls

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

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

Soccer training ball

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.

Match 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 will notice how your finger sink slightly into the cushioning.

Soccer match ball

When you notice that the outer is soft to the hand, it is the same for your foot. You will be able to hit the ball with more precision. If you are trying to curl or swerve the ball, this is more easily done with a match ball.

The Professionals

The professional soccer players use match balls when they are training and when they are playing a match. They have 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
What is a glider soccer ball?

A Glider soccer ball contains a bladder that is 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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