Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Who doesn't have fond memories of their childhood with their best ally, their partner in mischief that generated laughter and good times with friends? Exactly! We are talking about balls. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of balls available depending on the specific sport. Depending on this, they come in different shapes, materials, weights, sizes and even colours.

The ball you choose will be your partner in the sport you like so much. In this article we want to show you what kind of balls there are. So, when you finish reading it, you will have a clear idea of which ball is used in which sport, the buying factors, which are the best sellers, where you can find them and their value. We hope you find it useful.




First the most important things

  • A ball, also called a ball, is a ball that is often used in children's games and numerous sports disciplines. They are made of different materials, however, they are inflated with air or nitrogen, so they are very light and can be thrown very easily.
  • Each sport has its own type of ball, so you need to make sure it is the right one. Within each sport, there are different brands and models of balls, but the essence is the same.
  • Important factors to consider when making a purchase include the sport you play, the size of the ball, where you play, the style and model of the ball. Buying a ball based on your taste alone may result in you not being able to use it for the sport you want to play.

The Best Balls: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Anyone would say that buying a ball is only thinking about the sport you play, however, it is essential to take into account several factors so that when deciding which one to buy, the probability of acquiring the right ball is the highest. This way it will be a decision you won't regret.

Your great ally in every game. (Photo: Sebastian Duda / 123rf.com)

What is a ball and what are its advantages?

A ball is a ball that is used for children's games and a wide variety of sporting disciplines. They are made of different materials and all of them are inflated with air or nitrogen, so they are very light and can be thrown very easily, either with hands or feet.

The main function of the balls is to best complement the sport in which they are used. If we put football in context, it is impossible to play football without a ball or with the wrong ball. So choosing the right ball is of vital importance for what you need to use it for.

For those who love sports and especially play 2 or more sports, they may buy as many balls as the number of sports they play, so their selection becomes more complex. Those who are passionate about sports can collect them.

Advantages
  • Great diversity of models, Different sizes and shapes, Variety of prices, Can be used with hands, feet or accessories (rackets), Adaptable to any children's game.
Disadvantages
  • Short life span, There are balls for specific sports (Golf), With 1 ball you can't play all sports, Significant investment when it comes to balls for collectors.

Footballs for footballs, basketballs, tennis balls or footballs - what should you pay attention to?

Definitely what we expect when we buy a ball, is to be able to practice the sport we love so much and to be able to play with our friends that game that gives us hours and hours of fun. As you can see, any of the balls of these 4 sports is very good. The main difference is precisely the sport for which it is used. In the following we will focus on each one.

Football. This is the most popular ball of all, as it is the most played sport in the world. In its beginnings it was made of leather, and as time went by, its composition evolved. Materials such as leather and polyurethane, synthetic fibres, and innovative woven layer systems are now used.

The most recent one is made of fibres and synthetic layers of 6 panels instead of the original 32, and a chip was incorporated to measure the efficiency of the ball and to corroborate if it passes the goal line during the game. It measures between 68 and 70 cm in circumference and weighs up to 450 grams.

Basketball. There is no pass, play or basket where the basketball does not participate. Nowadays it is made of different materials such as leather, synthetic fibres or plastic and its surface is rough to make it easier to grip.

It is available in 3 sizes: the men's ball measures between 75-78 cm. Its weight is between 567-650 grams. The women's ball measures between 72-73 cm and weighs between 510-567 grams. Finally, the children's ball should measure between 69-70 cm and weigh between 470-510 grams.

Tennis ball. This ball, or commonly called tennis ball, is used with an accessory called a racket. There is a type of tennis ball for each type of surface on which the sport is played. Although they may look the same at first glance, tennis balls are segmented into 3 types.

Type 1 is for slow surfaces such as clay, type 2 is for normal or hard surfaces such as cement or concrete and type 3 is for fast surfaces such as grass, either natural or artificial. All tennis balls have similarities such as the colour and the fact that they have no seams so as not to alter the bounce. Their measurements are between 65 and 68 millimetres in diameter, their weight is between 56 and 59.4 grams.

American Football Ball. This ball is the only one of the 4 mentioned above that is not sphere-shaped, but ovoid-shaped. It is one of the few footballs that can be used with both hands and feet. It is worth mentioning that American football is the only contact sport of the four mentioned above, so the shape of the ball is of vital importance to the sport.

The ball has a rubber chamber inside and is inflated to 12.5 to 13.5 pounds. It should measure 11 inches (27.94 cm) from tip to tip, and the largest circumference should be 28 to 28.5 inches (71.12 cm), while the smallest should be 21 inches (53.34 cm). Its weight should be between 14 and 15 ounces (396 to 425 grams).

Soccer Ball   Basketball Tennis Ball American Football
Shape Medium Sphere Large Sphere Small Sphere Ovoid
Ball Diameter Between 68 and 70 cm Between 75-78 cm Between 65 and 68 millimetres Length 27.94 cm, circumference greater than 71.12 cm / smaller than 53.34 cm
Use surface Grass Stave and cement Clay, grass and cement Turf
Stroke With the feet With the hands With a racket With the hands.

Your greatest happiness can be found in a simple ball. (Photo: Sergey Novikov / 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of footballs

At first glance, buying a ball would seem to be a simple matter. However, if you want to choose the ball like a pro, there are some important criteria you should take into account to make the right choice and get the best result. These are:

  • Sport
  • Size
  • Usable surface
  • Air chamber

Sport

It is vital to be aware that there is a different type of ball for each sport. For example, you can't play football with a soccer ball. So your decision must be oriented to the sport you play. The types of balls are very peculiar for each game, so the probability of making a mistake is almost null.

