Are you or your child thinking about joining a soccer league this year? Before you join the millions of soccer fans around the world, you need to buy a soccer ball. But it can’t be just any old ball, it has to be appropriate for your size or age. Keep in mind that a bigger ball means a bigger shock if it misses its target and hits you. Plus, for toddlers it’s easier to control a smaller ball.
Most recreational soccer leagues require kids to bring their own balls to practice sessions. You need to know what soccer ball to choose for your child’s size.
What soccer ball size to choose?
Follow these recommendations:
- Choose a size 3 for future soccer stars under 10 years old
- Choose a size 4 ball for players between 10 and 13 years old
- Buy a size 5 ball for teens aged 13 and up and for adults
Which material is best?
Select a ball that’s made of a material suited to your kind of play. Here are some tips.
- Rubber is affordable and durable. It’s suitable for amateur soccer players.
- Leather, the traditional material, is more expensive. It absorbs water and can become heavy.
- Polyurethane is durable and has good water-repellent properties. Many youth soccer leagues use these.
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is suitable for young players. In addition to being affordable, these balls are lighter and more durable than polyurethane balls.
- Latex is the best under-layer for soccer balls.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a cutting-edge ball if you just want to scrimmage with friends. But if you want to join a league or you dream of becoming the next Pelé, it’s worth getting something that will last and handle well.
How many panels should the ball have?
Did you know that the number of panels it has determines how a ball travels in the air? It also affects the amount of control a player has over the ball. The fewer panels there are, the more aerodynamic and faster it is. The more panels, the more control the player has over the ball. The vast majority of balls on the market have 32 panels.
Once you’ve decided what soccer ball to choose, you’ll be just about ready to play. All that’s left to do is inflate the ball to the recommended pressure indicated on it. You’ll soon see that having an underinflated ball is about as much fun as getting a red card.