What Size Soccer Ball Is Best By Age?

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Soccer balls are super popular with all ages but did you know that they come in different sizes?

Also known as footballs in many places around the world, soccer balls come in many different sizes, materials and colors.

Whether your kids play with a size 3 soccer ball or you want to play with a size 5 soccer ball for adults, choosing the right size is important.

The correct ball size can make a difference to your play and your playing abilities. If you choose the wrong size, soccer won’t be as much fun and you even run the risk of injuries.

In this article, we take a closer look at the official soccer ball sizes and what size is right for which age.

Why Do You Need Different Soccer Ball Sizes?

There are a couple of good reasons why there are differences in ball sizes when playing soccer.

Player Safety

The main reason why it’s important to have different ball sizes for soccer is safety. There are 5 soccer ball sizes, and 4 of these sizes are for children under 12.

When you consider that younger players are smaller, then it’s just natural that they also need a smaller ball.

If a 6-year-old is hit by a size 5 ball, then this can be a lot more painful than with a size 3 ball.

Controlling The Ball

In addition to safety, the different ball size also makes a difference in how kids control the ball.

With their smaller feet, a bigger ball size is just difficult to maneuver and manipulate. 

Additionally, a ball designed for adults is also heavier which makes it tricky for young players to control the ball.

They could even injure tendons and muscles with a soccer ball that’s too heavy.

Soccer Ball Sizes By Age

FIFA has created specific standards for soccer ball sizes. All in all, there are 5 different sizes for soccer balls.

Soccer ball size 5 is the largest ball used by professional soccer players and adults. Soccer ball size 4 is suitable for children aged 8 years to 12 years old.

Soccer ball size 3 should be used for kids between 5 and 8 years old, and size 2 should be played by children aged 3 years and 5 years.

The smallest soccer ball size 1 is suitable for the very youngest players for 3 years and younger.

Soccer Ball Size 1

Soccer ball size one is the smallest soccer ball size which is suitable for children aged 3 years and under. It has a standard circumference of 18 to 20 inches.

With its small size, this tiny soccer ball is ideal for small children who just want to kick the ball around a little bit.

Some older players also like to use size 1 soccer balls for control and touch training as they are so much smaller than the standard size 5 ball.

These small soccer balls are also favorite giveaways for soccer teams, clubs and individual players.

Soccer Ball Size 2

The size 2 soccer ball is ideal for young players between the ages of 3 to 5 years. This is the ball size that is typically recommended to youth soccer teams.

However, many of these programs use the slightly bigger soccer ball size 3.

Ball size two is between 20 inches and 22 inches in circumference and it can weigh up to 280 grams.

This smaller soccer ball size is also used for promotional balls but they also have a market with older soccer players where size 2 is used to control and juggle the ball.

As this size is so much smaller than the size 5 which is typically used for adults, it’s also ideal for practice skills and playing tricks.

Soccer Ball Size 3

A size 3 soccer ball is the medium size ball suitable for kids aged 5 to 8 years old. This makes it ideal for all youth soccer teams.

With its 24-inch circumference, it is the first youth soccer ball size that is used for matches and real games.

That’s because many of the youth soccer clubs start playing games at U6.

With its greater circumference and higher weight of 320 grams, the size three soccer ball is only a little heavier than size 2.

However, it is significantly lighter and smaller than the 4 size balls. This allows younger soccer players to develop better handling and control of the ball.

The more a young player can control the ball, the more fun the game will be, and he will also develop more ball confidence.

So, if your kid is just starting with playing soccer in a youth team, then it’s a good idea to look out for a size 3 soccer ball.

Soccer Ball Size 4

A size 4 soccer ball is the second largest ball size, and it’s best suited for children between the ages 8 and 12.

With a weight of up to 390 grams, this ball size is lighter than ball size 5. This makes it ideal for youth players who prefer to have a slightly larger ball for control and moving exercises.

This ball size matches with the typical age when many young players have been introduced to soccer and they are not able to focus on ball handling skills.

The slightly larger size compared to a standard soccer ball is ideal for this age group.

Soccer Ball Size 5

Soccer Ball Size 5

Soccer ball size 5 is the type of soccer ball that everyone knows. It’s suitable for any players that are older than 12 years.

With its circumference of 28 inches, it’s a lot bigger than the small ball size 1. Its weight of 450 grams is also a bit more than the smaller size 4 soccer ball.

With its heavier weight, it’s not recommended for children to ensure that they don’t injure themselves. In addition, it’s also difficult for small feet to kick, control and pass.

A size 5 soccer ball is one of the most popular soccer balls used for older players, including teenagers, adults and professionals.

It’s important to use a size 5 ball when playing official matches with players up from age 12.

You should also look out for a FIFA inspected or FIFA approved stamp as this means that these balls have been tested for their official weight and size.

This ensures that matches are played with the right size ball suitable for the correct age group.

What Size Soccer Ball Should You Buy?

The right size ball depends on what age the players are and what type of soccer practice they play.

For children under 12, you should be a soccer ball that’s suitable for their age. Sizes 1,2,3 and 4 are all suitable for different age groups.

Saying this, older players may also wish to practice control and passing skills with smaller balls.

What Size Ball Does FIFA Use?

FIFA uses a size 5 soccer ball which has a defined circumference between 27 inches and 28 inches. 

The weight of the ball should be between 410 grams and 450 grams at the start of the match.

What Soccer Ball Does The Premiere League Use?

The Premiere League uses a standard size 5 soccer ball. This size is used for all Premiere League matches with adult players.

The ball design for Premiere League games is done by Nike but there are different designs each year.

How Do You Pick A Soccer Ball?

Choosing the right soccer ball is important as this can affect the game and how players handle the ball.

Make sure that you check the weight, roundness, circumference, bounce and size of your soccer ball. The ball should retain its size and shape.

A good soccer ball should be marked with a FIFA quality stamp which indicates that the ball has been tested under demanding conditions.

How Long Does A Soccer Balls Last?

When it is cared for properly, a soccer ball can last many years. However, this depends on the quality of the ball, how it has been maintained and how often you play with it.

It’s a good idea to choose a good quality soccer ball at the right size, so you can develop your game skills.

Final Thoughts

Whether you wonder what size soccer ball your kid needs or what soccer ball size is best for your age, then check out our soccer ball size guide above.