Football is the world’s most popular sport with 270 million people involved in playing the sport regularly. With so many people playing the game there is a huge variety of football available. What one is the best for you? Now that’s a big question, and we’re going to examine this further in this blog.
What type of ball should you buy?
We often hear stories about Brazilians learning to play football in favelas with improvised balls and Diego Maradona playing with an orange, but we don’t all have to improvise. There are hundreds of types of balls you can choose from, but mainly the four types of balls you can buy are:
- Premium match balls
- Match balls
- Training balls
- Mini balls/skills balls
You will also have to consider what surface you’re going to be playing on. If you’re playing indoors you’ll need a felt-covered ball, if you’re playing beach football or street football you’ll need something hardwearing enough to not get destroyed by your surface, or you can opt for the classic type of ball for playing on grass or artificial surfaces.
What size of ball should I buy?
Size 5 balls are the standard size used in matches all over the world, but that size isn’t ideal for children to learn skills with. The rule of thumb is for players 15 and over – use size 5. For players aged 8-14, use a size 4, and players aged 7 and under should use a size 3. Size 1 and 2 balls aren’t really used or football, but if you are serious about learning skills these balls are invaluable.
How much are you willing to spend?
Football range in price from around £5 to around £130 for match balls used by professionals. The balls will vary in terms of construction and the materials they use. For example, more expensive balls will be hand-stitched whereas cheaper balls will be machine sewn. There are a varying number of panels used on balls. What difference does that make?
Science has shown us that the number of panels used on a football has very little difference. Usually, footballs are made with between 6 and 32 panels. The idea is that with new manufacturing techniques there will be fewer dimples in the ball, making it more round and true. Manufacturers also use different materials and dimpling to create new tech which is either supposed to give “more control” or “more movement.” Generally, these are marketing terms and there is very little difference in terms of drag and spin with balls unless you start spending lots of money. Balls like the Adidas Jubalani move more in the air than standard balls.
Realistically spend what you’re comfortable spending. If you only play down the park with your friends a £20 ball will more than suit your needs. If you run a league and want consistency, you can spend more.