Soccer, also known as football in some countries, is believed to be one of the most popular sports in the world. Watching professionals play this game is certainly fun. Many people are impressed by the skills and stamina involved in this game and decide to start playing. However, you need to know that professional are trained athletes who have the best coaching and gear. If you are thinking about starting to play soccer, the first thing to do is to choose an appropriate ball. Though it may seem that all balls are the same; they might differ in size, quality, and some other factors. Beginners might go for a particular ball by looking at its color and design, which is not a good way of choosing the perfect ball.
Tips on Choosing the Right Soccer Ball
Seasoned football professionals say that there are four factors in determining a good soccer ball: the type, size, the bladder and brand.
Type of Soccer Sport
You need to decide on the level of playing you would be opting for, that is outdoor playing or indoor playing. Outdoor balls are made as per professional soccer standards and the wear and tear they happen to go through. On the other hand, indoor soccer balls are manufactured to suit indoor conditions. For example, these balls are made in a way that they would bounce about 30% less than their outdoor counterparts. Besides, the covering of these balls is made up with a material that is quite similar to that of tennis balls.
Size of the Ball
Next comes soccer ball sizes, which is generally classified in three, four and five. The smallest-sized balls range from 23 to 24 inches, and are most suitable for children. As per standards, these are good choices for those below 8 years. Balls of size four are a little bigger than the previous ones and are most suitable for soccer enthusiasts between 8 to 12 years. Those which have international standards come in size five which is the biggest. These are appropriate for anyone above 12 years.
The Cover or Surface Type
The cover and bladder are two major parts of a soccer ball, which differ significantly in ball types. Traditionally, the surface of the ball is made out of materials namely the synthetic Polyurethane (PU), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and rubber. Those made with rubber are most suitable for practice and daily playing. Those made up of Polyurethane are more durable and have good water resistance qualities. Soccer balls whose surface is manufactured using PVC material are light and more durable.
The Bladder Type
The bladder is the main material that keeps the ball inflated and in proper shape. It has a valve for filling air. Soccer balls made for practice are manufactured using a combination of butyl and rubber. They do hold air much better than latex ones, but are not light and have a heavy feel on the feet. Professional ones have bladders made with latex, which make the balls more responsive both with the feet and head. They are soft on the feet and maintain the shape of the ball for a long time.
Choosing the Brand
If you are just playing for the sake of exercise, you can simply go into a sports shop and choose a locally made brand. However, if you are thinking about serious matches and practice, there are few good options like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Umbro. Those from Nike and Adidas are used in professional league sports. However, you will have to pay a decent price for a soccer ball from these world famous brands.
For better control, practice with a ball which is of the same size like the one that you are going to play a match with. While practicing for a match, use the complete gear, to get a feel of the game and increase interest. For better control of the ball, choose good quality soccer shoes which fit you well. Choosing a ball with FIFA Approved or FIFA Inspected logo will ensure utmost durability and quality.