Better Than Pig’s Bladder!!!
Soccer balls today have succeeded in two primary things: make the game more hygienic and easier to play. Thanks to technology, soccer players have been spared the uncomfortable feeling of heading home pig’s bladder, the official ball during the early days of the sport. Modern footballs have also helped advance the game by prescribing standards and thereby eliminating the uncertainty that a pig bladder presents.
The evolution kick-started by Charles Goodyear in the middle of the 1800s with the invention of the first rubber soccer ball has made the sport better and more appealing to more people. Indeed, it is not unusual to see young children playing football or soccer in the streets today. In the hypochondriac societies of today, the bladder ball of yore would have freaked out parents and players alike.
Modern footballs come in varying qualities. Hence, it is important to know the types of balls in order to get the most out of the equipment. When choosing a ball, the first thing that must be considered is the person who will be using it. Children or aspiring soccer players will have different needs than professionals or veteran players of the sport. As such, it is important to determine the skill level of the person who will be using the ball. The skill level of the person is important because some soccer balls can be difficult to control for less experienced players.
For those who are only starting to learn the sport, the softer type is best because it would be easier to control. The softness and hardness of the ball is determined by both the inner and outer parts of the equipment. Balls with butyl bladder tend to be harder compared to those with latex bladder. When it comes to the outer layer, the laminated type is said to be harder while the stitched type tend to be softer.
Another thing to consider when buying soccer balls is the age of the person who will be using them. This is because balls usually come in three sizes. The size 3 balls are usually used by children 8 years old and below. Children between 8 and 12 years old are assigned a size 4 ball, while those above 12 and adult players use size 5 balls. The size 5 soccer balls are the standard type as determined by the international football body FIFA.
These factors are merely guides, unless one is going to play in a FIFA-sanctioned tournament, which is required to follow the standard set by the football body. Hence, it is perfectly fine for very young children to use the standard size 5 balls. What is important is that the person or persons using the ball is comfortable with the soccer equipment.
The best way to determine what ball to buy is to let the person who will be using it test the equipment before making a decision. In the end, though, the type of soccer balls one uses is no more important than the enjoyment and the excitement that the person gets in playing the sport.