It may not have occurred to you before, but one of the best and easiest ways to decide on a soccer ball for your children is to pick it out in accordance with their age. Never mind their experience in playing the game or random weird ideas like the length of their gait. Just take a look at the calendar!
Of course, there are tons of helpful online resources, such as this review, that can help you choose the very best equipment. Still, you should have some idea of what is what before you commit to a purchase, so here is a brief guide on different soccer ball sizes and the age groups they correspond to.
Size 1 is the smallest possible soccer ball that you can find commercially available. It has a circumference of 18”, approximately. For this reason, it is also called the mini ball. It is the perfect ball for toddlers who are just starting to develop their ability to kick, as well as for very young children.
They come in especially useful if you have a child who is less than 3 years old but is already starting to learn soccer. These balls are notable for their exceedingly small dimensions and light weight. These same characteristics also make it a steadfast favorite among adult professional players and their coaches, typically for the purposes of training their keep ups, dribbling, and other types of control drills.
Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, the next one in line is the Size 3 soccer ball, not a “size 2”. This is the single tiniest official soccer ball that is legally used in games, and it is being made and distributed for players who are 8 years old or younger. They are about 23” in circumference, and being a little larger than the size 1 they can withstand kicks that are harder.
Unless your child becomes a professional soccer player and spends the rest of their active life handling the proper adult size ball, this variety will be the one that they will spend the most time with. Therefore, it is advisable that you invest in one of high quality that will last you for at least several years. You can find some tips on choosing a good soccer ball in this handy article.
The Size 4 soccer balls are aimed at slightly older children than the size 3 variant. With a circumference of 25” it is meant to be used by young players aged 9 through 12. Being a little bigger than the size 3, it is also somewhat heavier, and this is the last soccer ball that young players will encounter before they officially make the transition to the adult ball that is used on the global scale. This ball variant is rather similar in size to the genuine adult ball, and this makes it an indispensable aid in home training for all players who are still within the effective age range.
Finally, last on our list, the Size 5 soccer ball is the one that is used in legitimate adult competitions. It is the largest available ball of all the previous ones we mentioned, coming in at around 27” at the circumference. This is the ball that is required to be used by all players who are 13 years old or older. Therefore, just like with the size 3 ball, you would do well to invest in a piece of high quality equipment so that your children can have the proper practice that they need.
When you go shopping for a size 5 ball for your young soccer player, you should make sure that it has been marked as approved by FIFA. This approval marking indicates that you are indeed buying a professional grade product instead of some counterfeit sham. You can learn more about FIFA’s soccer ball standards at their official relevant page: https://football-technology.fifa.com/en/standards/footballs/.
If a ball has been marked as approved by FIFA, you can be sure it was tested for water retention rate, bounce, weight, circumference and size in general, and all other relevant factors. Because FIFA approval is so widespread, affordable quality balls are easy to find.