Soccer balls come in different sizes and weight. However, the most important aspect for many players is the size. The size of a soccer ball will address different aspects of an individual’s needs and preferences.
As you go purchasing a ball, it is important that you make the best choice not just to go along with the federations requirements but also to develop your skills as well as ensure your comfort.
Below is a guide of the soccer ball sizes available, why they are different, and why choosing the right size for you is important. You will be able to understand what each size has to offer.
Considerations to Determine Ball Size
Soccer players need to use a standard size, especially in competitions so that they all play at par without any given advantage. In addition, the balls must be consistent with the aim of providing the best performance.
To help meet these objectives, soccer federations have provided strict regulations and requirements on the sizes of the balls for use.
A game will take a different turn if the ball is too light or it is too heavy. The following aspects are put in place when looking at balls to help create a balance of the requirements.
Soccer balls are rated by their size and the size is measured in inches or centimeters. The standard measurement is by measuring the circumference of the ball. With a range of between 1 and 5, the largest ball size is 5.
The size of the ball will have a large role in determining the weight of a ball. Depending on the size, there is a standard weight recommendation for the ball. The larger the ball, the heavier it is.
This is not only because you will inflate more air into it but also because they will use more material to construct the larger ball. Before a match, the ball is weighed.
After the match starts, it is rather difficult to obtain the exact weight of the ball. This is because the weight may be altered in the presence of dew or moisture on the ground.
In addition, the ball may accumulate dirt between the balls panels and seams making it heavier than it actually was.
The construction of a soccer ball is rather simple, but it has to be just right to help meet the required standards.
A ball comprises of a bladder, lining, cover, and stitches. The bladder is the part that you inflate air into and it is the innermost layer.
This is followed by the lining, which plays the role of protecting the bladder, as well as contributes towards giving the ball its shape.
The cover, in turn, protects the lining. To hold the panels together is the stitching. Measuring the circumference of the ball comes after the complete construction of the ball.
A majority of balls are built in accordance with FIFA regulations. In an effort to maintain the size and weight of any ball, you must use it as required to ensure that the specifications are maintained.
First, you must inflate the ball with the right mixture of air to retain the recommended weight. Second, ensure you use a standard hand pump or foot pump. Even when playing, the right pressure is very important to enable you to improve your skills.
Why are there different ball sizes?
Anytime you intend to shop for a ball, be it for fun or if you are purchasing one as a professional player, there are factors that you put into place.
In the same way, these factors have been put into consideration and thus the different ball sizes in the market.
The following are the main reasons as to why there are different ball sizes.
Impact on the players’ development
The main reason why there are different ball sizes is that they aim at developing players skills as they progress.
This is in reference to maneuverability, control, and performance. Just like you would not purchase large clothes for your toddler, so they grow into them later, it is the same thing with a soccer ball.
You must buy a ball that will suit a specific time in your children’s life. Choosing the right ball size at the right age will help the child to develop and grow in the sport.
They will be able to play and gain control of the ball making it a learning experience with better results. Beginners will not start with a size 5 even if they are in their teens.
Accommodating age of the player
The soccer federations considered the age difference between players. The different sizes promote comfort and confidence according to the players’ age.
A large ball will only strain a child. It only makes sense that you should find a ball that will suit the players’ preference while at the same time creating a balance for the individual. A toddler can barely kick a large ball and move it.
The idea is to motivate the toddler to love the sport rather than making him or her feel as if they are not moving or advancing in the sport. The smaller ball, size 3 and below will allow your toddler to have fun as well as learn a few things in their age.
Considering that people start playing football at different ages, it is evident that allowing a small child (5 years and below) to play with an adult’s ball will cause pain in case it hits him.
Children stand the risk of hurting their ligaments and tendons if they play with larger balls due to the weight that comes with the larger balls.
Hurting their ligaments and tendons can have a long-term effect on the kids. Safety is probably the most important aspect to put into consideration to push you into buying the right ball size. Do not increase the risk of an injury for your young ones.
Soccer Ball Sizes
Looking at the above reasons for having different ball sizes, it is evident that one must select the right ball. The following sizes are the standard acceptable ball sizes across the globe as agreed by the soccer federations.
