Just like every other product, every soccer ball will eventually wear out to the point that it becomes impossible to use them. However, how fast it will take for your soccer ball to get to that stage will depend on personal behavior and environmental factors.
- How long a soccer ball will last will depend on the type of material it was made from and the frequency of use.
- Not taking care of the soccer ball properly or using it in the wrong way can hasten its degradation.
- Environmental factors can also make a soccer ball spoil faster, especially if they are not properly stored.
With scarce resources and increasing inflation, asking how long soccer balls last is valid as it can help you to plan your budget and structure your spending.
Well, it is hard to say with certainty how long a soccer ball will last because it depends on a large number of factors. However, most well-made soccer balls should last from 2 months to over an entire season.
If that is the answer you are looking for, there you go. However, a lot goes into how long soccer balls last than just brand name and how frequently they are played—and we will highlight every factor that affects the longevity of soccer balls in the subsequent subheading.
Logically, balls used for indoor courts should last longer than those used on outdoor fields. The reason is that in indoor courts, the temperature is controlled and the court is smoother which means less friction to wear out the soccer balls.
Although it is hard to put a number to how long soccer balls last, knowing the factors that can shorten the lifespan of your soccer ball—and avoiding them—will help in answering that question.
How long do soccer balls last?
If the reason why you are asking how long soccer balls last is that you just purchased your first soccer ball or got one as a gift and just want to hang it somewhere as a souvenir that will never be played, then, it will interest you to know that the soccer ball can last a lifetime in that condition.
However, the majority of those that will ask this question are those that intend to play soccer ball.
Some of the ways you can make your soccer ball last longer are;
- Not sitting on the ball
- Playing on the right surfaces
- Making sure that the playing field is free from sharp objects
- Inflating the soccer ball to the right pressure before playing with them
As we mentioned earlier, the longevity of your soccer ball will depend on the factors highlighted below.
Arguably the most important factor that will determine how long a soccer ball will last is the material used in its construction. Soccer balls are often made using different materials.
The outside can be made of PVC panels, polyurethane, synthetic leather, or leather while the inside bladder is made of butyl rubber or latex. The job of the outer material is to protect the inner material that holds air.
Rubber outer cover has been shown to protect the inner material better. Rubber handle abrasions and grazes better than leather and synthetic leather.
Therefore, soccer balls with rubber exteriors will last longer than those with leather or synthetic leather if both are played on rough surfaces. While the outer covering is critical for consideration, you should also pay attention to the material used for the bladder.
Professional soccer balls mostly make use of latex bladders because they are softer. However, the downside to this is that the latex bladder doesn’t retain air well.
So, you will have to pump the ball frequently to maintain the pressure. Perhaps, you already know that playing with deflated balls will hasten their degradation.
Bladders made from butyl rubber are usually sturdier and have better air retention. If you are looking for a strong soccer ball that can endure more frequent play over a longer period, a combination of rubber outside and butyl rubber inside should give you over six months of intensive play.
Stitched or molded
The external panels of the soccer ball (the hexagon and pentagon shapes) are held together using either hand stitching or machine stitching methods or glue. Professional soccer balls used in the World Cup are usually molded.
Machine stitching is usually made with tiny threads that are harder to see to hold the panels together while hand stitching makes use of large and more visible threads. Due to the tiny nature of the threads in machine-stitched balls, you will notice that the threads begin to cut when the ball is subjected to torture.
Hand-stitched balls are usually more resilient. However, unlike tighter machine stitching, hand stitch has pores that are big enough for water to seep in and damage the inside of the ball.
Molding leaves no holes on the ball for water to pass through and would usually last longer than stitched soccer balls. Although molded balls avoid the drawbacks of the other two, you will have to pay more to purchase them.
Let’s look at a scenario where Jack and Jill were given the same type of balls as presents. Jack plays his own in the evening of every weekday on their lawn. Jill only gets the chance to play hers on Saturdays when Jack is not using the lawn. Whose ball do you think will go bad first?
You are probably right. Jack’s ball will most likely go bad first because he uses it more often. Soccer balls are also likely to last longer if it is used by one person compared to when it is used by a group.
During competitive games, players are more likely to step on the ball with their studs or kick the ball on opposite sides at the same time during a tackle leading to compression. Continuous forceful compressions will eventually lower the integrity of the ball.
Field of play
Professional soccer fields have groundskeepers that take care of the field to make sure the grass is groomed and that there are no sharp objects on the field. When playing in informal settings, there is no guarantee that sharp objects will not be on the field.
The ball can be pricked by sharp objects or grazed by thorny grasses—all of which will lower the integrity of the outer covering. Kids playing on the street will occasionally strike the ball on the wall.
All these actions will act together to reduce the lifespan of the soccer ball. If you can avoid playing your soccer ball in the aforementioned conditions, it will last longer for you.
Care and Storage
If you are one of those that leave your soccer ball on the lawn or backyard garden after playing or just throw them into the basement when you return from the field, the odds are that you will find yourself changing your balls more frequently.
Just like every other thing, the more you take care of your soccer balls, the longer they would last. Balls are supposed to be cleaned after playing them on the field. The cleaning will get rid of dirt and chemicals that may cause the outer covering to degrade.
How you store your soccer ball is also an important factor that will determine how long it would last. Soccer balls are supposed to be deflated if you are going to store them for a long time.
When you leave your ball in the garden or lawn, it gets exposed to harsh environmental conditions like rain and sun which will negatively affect the outer covering of the ball through constant expansion and contraction.
Regardless of how well you take care of your soccer ball, a day will come when it will no longer be useful. However, you must have been satisfied that it lasted that long.
Rather than mourn your soccer ball when it is no longer play-worthy, we will suggest finding ways to add value to your old soccer ball. The last thing you should do is throw the soccer ball in the trash can or bury them because soccer balls take years to degrade.
Generally, soccer balls should last over 2 months on heavy use. If your soccer ball lasts less than that, then it is because you are doing something wrong. Read through the points we raised once more to find what you have been doing wrong.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!