Soccer Ball Size Guide: What are the different sizes of soccer balls?

There are many soccer balls on the market and they come in many colors and sizes. Choosing the right ball can be confusing, but this guide will help you pick the right sized ball for you or your player. 


There are three different sizes of soccer balls specifically designed for competitive matches. Soccer balls are numbered according to their size, with a size 5 soccer ball being the largest soccer ball available, followed by size 4 and size 3 soccer balls. Size is determined by the circumference of the ball. 


Choosing the right soccer ball depends largely on age, as a smaller ball is generally better suited for younger players, and a larger ball is better for adults. This is primarily for safety reasons as smaller balls weigh less and are less likely to lead to injuries if a younger player is hit by a ball or kicks a ball. Size is also an important factor when it comes to learning how to control, kick or pass the ball. Younger players have smaller legs and feet and will have an easier time maneuvering a ball that is properly proportioned.


Picking out a soccer ball based on age is helpful, however, a ball designed for one particular age group could still be used by another age group. For example, practicing with a smaller ball than the one you use in competitions, is helpful for improving fundamental skills and ball control. 


In addition, it’s important to remember that age groups for youth soccer are determined by birth year, not age. For example, one 12 year old may play on a U12 team, and another on a U13 team, depending on the years in which they were born, and would therefore need different sized balls. To add to the confusion, some leagues may have specific size requirements that don’t necessarily adhere to age and ball size standards. So, always be sure to consult your league’s specific rules and check with your coach before purchasing a ball to ensure you are buying the correct size.

Size 5 Adult Competition and Regulation Soccer Ball

As mentioned above, the size 5 soccer ball is the largest size available. The size 5 ball is the most commonly used soccer ball and is used by youth players aged 12 and up, as well as adults and players in professional leagues.  These balls are generally water resistant and made to play on all surfaces. They are made of durable materials and are designed to meet specific regulations for size and weight. 


Size 5 balls have a circumference of 27 to 28 inches and weigh approximately 410 to 450 grams, or approximately 14 to 16 ounces. This ball is not recommended for younger players due to its size and weight, which could lead to frustration and even injuries. 

Size 4 Youth Soccer Ball

The size 4 soccer ball is designed for young players ranging from 8 to 12 years of age. With a circumference of 14 to 26 inches and a weight of between 350 and 390 grams (approximately 12 to 14 ounces), it is slightly smaller and lighter than the size 5 soccer ball. This smaller size makes it easier for younger players to maneuver the ball and will help them develop good habits and strong skills early on. The larger size 5 ball may be too large and heavy for training and learning ball control, so this ball is an ideal transitional size for developing players. 

Size 3 Kids Soccer Ball

Young players learning to play soccer generally start with a size 3 soccer ball, as this is the smallest ball used in soccer games. Many youth and recreational soccer leagues choose this size ball for their younger teams, as this ball is well proportioned for smaller players. This ball is between 23 and 24 inches in circumference and weighs between 300 and 320 grams (approximately 10 to 11 ounces) and is ideal for players between 5 and 8 years of age. The ball’s lighter weight and smaller size encourages correct ball handling, and helps the youngest players develop confidence and a love for the game. 

Soccer Ball Size Guide

Competition/Regulation

Youth

Kids

Size

5

4

3

Circumference (inches)

27 to 28

25 to 26

23 to 24

Weight (grams)

410 to 450

350 to 390

300 to 320

Recommended age*

12 and up, including adults and professionals

8 to 12

5 to 8

Play Levels*

U5, U6, U7, U8

U9, U10, U11, U12

U13, U14, U15, U16 and above

* always confirm size with your coach or league


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