In order to play indoor soccer (following these standards) you’ll need an indoor soccer ball. The thing is, there are so many options available on the market: different types and balls sizes, prices, brands, but most importantly, there’s a huge difference in quality from one indoor soccer ball to another.
Are you aware of this?
On top of that, the average Joe is not aware that a futsal ball is not the same as an indoor soccer ball (more on that later), and probably he doesn’t even care. As long as there is a five-a-side, six-a-side, or any small sided football field and a ball that’s rolling and bouncing, he’s good.
Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
The World Minifootball Federation (WMF), The Western Indoor Soccer League, The Premier Arena Soccer League, The National Collegiate Athletic Association, The National Federation of State High School Associations, and most importantly FIFA, do care.
There are rules and standards we need to follow, and I know you do care as well since you are reading this article and looking up for this information.
Source: Laws of The Game as issued by FIFA (PDF)
I promise you, this read will be worth your time and you’ve come to the right place.
I decided to write this article to help you decide and hopefully choose your favorite indoor soccer ball. Also, I’ll cover everything that went into the research and the review process, a buying guide, and how I picked the top 5 first-class ball winners.
Let’s do this.
What Criteria Went Into This Review?
Experience. I’m a professional soccer player, playing soccer since 2006 (you can learn more about me here), and while I do not play indoor soccer at the league level I play it regularly with my teammates and friends.
I’ve tested hundreds of balls during my career and let’s say that I know a few things on this matter.
However, I didn’t want to write a review based solely on my opinion, that would be too much irresponsible and selfish, so I went a couple of steps further.
Research. How I did it? Well, I did a marathon searching online, my starting point was poking through the top online stores to check the ratings and the unbiased recommendations (as much as I can spot check them) from customers who own specific indoor ball and what they have to say about their soccer experience using it.
Then, I went through top forums (such as Fifa Modders, Big Soccer, Reddit, etc.) and soccer communities (for Minifootball, Futsal, Snowball, Futbol Rapido) where people are having constructive conversations about soccer equipment to see if there’s anything that I might be missing.
And lastly, to confirm my research, I got in touch with some of the soccer authorities such as the World Minifootball Federation and I got a response such as this:
YouTube. I spend most of my time on YT trying to pick any new drills, techniques, and any soccer related news. YT is a great place to find legit reviews or real soccer fans and professionals, so that’s what I did. I might even include a few videos to save you the trouble.
Friends. Lastly, I asked a few of my friends for their opinion and recommendation, friends that do play both futsal (or as we want to call it among friends Futebol de Salao, just cos it sounds cooler) and indoor soccer at a league level.
Science. The coefficient of restitution (COR), speed after impact, bouncing, weight, size, and psychics (before you say “Cállate, por favor” read more below).
Bottom line, while it might sound simple, it was an extensive research, but I didn’t regret it for a minute. So, without further ado let me share with you the takeaway and the final results…(drum roll).
Best 11 Indoor Soccer Balls
Here’s the ultimate list of the leading indoor soccer balls for junior, youth, and adults:
- Best For Adults and Professionals – Mikasa SX50 Indoor Soccer Ball Size 5
- Best For Kids – Tachikara SS32 Soft Kick Fabric Soccer Ball, Blue/Red
- For Painless Play (Soft Indoor Ball) – Voit Indoor Felt Soccer Ball
- For High School and College (All Playing Conditions) – Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball (IMS, NCAA, and NFHS approved)
- Official Ball Partner of U.S. Youth Futsal (Ages 13 & Up) – Senda Vitoria Fair Trade Certified Size 4
- For Hard Court Surfaces and Indoor Play – Brine Evolution Indoor Court Size 5
- Match And Training Ball (Fast and Light) – SELECT Indoor Speed Soccer Ball
- Best For Turf – Uber Soccer Indoor Felt Soccer Ball
- Great Practice Ball For Kids – Champion Sports Striker Size 3
- For Grass and Turf (FIFA Approved) – Select Sport America Brillant Super
- Best For Arena Soccer (Official Match Ball for MASL) – Mitre Astro Division Hyperseam Football
Futsal Ball vs. Indoor Soccer Ball: What’s The Difference?
Indoor soccer is usually played on synthetic turf or synthetic carpet and an indoor court arena. But since ‘indoor’ is a broad term we use that to describe hard floors as well.
Futsal (futebol de salão) is played on hard and flat surfaces, ideally on a wooden surface and an indoor court with walls.
Official futsal regulation size balls are heavier than regular soccer size 4 ball but lighter than size 5 ball. Futsal balls are more rigid and less bouncy due to materials used to stuff the ball (futsal ball bladder is filled with foam) that make it heavier and less elastic. Basically, the weight per square inch is larger than regular or indoor soccer size 4 ball, hence it feels heavier on touch.
Standard futsal size ball is size 4. Indoor soccer standard ball size is 5. Indoor soccer balls are typically bouncier than in futsal and have more durable covers of suede or felt.
If you love science and physics here’s a nice visual for you:
Outdoor Soccer Ball vs. Indoor Soccer Balls: What’s The Difference?
