Choosing the right soccer ball might appear more complicated once you realize that they come in different sizes. In some cases, a specific size is designed for a certain age group. Others can be used by anyone.
By going through each of the different sizes that are recognized by FIFA we can see which type is recommended for players of each age. There isn’t a huge difference in size between these different soccer balls, but it is still important that you understand who should be using each one of them.
Soccer Ball Sizes
Size 1 - Mainly soccer balls for toddlers
The smallest type of soccer ball is defined as a size 1. This has a circumference of 18-20 inches (46-51 cm). The small size means that it is easy to think that this is a choice only for toddlers and younger kids. It isn’t just for a certain age of player, though.
Instead, anyone of any age can use it to improve their skills. This small ball is ideal for practicing skills and close control. Professionals can use these small balls to enhance their footwork and they can also be used by youngsters who don’t have much room to play in.
A size 1 ball isn’t used in matches involving players of any age. It is purely for playing around with.
Size 2 Mainly for Kids
The second smallest option is known as the size 2 ball. This is one that has a circumference of between 20 and 22 inches (50-56cm). It is most commonly used by younger players who want to play in smaller spaces where a bigger ball might be awkward to use.
The small size and lightness of this ball mean that people often give them to toddlers as their first ball to play with and kick around. However, since it is similar in size to the size 1 ball it can also be used for skills and footwork training by anyone of any age.
As with a size 1 soccer ball, it isn’t used in any matches by any age groups. However, it can provide a very useful training aid for players at any stage of their development.
Size 3 for Children Under 8
The third smallest soccer ball measures in at a circumference of 23-24 inches (58.5-61 cm). This is the ball that is used by kids of under 8 years.
It is the smallest, lightest ball that is used for playing games with. Young players will play their very first games with this ball. They may only use this ball for a short time before moving up a size, but it is still a vital introduction to the sport for them.
It is also a good choice for giving to a youngster who just wants to kick about a ball in the yard.
Size 4 for 8 to 12 Year Olds
This is the right size for games involving children between 8 and 12 years old. Its circumference measures 25-26 inches (63.5-66 cm). It is used in youth games featuring players in the age range stated above.
The weight of this ball is between 11 and 13 ounces (312g to 368g). This means that it is pretty close in size to the biggest soccer ball, which is used by older children and adults. Keen players will get used to this ball due to the fact that they use for four years or so of games.
Of course, depending upon a child’s age and the cut-off dates for their league, they might use a ball that fits their age group but not their exact age at some point.
Size 5 for Over 12 Years of Age
This is the soccer ball that is used in all professionally organized matches from the age of 12 and upwards. It is the ball that is used by teenagers, amateurs, and professional players all over the world.
The circumference of this ball is 27-28 inches (68-70 cm). Once a player reaches 12, this is the ball that they will be using in all of their matches from now on.
Why Is This Important?
Why don’t players of all ages use the same size ball? The difference in size between these models isn’t really all that big.
However, it has been shown that these sizes are right for players in the different age brackets mentioned. They allow players to increase their skills and confidence levels as they grow.
Choosing the right size of soccer ball is crucial for allowing a young player to develop their game as they grow. While the larger size and weight of the bigger balls might not seem too important, each child has to learn with the correct ball that is suitable for their age.