Buying Guide for Footballs
There’s a tremendous amount of options out there when it comes to footballs and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing the right ball for your brand, club or event. What’s the difference? It’s only a ball I hear you say! However decide upon the wrong type of football, and your training sessions, matches, product giveaways or promotions could lead to disappointment. So which football is correct for you? We’ve produced this quick guide to help you explore the options!
SELECTING THE SIZE
Size 3 6-9 Years
Size 4 9-13
Size 5 14+ – Standard Match Size Football.
In the event you’re working with kids younger than six, there are two additional sizes – Size 1 and Size 2 – which might also be referred to as Mini and Midi footballs. These sizes can be utilized by older players to increase skill and coordination but are also very popular for promotional balls and brand events.
MATERIAL SELECTION –
Footballs used to be comprised of leather, however, they’re now available in a variety of materials with every choice designed to suit yet a specific end user.
MATCH BALLS – will, by and large, be constructed of a PU fabric. PU, though costly, provides the highest degree of playability and suits all day, all-weather performance. At We Print Balls we use specialist materials including Korean Duck Sung, AI-2000 and Japanese Cordely to produce high-end match balls. Made from 4 Ply (4 layers of laminated cotton). We can build a ball to FIFA A Grade specification on request.
TRAINING FOOTBALLS – are built for consistency, durability and low maintenance. For this reason, you are going to regularly find the use of TPU and PVC. TPU is typically backed with soft foam, giving high-quality gentle touch properties, aiding player manipulation. PVC is harder to the touch but offers durability making it a greater option for the poorer quality pitches (notably sand and astroturf). Made from 4PLY or 3PLY (3 layers of laminated cotton) for children on request.
PROMOTIONAL FOOTBALLS – Designed for brand awareness, promotional events and occasions where cost is the overriding factor. They are made of PVC and 2 layers (2PLY) of laminated cotton. They are cheap and cheerful but offer limited durability.
STITCHING – There’s a couple of option to sew a soccer ball. Most footballs are machine-stitched. This is the quickest and most economical approach, so it’s mostly completed on training balls and promo balls. The stitch is strong and consistent yet exposed.
The most traditional system used is to hand stitch the ball. The skill of hand stitching is far superior to machine stitching. The seams are much deeper giving greater aerodynamic playability and allowing a higher tension than a computer sewn ball. This, in turn, will give greater power and a better all-around quality ball.
Every ball we make is hand sewn, hand printed and machine use is limited to the cutting of the hexagons and pentagons. Even our promotional balls are hand sewn!
THE BLADDER – It can be argued that a football is only as good as its bladder. Most footballs most likely will contain a latex bladder or a synthetic/rubber bladder. Traditionally latex bladders will be used as they provide better efficiency and rebound properties. On the downside, latex bladders are porous and will progressively lose air, because of this they require above average inflation.
Training balls and match balls will, by and large, incorporate a reinforced artificial or rubber bladder. The material for high-end balls being butyl. The two foremost advantages of this are, first of all, the air retention of the ball is better, meaning less pumping up! Secondly, the bolstered layer presents more consistent ball form and dimension. This is a major factor for the end user and all club and match balls should contain a butyl bladder.