Test Report

DRIBBLING

BENDING THE BALL

TRAPPING

A player who can keep a ball close to his feet whilst running at full speed and dummying round other players is a joy to watch. But the player can only do this when the slightest touch moves the ball exactly the distance and angle he expects it to.

This much-admired skill is achieved by the player striking the ball with the side of his foot to put a spin on it which makes it curve in flight. But the roundness of the ball must be perfect to ensure that the trajectory of its path is even, otherwise an ball intended for the top corner of the net may simply pass centimeters outside the goal post!

Stopping a long pass with chest, or thigh, or foot is a skill which every top player must acquire. But he has to know exactly how much rebound to expect from the ball so that he can judge precisely how much to bend and move his body to stop the ball.

CIRCUMFERENCE -1

ROUNDNESS -2

REBOUND -3

The circumference of the ball must be the same all round so that it will move predictably. The diameter of the ball is measured at 10 different points and the mean average calculated. FIFA Inspected ball should measure from 68.0 – 70.0, FIFA Approved ball from 68.5 – 69.5 cm.

A slightly uneven seam can change the ball’s shape by a fraction. In this test, the diameter of the ball is measured at 16 points and the mean average calculated. The difference between the highest and lowest diameter must be no more than a percentage of the mean diameter: 2% for FIFA Inspected, 1.5% for FIFA Approved

The ball is dropped 10 times onto a steel panel from a height of two meters. FIFA Inspected balls must bounce between 115-165 cm, FIFA Approved balls between 120 and 165cm. The difference between lowest and highest bounce must be no more than 10cm in both cases.

HEADING

WET WEATHER SKILLS

THE LONG PASS

Directing a ball with the head requires strong neck and shoulder muscles and an eye for an often acute angle. A player’s experience tells him how a ball should perform when he strikes it but a ball which is too heavy and a ball which is too light can fly off at the wrong height or angle and the goal is missed or the pass misplaced.

A ball which has absorbed too much water feels totally different from a dry ball. It travels sluggishly, it won’t lift, or spin and takes the skill and pleasure out of the game for both players and spectators alike. And pity the poor goalkeeper who not only has to be agile on a muddy pitch but to save balls which are heavy and slippery with mud and water.

A perfectly-flighted pass from one side of the field to the other requires considerable skill from the player, who must judge the weight of his kick to perfection. This type of pass is often made to the winger in space, who makes another accurate cross for the striker to go for goal.

WEIGHT -4

WATER ABSORPTION -5

LOSS OF PRESSURE -6

Each ball is weighted three times in a sealed cabinet. The cabinet is sealed to prevent draughts affecting the scale. Balls should weight between 410-450grams for FIFA Inspected, 420-445 grams for FIFA Approved.

This test turns and squeezes the football in a tank of water 250 times. FIFA Inspected ball must not absorb more water than add’s 15% to the initial weight of the ball, FIFA Approved 10%.

A ball which loses pressure during a game is difficult to predict and performs erratically. For this test, the ball is inflated to a pressure of 1.0 bar and in 72 hours must lose no more than 25% of air for FIFA Inspected, 20% for FIFA Approved.

SHOOTING WITH POWER

SHAPE & SIZE RETENTION -7

A goalkeeper has more time to save a weak shot so strikers like to shoot with speed and power and the crowd love it too. Tall, agile goalkeepers often make spectacular saves. To do this, they must also have the experience to judge the flight pattern of a fast-moving ball and, to be fair to all players, this must remain consistent throughout the match.

In this test the ball is fired 2,000 times against a steel plated at 35 miles an hour. The seams and air valves must be undamaged, and the loss of pressure, or deviation in the ball’s circumference and roundness, must be minimal.