As someone who often plays and teaches soccer with players of various age ranges, I can say from experience that a single soccer ball size is not ideal for everyone. So, you might be thinking: what size ball does my player need?
Well, look no further! In this article, I wrote down the characteristics and distinctions of the five different soccer ball sizes as well as the age group for which each of them is recommended. So what are you waiting for? Check it out!
Choosing Among the 5 Soccer Ball Sizes
Basically, a major factor in choosing the perfect one is the age of the player, which also somehow tells about his or her playing style and skill in handling the ball. There are five different sizes of soccer balls, size 1 being the smallest and size 5 the largest. However, only sizes 3, 4, and 5 are used during games.
Here’s what sets the sizes apart and the perfect age groups for each:
Soccer Ball Size
u5 and above (skills training)
10oz or less
u5 and above (skills training)
u5 - u7 (competitive play)
u8 - u12 (competitive play)
u12 and above (competitive play)
If you’re looking for what size soccer ball for 5-year-olds, this is the answer. Also known as skill ball or the mini-ball, size 1 soccer balls have a circumference of 17” to 20”.
Mini-balls share the same designs as size 5 balls, are typically made of PVC, and mainly serves promotional purposes.
Although some players, specifically those under the age of 8, can benefit from practicing with this size in terms of ball handling, minis are usually just collectible items or used for entertainment. You’ll often find that souvenir balls featuring club designs or player logos come in this size for easier collectability.
Size 2 soccer balls do not exceed 22” in circumference and weigh only about 10 ounces or 280 grams. Like mini-balls, these are also used for promotional purposes. Size 2 soccer balls are made with soft, easy-to-clean synthetic materials.
They can also be used as skill training balls for young children and even by some professional players or anyone who wants to get better in ball-handling.
Sometimes also known as a u5 to u7 soccer ball size (the “u” label referring to the ideal player’s age), size 3 soccer balls are considered the smallest balls that can be used for actual competitive playing. They have a circumference of about 23” to 24” and weigh 11 to 12 ounces or 300 to 320 grams.
Size 3’s are a great option for young beginner to intermediate players because its proportions of size and weight are perfect for players younger than 8 years old.
Size 4 balls measure 25” to 26” in circumference and weigh between 12 to 13 ounces or 350 to 390 grams. These are perfectly sized for the age range of 8 to 12 years old, allowing them to get used to their personal skill set without making the ball too hard to control. This is also the best u9 soccer ball size for practicing dribbling skills.
Players age 8 to 12 often find size 5 balls too heavy and too big for efficient handling and training. What size soccer ball for u10? A size 4. This is also the perfect u12 soccer ball size.
Size 5 is the international standard u13 soccer ball size and is used in all adult play and for the age range of 12 and above. With a circumference of 27” to 28” inches and a weight of 14 to 16 ounces or about 410 to 450 grams, size 5 balls are the largest and heaviest soccer balls.
The best soccer balls of this size should carry the FIFA approval or “FIFA inspected” stamp. This means that the ball has undergone a series of thorough testing for the right weight, circumference, pressure, rebound, roundness, water absorption, and size and shape retention. Understandably, these balls cost much more and so are used for match play only and not for regular practice.
Choosing the perfect soccer ball size for your players should not be too hard now, is it? However, you should also consider other factors like your budget and league standards before purchasing a ball. Whether it’s a u11 soccer ball size or a size 1 collectible, what matters is that you give your players enough inspiration and motivation to keep practicing and growing in their craft.
So, did you find this list informative and enjoyable? If so, don’t forget to leave a comment down below and please feel free to share with your friends and family as well !