When looking for a new soccer ball, you may have noticed how many different sizes and weights you can buy a soccer ball in. I’ve compiled a complete list of soccer ball sizes and weights, and what each one is meant to be used for.
There are 5 soccer ball sizes ranging from 18 inches to 28 inches with different weights for each size soccer ball. Size 5 (27 to 28 inch circumference, weighing 410 to 450 grams) is the most common soccer ball size for adults and youths over 12 years of age (U12+).
Although professional soccer players use a size 5 ball to play with, doesn’t mean they don’t use the other sizes for practice or skills training. Let’s look at each size ball, who they are made for, and what the best use of them is.
Soccer Ball Size For Age Chart
It can be difficult to decide which ball should be used for kids, when you don’t know what the different size soccer balls and uses are. Here’s a handy chart to help you quickly identify which ball to use for different aged kids.
|Size 5||27 to 28 Inches||12+||U12 – U18 – Pro|
|Size 4||25 to 26 Inches||8-11||U8 – U12|
|Size 3||23 to 24 Inches||5-8||U5 – U8|
|Size 2||20 to 22 Inches||3-5||U4|
|Size 1||18 to 20 Inches||Any||Any|
Just because a soccer ball is designed and rated for a certain age group, doesn’t mean it can’t be useful for other any age or type of player. A good way to improve your ball control and practice skills training, is to use a ball smaller than one you will play with. That way when you go back to a larger ball, it feels easier to control.
Many players practice their footwork and ball control drills with a smaller ball than they play with.
The 5 Soccer Ball Sizes
Each soccer ball size has been designed and used for different sized players. But you’ll also see the smaller sizes used as souvenirs with a team logo printed on the ball, or for skills training by any aged soccer player. Let’s go over each size separately, and the best ways each size can be used.
Soccer Ball Size 1
Age: Any age can use this ball as a skills trainer or collectible
Dimensions: 18 to 20 inches circumference
You will mostly see this size ball sold as a souvenir, collectible, or a toy. Size 1 soccer balls are often referred to as ‘minis’ and will typically have a player or team logo on them (sold as a collectible). Some younger players may find them useful to use as a skills trainer, and they are used that way. But for the most part, this is typically a small toy ball or collectible item.
Avid fans of soccer will collect size 1 soccer balls with their favorite team logos on them. Small children will play with these as a toy also.
Soccer Ball Size 2
Age: Any age can use this ball as a skills trainer
Dimensions: 20 to 22 inches circumference
Sometimes referred to as a ‘skills ball’ the size 2 soccer ball is mainly used as a skills trainer ball. Great for practicing ball control, footwork, and ball handling. Many players will practice dribbling or juggling with a size 2 ball, and notice how much easier those drills are on size 5 ball afterwards.
This is the recommended size ball for kids ages 3 to 5 to start learning how to play soccer with. Some kids might be able to start on a size 3 ball at a young age, while others might struggle early on. This is a great size to introduce little ones to soccer with.
Soccer Ball Size 3
Age: Ages 5 through 8
Dimensions: 23 to 24 inches circumference
Weight: 300 to 320 grams
The size 3 soccer ball is usually used by players under 8 years old in junior level soccer games. This is the smallest size soccer ball used in competitive matches. Sized perfectly for kids ages 5 through 8 to practice and improve ball handling and passing. This is the first size where weight is measured for proper use in a game.
The size 3 soccer ball is typically only used in junior level soccer games groups U8 and below, but some adult players may use this ball for skills training as well.
Soccer Ball Size 4
Age: Ages 8 through 12
Dimensions: 25 to 26 inches circumference
Weight: 350 to 390 grams
The size 4 soccer ball is sometimes referred to as a ‘medium’ soccer ball and is designed for youth soccer games. This size ball is a transition from the junior to full size soccer ball. Some kids ages 8 through 12 may be able to play with a full size professional soccer ball, but many will struggle. The size 4 soccer ball is a good size for them to still practice and improve without getting frustrated from ball size.
