Choosing the right soccer ball size is an essential part of the game. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, having the perfect soccer ball size can significantly impact your performance on the field. In this article, we’ll discuss the different soccer ball sizes and help you determine the best size for your needs.
Soccer balls come in 4 sizes: Size 1 for skill training, Size 3 for juniors, Size 4 for youth, and Size 5 for adults. Teens and adults typically use a size 5 ball, which is 27-28 inches around and weighs 14-16 ounces. Younger players use a smaller ball, depending on age, activity, and league.
Soccer ball sizes typically correspond to the player’s age, but some youth soccer leagues have specific size requirements. It’s always a good idea to confirm the appropriate ball size with your league or association.
Soccer Ball Sizes and Their Purposes
There are four common soccer ball sizes: Size 1 for skill training, Size 3 for junior players, Size 4 for youth, and Size 5 for adults. To improve your skills, try practicing drills with different-sized balls.
- For example, you can use a smaller ball, size 1 or 2, to work on your touch and control.
- When working with a larger ball, like a size 4 or 5, focus on your passing accuracy and power shots.
By incorporating a variety of sizes into your training routine, you’ll develop a well-rounded skill set suited for any soccer situation.
This section will help you understand the different soccer ball sizes and their specific purposes, making it easier to choose the right size for your or your child’s age group and skill level.
|Soccer Ball Size||Age Group||Circumference (inches)||Circumference (cm)||Weight (oz)||Weight (grams)|
|Size 1||under 3||18 – 20||45.7 – 50.8||6.9 – 7.2||195 – 205|
|Size 2||3 – 5||20 – 22||50.8 – 55.9||8.8 – 9.9||250 – 280|
|Size 3||5 – 8||23 – 24||58.4 – 61||10 – 11||300 – 320|
|Size 4||8 – 12||25 – 26||63.5 – 66||12 – 14||350 – 390|
|Size 5||12 and above||27-28||69-71||14-16||400-450|
When practicing, it’s essential to use a regulation ball to mimic the conditions of a real match. For indoor or youth soccer, the official size might differ depending on local league standards, so always check with your league or association.
Maintaining the proper ball pressure is crucial for optimal performance. Standard pressure for soccer balls ranges between 8.5 – 15.6 psi (0.6 – 1.1 bar). Check your ball’s specifications to confirm the right pressure for your specific brand and model.
Pro tip: If you’re a coach or a parent, provide various soccer ball sizes during practice sessions, especially when working with a mixed-age group. This will allow players to practice ball control and footwork with different sizes, helping them better adjust during a match.
Size 1: Skills Ball
Size 1 soccer balls have a circumference of 18″-20″ and are often called “minis.”
These balls are commonly used for skills training and general entertainment and are often found as souvenir balls with player logos or club designs.
Incorporate size 1 balls in your practice sessions to improve your touch, control, and footwork skills.
Size 2: Training Soccer Ball
Sometimes, size 2 soccer balls are used for training, especially for dribbling and practicing new moves in smaller spaces.
However, size 2 balls are less common than other soccer ball sizes. They can be pretty hard to find.
Size 3: Youth Soccer
For ages younger than 8, size 3 soccer balls are recommended. These balls have a circumference of 23-24 inches.
This smaller size helps young players get comfortable with the game and develop their skills in a more age-appropriate manner.
Size 4: Intermediate Players
Size 4 soccer balls are best for youth players between the ages of 8 and 12, with a 25-26 inch circumference.
This size allows them to continue developing their skills as they grow and strengthen. Try incorporating passing, shooting, and dribbling drills with size 4 balls to develop your skills further.
Size 5: Official Size
Size 5 soccer balls are the official standard for adults, used by professional and amateur players ages 13 and older. These balls have a circumference of 27-28 inches.
Working with size 5 balls will help prepare you for matches and competitions under standard rules as you progress in your soccer journey.
Age Groups and Ball Sizes
Considering the appropriate soccer ball size for various age groups, it’s crucial to understand that soccer balls come in different sizes based on age and skill level. Knowing the correct ball size can help young players comfortably and safely develop their skills and enjoy the game.
Kids and youth players can be broadly categorized into the following age groups, and they typically use the following ball sizes in youth rec leagues, school sports teams, and comp teams.
- Junior (U5-U8): Under 8 years old; Size 3 balls with a circumference of 23-24 inches (58.5-61 cm)
- Youth (U8-U12): Ages 8-12; Size 4 balls with a circumference of 25-26 inches (63.5-66 cm)
- Adults (U12+): Ages 13 and older; Size 5 balls with a circumference of 27-28 inches (68-70 cm)
When coaching kids and youth players, always have the right-sized soccer balls on hand for their age group, as this will help them feel more confident on the field and better develop their skills.
Additionally, size 1 soccer balls are perfect for skills training for all ages and have a circumference of 18-20 inches (46-51 cm).
- Encourage young children in the Junior age group to practice dribbling, passing, and shooting using size 3 soccer balls. Create small-sided games that will help them build their skills and confidence.
- For Youth age group players, incorporate drills that focus on improving ball control, accuracy, and speed, while using size 4 soccer balls.
- Lastly, adults, practice more advanced techniques and tactics on the field with size 5 soccer balls.
What Is The Best Soccer Ball Size For Teens?