There are sizes 1 through to 5 of soccer ball sizes. They offer different features and despite some small differences, they have a great impact. In a brief summary, here is a list of ball-sizes and what they have to offer to determine where they are played and by whom.
Professional players design a size 5 soccer ball for play. However, they must also be of adult age. In reference to the age group that can play this size, it is recommended for individuals above the age of 12.
It comes at an average weight of about 15 ounces plus or minus one ounce. In terms of size, it comes with a circumference of about 27 inches. It also has a 0.6 BAR, which refers to its recommended unit of pressure.
This is the size used to play in the World Cup and other professional competitions. All leagues above U12 use this ball size.
These include FIFA, Major League Soccer, as well as semi-professional leagues. Considering that they are used for professional soccer, this means that they have been tested and measured for accuracy.
As such, they come with a FIFA Approved stamp. This means that they are tested to approve its size (circumference), roundness, water absorption, shape, size retention, rebound, as well as weight.
- Weight: 14-16 ounces
- Circumference: 27-28 inches/ 69-71 cm
- Age group preference: 12 and above
Size 4 soccer ball size is recommended for the youth with the age bracket of eight to twelve years.
The size and weight balance make it easier to use because players at this stage can handle a slightly larger ball but on the other hand, increase their skills on the field to help them approach a professional game in the near future.
They are ideally designed to help players adjust to their skill set. For example, teens practicing on their dribbling skills may find it difficult to make progress if they use a size 5 ball because the ball is large and too heavy for them.
- Weight: 12-13 ounces/ 350- 390 grams
- Circumference: 25-26 inches/ 63.5- 66cm
- Age group preference: 8-12 years
Size 3 ball sizes are ideal for the junior class players more likely ages eight and younger. They are moderately heavy as compared to size 4.
Players at this age do not have very strong bones and getting them to play with the larger and heavier balls will only put them at risk of getting an injury.
This size is not only functional at this age, but it is also comfortable to allow players to learn without putting too much effort.
Remember, it will take more force to kick a larger ball if you are younger. You can teach children ball handling with ease without overweighing them.
- Weight: 300- 320 grams
- Circumference: 23-24 inches/ 58.6- 61cm
- Age group preference: 8 years and younger
Size one balls are ideally designed to help players work on their skills. During training sessions, coaches will incorporate size one balls to help develop footwork skills as well as ball control.
They are not heavy while at the same time come with the added advantage that they promote diversity so right about anyone can use this size.
With no limiting factor on age, all players have an equal chance of learning the best of control and performance.
In addition, this size of balls is also convenient to provide as a souvenir or just as collector’s edition. Balls with player logos are commonly found in this size.
In the market, this size is also referred to as minis. If you are not into professional or serious about soccer training, you will probably end up purchasing this ball.
- Weight: Less than 320grams
- Circumference: 18-20 inches/ 46-51 cm
- Age group preference: Any age
While these are the accepted ball sizes being manufactured, there may be a slight difference in the way they are used by different soccer federations.
The size will determine the age of players and which ones are accepted for use in competitions. Generally, the following guide will help you choose the following soccer ball size.
Choosing the Right Size
The difference in size means that you need to choose the right size. Below are two main aspects that are worth the consideration.
A professional already has their skills sharpened and this limits their selection to either size 1 or size 5. Size one helps them to practice and further perfect their skills. Size 5 is the recommended size for playing all their matches.
The purpose for which you are purchasing a soccer ball will determine the size of the ball you purchase. For example, some people are more big soccer fans and they may want a ball to have their favorite player sign. A size one will meet this objective.
A ball is the most important requirement in any soccer match or game. What many do not know is that soccer balls vary in sizes. Size will also affect the weight of the soccer ball.
It is therefore important that individuals consider size before purchasing a ball.
Many people are not aware that the sizes of soccer balls differ with benefits to players. They assume that the size difference is only a gimmick to sell more products.
First, the size of a soccer ball will address different aspects of an individual’s needs and preferences.
You must also consider your personal skills when selecting a ball. Age is another important consideration.
This is because depending on your age group, you will be able to identify a size that is specifically designed for you to hold your interests.
Above, is a guide of the soccer ball sizes available, why they are different, and why choosing the right size for you will better your skills significantly. You will be able to understand what each size has to offer and their key purpose.