Soccer Ball Size 5
Age: 12+ years old
Dimensions: 27 to 28 inches circumference
Weight: 410 to 450 grams
The size 5 soccer ball is used in all standard, professional, and international soccer matches. Used by anyone ages 12 and up, including professional soccer players and adult team leagues. This ball is not meant for younger players learning the game. The ball is far too heavy, and will be difficult for kids to maneuver with.
Check out the soccer ball I use on my Recommended Soccer Gear page.
Here’s a quick video by Dicks Sporting Goods explaining soccer ball size and other important features that are helpful to consider.
The Right Air Pressure For A Soccer Ball
The Federacion Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations state that a size 5 soccer ball must have between 8.5 to 15.6 psi to be used in a soccer game. Referees will usually check every ball before a game to verify they are within the FIFA regulation standards.
Most manufacturers will print a recommended psi on the packaging of the soccer ball. Typically, 8.7 psi is an optimal air pressure for a size 5 soccer ball. There are no rules in place for psi on the other size soccer balls, but I made a chart to show you the air pressures I have found work best.
|Size 1||4 psi|
|Size 2||7 psi|
|Size 3||8.7 psi|
|Size 4||8.7 psi|
|Size 5||8.7 psi|
Why Size And Weight Are Important
The size and weight of a soccer is mostly important because of the size of the player using the ball. If a younger player starts right away on a size 4 or 5 ball, they may get frustrated and develop bad habits. It’s much easier to train a young player with a smaller ball to develop skills early on, than it is to train out bad habits that were picked up early on.
Pick the right size ball for your age to promote a love for soccer and limit picking up bad habits when handling a soccer ball on the field.
Also, bigger players using a smaller ball to train with is common. Adult and professional soccer players will sometimes train with a small ball (size 1 or 2) to improve ball control and accuracy. Then when they switch to a larger size ball, they have better control and handling. This works great for skills like dribbling, juggling, stopping, and passing.
Soccer Ball Size For 5 Year Old
A size 3 soccer ball is best suited for 5 year old players. A size 3 soccer ball is 23 to 24 inches in circumference and weighs between 300 to 320 grams. The ball works best when inflated to 8.7 psi, and can be used for practice and soccer games for ages 5 to 8 years old.
Soccer Ball Size For Adults
The best soccer ball size for adults is a size 5 soccer ball. This is the same size used in professional and international soccer matches regulated by FIFA. The size 5 soccer ball measures 27 to 28 inches circumference, weighs 410 to 450 grams, and is typically inflated to 8.7 psi.
Soccer Ball Size For U8
The best soccer ball size for a U8 group will be a size 4 soccer ball. This size soccer ball is typically used for youth matches ages 8 through 12 (U8 – U12). The size 4 soccer ball measures 25 to 26 inches circumference, weighs 350 to 390 grams, and is best inflated to 8.7 psi.
Soccer Ball Size For 7 Year Old
A size 3 soccer ball is best suited for 7 year old players. A size 3 soccer ball is 23 to 24 inches in circumference and weighs between 300 to 320 grams. The ball works best when inflated to 8.7 psi, and can be used for practice and soccer games for ages 5 to 8 years old.
Soccer Ball Size For 12 Year Old
The best soccer ball size for a 12 year old is a size 5 soccer ball. This is the same size used in professional and international soccer matches regulated by FIFA. The size 5 soccer ball measures 27 to 28 inches circumference, weighs 410 to 450 grams, and is typically inflated to 8.7 psi.
Soccer Ball Size For Middle School
The best soccer ball size for middle school will be a size 4 soccer ball. This size soccer ball is typically used for youth matches ages 8 through 12. The size 4 soccer ball measures 25 to 26 inches circumference, and is best inflated to 8.7 psi. When they reach age 12, it’s a good idea to switch them to a size 5 soccer ball.