A lot of people are confused and don’t know exactly what is the difference between an indoor soccer ball and an outdoor soccer ball. Here are a few major distinctions between both type of balls:
Material. One of the main differences is the construction and how each ball is built. Indoor soccer balls are made out of soft felt, which is similar to the material used for tennis balls so basically they are softer than the outdoor balls.
While the official soccer authorities (such as Fifa) classify the size of both the indoor and outdoor soccer balls as size 5 ball, the indoor soccer ball should be heavier and built to withstand different surface conditions such as artificial turf, carpets, and sometimes even hard surfaces such as ceramics or wood (however we prefer to use a Futsal Ball in such cases).
A predictable bounce (Mass, Elasticity, and Friction). In general, the ball that has the greatest elasticity bounces more, however, the surface on which the ball lands (the friction) and the size of the ball (including mass or resistance to acceleration and kinetic energy) do matter as well.
To put it simply, indoor soccer ball should be slightly heavier, smaller and have lower elasticity so they bounce less, while outdoor balls should be constructed lighter and bounce more.
Touch and Control. Finally, there is also a difference in the touch of the balls. Indoor balls are harder (the weight per square inch is larger) and you have a better control and touch over the ball, while it’s a bit harder to control the outdoor or regular soccer ball.
Buying Guide: General Information And 7 FAQs
Age? Regardless of the indoor surface (wood, turf, carpet, ceramic) and ball type (indoor, outdoor) there’s an official recommended soccer ball size breakdown for; skill level (amateur, professional), developing footwork skills and ball control (size 1), U8 (size 3), U8-U12 (size 4), adults and professionals (size 5).
However, every online sports shop will recommend to double-check this with your league, school, college or organization (I cover this in more detail below).
Purpose? If you are looking to choose soccer balls for indoor soccer is it important that you first ask yourself for what you will be using it? Will you use it for matches? Will you use it for training or do you need them for your child as a toy?
Size? You should confirm the size of the approved ball specification (Indoor Playing Rules) with your soccer federation and your country. It’s important to choose the right ball size for the best performance and experience.
Budget? How much are you willing to spend? What balls can you afford? If you want a quality ball then in most cases you will have to spend more, as usual, the high-quality ones are more expensive. These higher-priced models are usually more durable and will last longer.
Parent Soccer “Tryout”? What you can also do is test the ball, or see how your kid is handling it. If you have an opportunity to test them, why not? This is the best way to know if you have a winner.
Quality And Durability? You don’t have to take my word for it, there’s a lot of information on the internet about each model. What you can do is make a list of your best balls and then research further for each product.
Where can I get more reliable information? Get involved in the soccer communities. When you are doing your research, make sure to keep an eye on other reviews across the web. You can find great information and tips from people who have already bought a specific ball. You can find a lot of information about things that aren’t mentioned in the product description.
Lastly, you can directly email or call any soccer foundation or sports center and get information first hand (they are usually friendly and highly responsive to questions).
What about official indoor soccer coaches? Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find an ultimate and more up to date list, I only managed to find this list of professional indoor soccer coaches in North America between the year 1978 and the year of 2018.
However, you can always ask your friends, local coaches or other people who play indoor soccer. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or even your coach what they think about a specific model and what is their suggestion. I’m sure they will help you out and give you some great tips and share their opinion.
Soccer Ball Size Breakdown (Kids, Juniors & Adults)
As we mentioned earlier, for each variant of soccer we have different ball sizes. However, age does matter as well. For example, adults playing with a small size 2 soccer ball would be challenging and fun to watch. Probably adults will have problems controlling the ball and this might lead to more contacts and consequently injuries.
Children, on the other hand, will find it easier to maneuver and play with a size 2 ball, but kicking and shooting a size 4 or size 5 ball won’t be a smart or safe choice, to begin with.
Practicing with size 2 ball or size 3 would be far easier for the juniors and at the same time, they will improve their ball control. The official indoor ball size for adults and children above 13 years old is 5. Besides size 2, 3 and 5 balls, we also have a size 1 balls which is more suitable for the beginners (all ages).
To be precise, size 1 ball is for developing footwork skills and ball control, size 2 balls and size 3 balls are for children under 8, size 4 balls are for the youth generation between the age of 8-12, and lastly, size 5 ball is for adults.
Here’s an official ball size breakdown by Nike when using a regular soccer ball:
Where Can I Buy Quality Indoor Soccer Balls?
Quality indoor soccer balls are really hard to find. Generally speaking, many sports shops sell them as indoor soccer balls, and their definition of “indoor” is everything that’s a hard surface. If you were paying attention, you already know that’s not the case and there’s a big difference.
Think of it this way, it’s not whether the ball is for indoor or outdoor soccer, is whether the ball will be used on carpet, artificial turf, natural grass, and so on. You can buy them at your local stores or online.
The soccer’s most popular brands are Mitre, Select, Umbro, Under Armour, Nike, Adidas. If you are looking to buy them locally I think the best way would be to find a good sport or soccer shop brand. If you want to buy soccer balls online, the best places that have a huge collection of different brands for every purpose and age are of course the online retailers such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and other stores.