Nowadays there is a significant growth in the number of sportsmen who practice several sports at the same time. If you are one of them, we recommend you to get advice on the sport you are entering, as making a decision thinking about the sport in which you are already an expert, can bring you a great disappointment.

"I learned everything about life with a ball at my feet." - Ronaldinho

Size

Once you have chosen your sport you need to make sure you choose the right ball. This time we will focus on football, basketball, tennis and American football to explain this criteria in detail.

Football. For this sport there are 3 sizes, corresponding to the numbers 3, 4 and 5, and each can be used in very specific situations:

  • Number 3. It is the smallest, its characteristics are: an average weight of 300 grams and a circumference of approximately 60 centimetres. It is therefore recommended for use with small children. It is usually used for indoor football.
  • Number 4. Its dimensions are: a maximum circumference of 66 centimetres and a maximum weight of 400 grams. This makes it ideal for a variable form of soccer, called 7-a-side football. This is the ball most commonly used with teenagers.
  • Number 5. This is the ball that has the official measurements for playing professional football. It measures between 68 and 70 cm in circumference and its weight is between 410 and 450 grams. It is therefore used for training and tournament matches

Anyone who is not immersed in the world of football would think that there is only one football, however, these are the details you need to look out for so that you can get the most out of the ball you purchased.

Basketball. In this sport there are only 2 sizes of balls and they can only be used in very specific environments:

  • The smaller ball measures between 72 and 74 centimetres and weighs between 510 and 567 grams. It is usually used in the women's category, all youth leagues also use it.
  • The larger one is only used in the men's category. It measures between 75 and 76 centimetres and weighs between 567 and 650 grams.

Tennis. This sport uses 3 different ball sizes, corresponding to type 1, 2 and 3, and each is used in different scenarios:

  • Type 1. Corresponds to a ball that is used on slow courts, such as clay or commonly known as clay court. A ball with a weight of 59 grams and a diameter of 68 millimetres is regularly used.
  • Type 2. They are the intermediate point between types 1 and 3. They are designed for courts with a medium speed, such as cement or asphalt. A ball with a weight of 58 grams and a diameter of 67 millimetres is regularly used.
  • Type 3. These are for fast courts, i.e. artificial or natural grass. A ball with a weight of 56 grams and a diameter of 65 millimetres is regularly used.

Depending on the surface you regularly play on, if you want to practice with the right ball and not affect the quality of your matches and training, you have to select the one that fits those circumstances.

American Football. Reference to this sport, it is similar to basketball, only 2 sizes are found and specific circumstances are used:

  • The smallest size is used by children and in a type of American football called "tochito bandera". Its measurements are 25 centimetres from end to end, the largest circumference should be 68 centimetres, while the smallest should be 51 centimetres and its weight is between 325 to 385 grams.
  • The larger size is used in the professional football league. As for its measurements, these should be 27.94 centimetres from end to end, the largest circumference should be 71.12 centimetres, while the smallest should be 53.34 centimetres, and its weight is between 396 to 425 grams.

Surface of use

It is very important to consider the place where you frequently play your favourite sport, as the surface where you play is vital for your ball to be suitable. The lifespan of your ball can be shortened by not playing on the right surface or by not purchasing a ball specifically for that surface.

Football. The most common surface used for this sport is grass, however, many choose to play on concrete, so there are balls for every space.

  • Grass ball. It is much lighter, weighing approximately 410 grams and is less resistant.
  • Concrete ball. This is usually heavier, weighing around 450 grams and is therefore more resistant.

Basketball. In this sport, the most common surface used is the floor and it is always played indoors, however, many also play on concrete and commonly outdoors.

  • Stave ball. It is made of synthetic or natural leather, its use is exclusive for indoor use and its finish is semi rough to give an optimal grip.
  • Concrete ball. This is made of plastic, it is typically used outdoors and its finish is rough with seams in the lines to give it greater resistance and useful life.

Tennis. In this sport we can find 3 totally different surfaces; grass, concrete and clay. These surfaces are widely used all over the world.

  • Clay ball. A small, lightweight ball weighing 59 grams and with a diameter of 68 millimetres is used on this surface. These dimensions are to counteract the slowness that the clay can give it when bouncing.
  • Concrete ball. For this surface an intermediate ball is used in terms of weight and size, in reference to the first one it is 58 grams and the second one is 67 millimetres. These dimensions are suitable for hard courts.
  • Grass ball. Regarding grass, regardless of whether it is natural or artificial, a ball with a weight of 56 grams and a diameter of 65 millimetres is used. It is the heaviest to achieve a better bounce and speed.

Air chamber

Last but not least, the air chamber is one of the criteria you have to consider when buying a ball, no matter what you use it for. Balls need an air bladder inside the ball in order to retain air. The air bladder can be made of various materials such as hard or soft plastic or latex.

Depending on the type of ball, the material used and the surface for which it was manufactured, the type of inner tube that is fitted depends on the type of ball. Some inner tubes are more resistant than others, so we recommend that if you use your ball on hard surfaces, you need a hard plastic inner tube.

If the surface is grass, we recommend a soft plastic or latex inner tube. Nowadays, balls are manufactured for all types of surfaces with all types of inner tubes, so if you do not take into account the type of inner tube your ball has, the life span of the ball may be too short.

With your ball, you are never alone. (Photo: Torsak Thammachote / 123rf.com)

(Featured image photo: serezniy/ 123rf.com)

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