August 11, 2021

How to buy the perfect footballs for your school or soccer club

Purchasing footballs (soccer balls) in bulk can be tricky, particularly if it’s the first time you’ve been asked to do so. In this post we’ll cover what information you’ll need to provide, the key types of balls available, price and any added value you can get to ensure you secure your school or soccer club the best deal.

What football size do I need?

An obvious one but one you definitely do not want to get wrong. Which size you need is determined by the age of the players in the team/s. There are three main sizes of footballs, each relevant to certain age groups:

FIFA ball specifications - Size 3 (Junior) - Under 6’s - 9’s • Size 4 (Youth) - Under 10’s - 13’s • Size 5 (Adult) - 14’s and above

A high school for example would only require size 5 footballs where a community club would need to first know what age groups they are fielding for the season.

How many footballs will my school or club need?

A local association club team would be looking at a training ball for each player in the team (a normal squad is usually around sixteen players) so sixteen training balls and two match balls.

A high school team may not have the same need for training balls if training sessions are limited. Six to ten would still be recommended though for warmups or the odd training session and again, two match balls per team is the norm.

What kind of footballs should I be looking for?

There are 3 main types of football construction - machine stitched, hand stitched and thermal bonded.

Three main categories of football offered by Pigeon Football.

i. Thermal Bonded - Tournament, Match or Pro Training

Thermal bonding technology means the ball panels are placed inside a mould that is thermally glued and bonded by heat. There are no stitches meaning less water intake and better shape retention. Generally speaking, high quality thermal bonded balls are very responsive off the boot, have a soft feel and a true flight.

ii. Hand Stitched - Match or Pro Training

The traditional method for constructing footballs. Before thermal bonding technology, these were the highest grade of football. The panels are connected with deep, strong stitches that are more wear resistant than machine stitched balls however they have a harder, less forgiving feel and are susceptible to taking on water / becoming heavier and losing shape.

iii. Machine Stitched - Training / Recreation

Machine stitching is a fast and inexpensive technology that is more commonly used for cheaper and lower quality balls. 

The seams are shallower and more exposed than hand stitched balls leading to a higher possibility of tearing. Poor quality machine stitched balls use PVC which will more often than not tear well before the end of the season.

Is there anything else about the football I should look for?

Bladders and panel materials are the two other major components of a football. Ensuring these materials are of a minimum standard will save you time and money throughout the season.

Bladders - it's important to choose training balls with butyl bladders as they have a higher retention rate and having to pump sixteen footballs once or twice a week is something to be avoided. A latex or cotton wound bladder in the match ball will give a better response off the foot and general feel (bounce, flight etc).

Panel material - PVC is not recommended as they will succumb to regular use of any kind. TPU would be the minimum recommended material for either a training or match ball. PU panels would be recommended if possible to ensure maximum wear protection.

How much should I be paying when I buy footballs in bulk for my school or club?

Purchasing machine stitched training balls for a club or school in bulk (50+) should be costing in the vicinity of $11-$15 each depending on size and materials used.

A hand stitched match/training ball, where again purchasing in bulk (50+) should set you back around $18 - $25 each depending on specifics.

A thermal bonded match ball from a well known sports brand can cost upwards of $150 - often without PU panels. A good quality thermal match ball when purchasing in numbers of 50+ should be $27 - $35 where a high quality match ball would be $40+.

Can I add value to my football club or school when purchasing footballs for the season?

Great question...YES. Pigeon Football was founded to help grassroots soccer clubs and schools support their members' mental health. Purchasing Pigeon Footballs in bulk, will most likely cost you less while also including a mental health workshop or MHFA certification delivered by our expert mental health partners.

Reach out today and make sure you are stretching your local club or schools budget further without sacrificing quality.

*prices are a guide and will be dependent on the order specifications. Pricing can be affected by a range of things - materials, bladders, stitching, shipping (thermal bonded balls cannot be deflated so require larger cartons etc).

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