From grassroots to the Premier League, and kids playing in the garden to the World Cup final, you may think they all play with the same football right? Wrong. The size, shape and playability of the football will influence the quality of the game and the development of the players.

Confused? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

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Does the size of a football matter?

This question is very important when choosing the right football for your players. With 3 key sizes of footballs available, it is the age of the players that will direct you to the right size of football. Choose a ball that’s too large and younger players will struggle to develop their skills, and the next Wayne Rooney may never reach their potential! Choose one that is too small and your team will train with a ball smaller than that used in matches.

All footballs are perfectly round.

False. The quality of materials used to make the football will determine just how perfectly round the ball is. This might not make much difference playing headers and volleys down the local park with your mates, but when Ronaldo lines up a free kick with millions of pounds at stake, the ball must perform exactly as it should, every time. There is a world standard that controls the quality of the balls, so look out for FIFA quality logos to help your decision.

Can I use my football anywhere?

No, not really. Individual balls are designed to be best suited to a particular surface. That’s not to say you can’t use them anywhere, but the playability and lifespan of the ball will be at its best when it’s used on the surface for which it was designed. For example, a ball designed for AstroTurf has been made with increased grip for a surface which is much smoother than grass pitches. Should a ball designed for grass pitches be used on AstroTurf, the lack of grip will result in it moving much quicker and therefore making the play much more difficult. The opposite applies to grass. Use that AstroTurf ball on a grass surface and the increased grip will slow the ball down, lowering the standard of play.

Luckily, FIFA has implemented a quality program:

There are 3 standards to look out for that test the circumference, roundness, rebound properties, water absorption, weight, pressure loss and size & shape retention of a football:

FIFA Quality Pro - The top standard with the strictest testing program, ensures balls based with the FIFA Quality Pro badge are the most consistant, top performing balls available.

FIFA Quality - Is the second tier in the quality system where balls have to meet standards equal to or only just outside the Pro tests. For example, a footballs weight can be 10grams lighter than is allowed for Pro standard.

IMS (International Match Standard) - Is actually identical to FIFA Quality with the exception that a balls shape and size retention is not tested but has passed all the other tests equally to the FIFA Quality footballs.

For any additional information, check out our football buyers guide for all the answers and more.

Alternatively, if you’d like a friendly chat with one of our football equipment specialists, give us a call on 01782 571 719, or email