April 5

What ball should I offer to the Soccer Ball Gods?

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Every year I buy a ball and every year I tend to lose that exact same ball, why you ask do I continue to keep buying them? Because without the right ball you can’t have the best soccer experience possible. I feel that it is only right to make a yearly donation to the Soccer Ball Gods since that is the only place I can figure out that all my soccer balls are ending up at.

When buying a ball most of us go up to a ball display and look at all the balls and we window shop. We look at the outside of the ball, find the ball that has the manufacturer that we prefer, the price we want to pay and then we pick the color that we like.

When I am watching outdoor games or games at Kick City Sports Park there are a lot of different brands, colors and quality. For me paying a little extra to play with a good ball is worth it. I know it seems self serving to be pushing the more expensive balls, but it is one of the two tools you need to play soccer (the other of course is your shoes). For me, it is the most important tool and to play with a nice ball is a joy.

The $15.00 and $20.00 ball aren’t fun to shoot with, hurt when you head it and don’t last nearly as long. I am not pushing for the $150.00 World Cup ball. But to spend $25.00 to $40.00 on a ball makes a huge difference. Spend a little extra and you will notice the difference in play!

$15-$20 Balls
These balls are made for the recreational player or child to kick around and have fun with. This ball doesn’t need to have air added very often, as the valve is more rigid and doesn’t let the air escape, which is a very good selling point to parents. The balls are machine stitched.

They are not a performance ball and I don’t recommend them for a player who wants to practice or play in a more serious manner. I also wouldn’t recommend heading these balls very often as the butyl bladders are stiff and unforgiving.
I can’t seem to lose these balls to the Soccer Ball Gods, but these are the ones that I find in the bushes at the fields.

$25-$40 Balls
This ball is most often used by competitive teams and players train with. This ball is great for indoor soccer, competitive outdoor games and training. The balls at this price are very nice to head and very nice to shoot with. The soft bladder along with the padding provides a very nice playing ball. The balls are hand stitched

This is the price point I pick for my game balls while playing indoor. While coaching youth teams I also pick this price point ball for my teams. It is good to practice with balls that are very close to the game ball you play with and these balls do a nice job.

$50-80 Balls
The balls at this price point are considered Match Balls. They are FIFA approved, which means that each ball is tested on weight, water uptake, shape and size retention to make sure they meet performance standards set by FIFA.
These balls are made of very high quality material. The seams between panels are thermal bonded to allow for the best flight possible. The bladder, valve, and padding are designed to provide more predictable trajectory, better touch and lower water uptake.

To play with this quality of a ball is a real treat. The flight of the ball is very predictable and is much easier to control that the less expensive balls. Due to the extra padding and soft exterior heading and striking the ball isn’t painful. In addition, when hitting a long ball, shooting or heading the ball comes off you foot in a smooth, comfortable and easy. I don’t recommend playing with this price point ball playing indoor. The impact of the ball on the wall overtime will unbalance the ball. This ball is designed to play in Match conditions on an outdoor field.

$100-150 Balls
These top of the line balls are AWESOME! They have all top of the line materials in the cover, backing and bladder to allow the ball to fly exceptionally true. They have the highest FIFA rating and are tested on weight, water uptake and shape.
I have owned a few balls at this price point in my life. They are wonderful balls to own and play with. The problem is trying to keep a hold of them. I can’t afford to donate this high price ball to the Soccer Ball Gods, so I stay away from them.
But, if you are brave and can watch this ball at all times – you should give it a try sometimes. You will love it!

Best of Luck,
Blake Leamy

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