Types of Soccer Balls

Soccer Ball 1 Types of Soccer Balls

There are many types of soccer balls, footballs or Futbols.  Soccer balls can be categorized by the following types:

Professional Match Soccer Balls

  • Developed with top professional clubs to maximize players natural abilities and skills. 
  • Approved for use at the highest professional and international levels.
  • Pure performance, exact specifications, great accuracy, speed and control.
  • Designed for all natural and artificial turf surfaces and all climates.

These soccer balls have been developed for top level international professional matches. They usually have some type of organizational approval such as the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) approval logo imprinted on the ball. For information on the ball approvals including ball testing requirements, click here.  At least five layers are used in the construction of the ball and they use the best materials.  For more information on ball materials and construction, go to the Ball Construction Page.  

Professional match balls are the most expensive type of ball since they use the best materials and adhere to strict design and testing parameters. Ball trajectory, shape, balance, bounce, water absorption and velocity are all strictly controlled.

Match Soccer Balls

  • High performance range of balls for all playing surfaces. 
  • Designed to suit all levels of play and all age groups. 
  • Guaranteed to conform to official size, weight, and shape regulations.
  • Materials developed for their performance and reliability

Match balls are designed for use in soccer matches. They cost more than practice balls and less than the internationally approved soccer balls (that makes sense). Some type of association approval  such as the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) authentication program, “FIFA Approved” or “FIFA Inspected” is usually imprinted on a match ball. Between four and five lining layers are used in the construction of the ball.

Recreational /Practice/Training /Camp Soccer Balls

  • Tough and highly durable balls for extended use.
  • Specific materials for use on all playing surfaces.
  • Used by coaches for all age groups and all standards

Usually constructed with four or less layers and use a lower quality outer cover such as PVC.  Many practice or camp balls made out of molded material (not stitched together but molded together panels) have been designed to withstand rough surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. 

Practice or camp balls are the least expensive balls when compared with match type soccer balls.

Promotional Balls

These balls are usually made to promote a name brand, organization or event.  Some promotional soccer balls are small in size (size one or two) and not intended for practice or match use.

Indoor Soccer Balls

Many indoor soccer balls consist of a felt type outer covering that is similar to the material used on tennis balls. They have the same size configurations as the outdoor soccer balls.

Futsal Soccer Balls

The main difference between a Futsal ball and a typical soccer ball, is that the bladder is filled with foam. That makes the ball heavier and have less bounce for use on the hard playing surface.  

For information on the FIFA ball laws, click here

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