In the world of footballs, there is no such thing as simply a ball. Depending on the age and skill of the players, the football has to match. Footballs come in a variety of weight and sizes that range on a scale of 1 to 5. What size is right for you will that vary depending on the age and playing setting. Typically leagues may also require a specific size of football for official games, and coaches may use different sizes during practice.
Size one and two footballs are not typical to most fields. They are the categories reserved mostly for promotional footballs and their size and weights will vary depending on the company that created them. They tend to be smaller than starting footballs, and some coaches may use them in some cases to help novice players learn controlling techniques.
Size three footballs are the ones common in youth leagues for players under the age of eight. Smaller than those used by professionals, they have a circumference of 23-24 inches and a weight of only 11-12 ounces.
Size four footballs are used with players between eight and twelve years old. They are slightly bigger than size three footballs, with circumferences between 25-26 inches and tend to be slightly heavier, 12-13 ounces, when compared to other footballs.
Size five footballs are the intended for players from age twelve to adults. The circumference of a size five ball is 27-28 inches and a heftier weight of 14-16 ounces. It is the size an internationally standard football.
Outside of using the right size football, those looking for FIFA approved footballs should also look for the following qualities: It should be obviously spherical and made from leather or a suitable substitute material. Aside from the correct circumference, weight, and material, the football also needs to be kept at the right inflation to maintain a good internal pressure.
To maintain good football pressure a quality gauge and air pump should be kept on hand to help maintain footballs for training and play. Each category of football has a different optimal pressure rating, for size five footballs it should be kept between 0.6 -1.1 atmospheres at sea level, which equates to 600-1100 grams/centimeters squared or 8.5 to 15.6 pounds/ square inch.
No matter what size football you are looking for, the pricing will vary not only by category but brand. adidas, Puma, Nike, Diadora, and many other well known sporting brands produce quality footballs that are suited for players of all age and skill level.