Choosing the Right Soccer Ball by Children’s Age
Selecting the properly sized soccer ball for your child is extremely important, as the right size ball will help them develop their skills from a young age. By using a soccer ball that is too big for them, they may have difficulty dribbling, shooting and controlling the ball. There are four basic sizes of soccer balls for you to choose from, each with their own recommended age range to be used for. For parents looking to build a home soccer field for their child, they should understand the different sizes and when a ball change is needed.
The biggest factor in selecting the right ball is the age and size of your child. Since there are worldwide standards for ball size per age group, they should generally be followed so that your child practices with the same size ball that they play with. However, in cases where a child is either much larger than is typical for their age or is significantly advanced in skill, using the professional grade ball may be suitable.
Size 1 Soccer Ball
Often called a ‘miniball’, the size 1 is the smallest available soccer ball at a circumference of approximately 18”. The ball is generally the first one purchased for very young children and toddlers that are just beginning to kick. Due to its lightweight and very small size, it is perfect for kids under three years old that are just starting with soccer.
However, the size 1 ball is also very popular among adults, including many professional teams. Though it may sound confusing to hear about grown adults, especially the best in the world, using a mini ball, it is true. Since it is so small, the size 1 is often used by players and coaches in control drills to practice dribbling, keep ups and more.
Size 3 Soccer Ball
The next size up from the mini ball, the size 3 is the smallest official soccer ball used in games and is made for players 8 years and under. Offering a circumference of around 23”, it is slightly bigger than the size 1 and can withstand harder kicks. Aside from the adult ball, the size 3 is the soccer ball that players will use the longest throughout their lives, so it is best for parents of young children to invest in a high quality one that can last for years to come.
Size 4 Soccer Ball
The size 4 ball is used by players aged 9 to 12 and has a circumference of 25”. Slightly bigger and heavier that the size 3, it is the last ball that players will use before they make the jump into the official ball used across the world. Even though it is quite close in size to the adult ball, it is important that players within the age range continue to practice at home with the size 4, so that they maintain consistency during their games.
Size 5 Soccer Ball
The official soccer ball used in all adult competitions, the size 5 is the largest available ball at a circumference of 27”. Used by everybody over the age of 13, it is advised that parents invest in a proper size 5 soccer ball for their children, so they can properly practice their skills with a high quality piece of equipment.
When selecting a size 5 ball, it is encouraged that buyers look for balls which contain a “FIFA Approved” marking, which indicates that it is a professional grade ball. In order to receive this marking, each ball is rigorously tested for its size, weight, circumference, water retention, bounce and other important factors that go into using an official soccer ball. Most balls from the top soccer equipment companies are FIFA approved, so finding one at an affordable price is quite easy for buyers.
Other Types of Soccer Balls
There are several other types of balls that are used around the world for soccer alternatives, including beach soccer, futsal and indoor soccer.
Futsal balls come in size 4, however they are made slightly differently than traditional soccer balls. In order to reduce bouncing on the hard indoor surface, the futsal balls are stuffed with foam to soften the impact.
Indoor soccer balls are size 4 balls that are typically covered in felt or suede to increase friction with the indoor turf. They are bouncier than futsal balls, yet have less bounce than a normal soccer ball.
Beach soccer balls are the same size as an official adult ball, however are significantly lighter due to the fact that they have to be kicked with bare feet. They are also brightly colored so that they are visible against the color of the sand, usually coming in neon orange or yellow.
Choosing the Best Ball for Your Home Soccer Field
If you are planning to build a home soccer pitch, then selecting a high quality and perfectly sized ball is important to aiding your child’s development. Whether you are looking to build an officially sized outdoor pitch, a mini soccer field or even an indoor soccer field for those living in states with long winters, a good ball will provide everything your child needs to build their skills.
If you would like to discuss building an affordable custom soccer field in your home or need any additional help with ball sizing, just contact our expert team now and we will be glad to help you.