Teens need the right size soccer ball to play the game well and safely. The standard size for teens is a size 5 ball, which is 27-28 inches around and weighs 14-16 ounces.
Younger players may need a smaller ball, like a size 4 or 3, depending on their age and skill level.
When choosing a soccer ball, consider your height and weight. A size 5 ball may be too hard to handle if you’re smaller, so a size 4 could be better. A size 5 ball should be perfect if you’re taller and bigger.
Ultimately, the best size ball for you is the one that feels comfortable and allows you to control it well. If you’re unsure, ask your coach or trainer for advice. They’ll help you pick the right ball to have fun playing soccer!
Should You Use Smaller Balls During Practice?
Practice controlling and making accurate passes with a smaller ball than your regular game size to gain precision, then transition to the larger ball to gain power.
For example, if you usually play with a size 5 ball, try practicing with a size 4 ball. This will help you become more precise in your touches and passes when playing with the full-size ball.
Remember, using the right soccer ball size plays a significant role in your skill development and overall enjoyment of the game. Make sure to choose the appropriate size based on your age and skill level, and always keep the circumference and weight in mind when selecting a ball for practice or competition.
Choosing the Right Soccer Ball for Training and Drills
When training and drills, selecting the appropriate soccer ball is crucial for improving your skills and maximizing your potential. Different types of soccer balls are designed specifically for various purposes such as training, indoor soccer, futsal, and enhancing ball control.
A training soccer ball is designed for everyday use and focuses on durability and performance. You can practice drills to hone your abilities, like passing, shooting, and dribbling. Keep in mind, it’s essential to choose the right size based on your age and skill level.
When playing indoor soccer, you’ll need an indoor soccer ball that is designed with a softer cover and lower bounce to account for the hard surface. Practicing with an indoor ball can help improve your first touch and overall control.
A smaller and heavier futsal ball is the go-to option for those interested in futsal. Futsal balls require precise control and quick reactions, perfect for improving your ball handling and footwork.
Additionally, a skills ball is an excellent choice for enhancing your close control and touch. These balls are typically smaller than regular soccer balls and can be used for various exercises, such as juggling and dribbling through cones.
Here are some drills and tips to make the most out of your chosen ball:
- Practice your dribbling skills using cones or other markers, alternating between slow and fast-paced movements to improve your ball control.
- Improve your passing accuracy by targeting specific objects or spaces on the field, emphasizing technique and precision.
- Work on quick one-touch passing and fast decision-making during small-sided games for futsal and indoor soccer.
- Regularly practice juggling and trapping the ball with different parts of your body to enhance your close control and coordination.
Choosing the right soccer ball for your specific training needs will help elevate your skills and ensure you’re ready for any game situation.
Soccer Ball Brands and Models
In this section, we will discuss some popular soccer ball brands and their models to help you decide when choosing a soccer ball.
Nike Soccer Balls
Nike, a well-known sports brand, offers a variety of soccer balls suitable for different players and skill levels.
One noteworthy option is the Nike Premier Team FIFA Soccer Ball. It is a premium ball with excellent durability, consistency, and performance, perfect for training and competitive matches.
To improve your ball control and passing accuracy, try practicing drills like the “First Touch and Pass” or “One-Two Passing.”
Adidas Soccer Balls
Adidas, the global leader in soccer, offers a wide range of soccer balls, including the official World Cup soccer balls, which are always size 5.
One popular model is the Adidas Capitano soccer ball, available in sizes 3 to 5 and various color options. It is a hard-wearing ball with excellent bounce, making it suitable for practice or games.
Consider practicing “Cone Dribbling” and “Target Shooting” drills to improve your dribbling and shooting skills with Adidas soccer balls.
Puma Soccer Balls
Puma, another leading sports brand, offers a range of high-quality soccer balls suitable for different skill levels.
One of the options available is the Puma FIFA Quality Pro Soccer Ball. This ball offers excellent performance, durability, and consistency for training and matches. A pro tip for improving your touch and control with Puma soccer balls is practicing the “Tennis Ball Juggling” drill.
Remember to choose a soccer ball based on your skill level, playing surface, and personal preferences. You will significantly improve your soccer skills with the right ball and consistent practice using the mentioned drills. Good luck!
Having the right size of soccer ball for the moment can help players practice, improve, and play their best game.
And thankfully, it’s not too hard to get the right size of a ball – unless you’re looking for a size 2. Then I wish you all the luck because those things are hard to find.
Next, I recommend you read our guide: Is it Safe to Play Soccer in The Rain? 7 Practical Techniques.
Learning from your own experiences is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as a family of sports nuts wannabes.
- Premium Soccer Balls, FIFA Approved soccer balls at Soccer Pro. (n.d.). SoccerPro. https://www.soccerpro.com/product-category/soccer-equipment/soccer-balls/premium-match-soccer-balls/
- Riggs, A. (2023, January 10). All Soccer Ball Sizes You Should Know. This is American Soccer. https://www.thisisamericansoccer.com/help/soccer-ball-sizes
- Soccer Balls. (n.d.). Nike.com. https://www.nike.com/size-fit/soccer-balls
- Watson, C. (2022, August 11). The Best Soccer Ball Sizes for All Ages (Includes Chart). Soccer Coaching Pro. https://www.soccercoachingpro.com/soccer-ball-sizes/