When it comes to soccer (football) balls, not all soccer balls are created equal. There are countless colors & multiple materials available. One of the biggest areas of difference though is sizing. The variation in size serves a greater purpose, though, as it offers more people the ability to enjoy the game of soccer with a similar amount of excitement and fun. A 6-year-old kid will most likely experience more fun playing with a ball that is proportionate to his/her size rather than using an adult-sized soccer ball.
Reasons For Different Soccer Ball Sizes
The reason for the varying ball sizes is mainly due to the development of the younger players.
One reason is that the soccer ball size can affect the development of younger players & their safety. A five-year-old getting hit with a size-5 soccer ball would hurt a bit more compared to a size-3 ball which is much smaller.
The other reason for the ball sizing standards is because a young child will experience difficulties in manipulating & kicking around a bigger soccer ball. That is why they are allowed to use the smaller balls. Finally, children can hurt their tendons and ligaments if they continuously kick larger balls then what their bodies are prepared for.
Picking The Best Soccer Ball Size
There are 3 different soccer ball sizes, with 5 being the largest and 3 being the smallest. Each has their own dimensions and each is used best for a specific age group, league or drill.
Size 3 soccer balls are typically best suited for kids aged 8 and below. The ball measures 23″-24″ in circumference & weighs roughly 300-320g. This is the smallest ball size that you will ever see in any competitive play. This small ball is the perfect option for kids below the age of 8 because it encourages good ball handling & is properly proportioned to kids of this age group.
Size 4 soccer balls are used primarily by youth category players in the age bracket of 8-12. The size 4 ball has a circumference of 25″-26″ and 350-390g in weight. This size is beneficial for the youth group as it allows them to be accustomed to their skill-set.
Size 5 soccer balls are best suited for players aged 13 and above, including adults & professionals. They weigh about 410-450g and have a circumference of about 27″-28″. For match play, soccer balls of this category will have the “FIFA Approved” stamp, that means they have undergone the proper testing for roundness, rebound, weight, loss of pressure, shape & size retention.
Soccer Ball Size Table
|Size 1 (Skills Balls)||18–20||All ages: developing footwork skills/ball control|
|Size 3 (Junior)||23–24||8 and younger|
|Size 4 (Youth)||25–26||Ages 8 –12|
|Size 5 (Adult)||27–28||Ages 13+|
The World Cup Soccer Balls Size-5
The world cup which is the most watched sports event worldwide has been using a size-5 soccer ball since its inception in 1930. What you did not know, however, is that there were 2 balls used at that world cup, each competing team brought their own size-5 soccer ball & played 1 half with each. This is because the soccer ball sizes were not standardized back then.
I can not stress enough the significance of picking the right ball size for any age category. This’s one area we need to get right. Many are times we see small kids trying to kick a size-5 ball around and nearly tripping over. We can avoid this by picking the right sized best soccer ball.