Many people mistakenly think the new soccer balls they purchased are too small, because they are smaller than the used ball they are comparing it to.

All Soccer Balls expand with use and become too large for match play.

Every time you kick a soccer ball, it causes the threads to pull against the outer skin material, which results in the ball expanding or growing larger over time. A ball can expand as much as 20% larger than when it was new and exceed the FIFA specifications. For this reason It's recommended that you measure your soccer balls circumference, after each season, and replace balls which have enlarged outside FIFA specs. Below are instructions on how to properly measure a soccer ball and the official FIFA ball specifications.

How to Measure a Soccer Ball

The correct way to measure the circumference of a soccer ball:

1.) Inflate ball to proper pressure.

2.) Place ball in the corner of a 90° angle. Example, place ball on a table top that butts up against a 90° wall, making sure the ball is touching both the table top and the wall. A large panel of the ball should be touching the wall and also facing away from the wall towards you.

3.) Then place a square up against a large panel of the ball, which is 180° degrees from the large panel of the ball which is touching the wall, as if you are using the square to hold the ball in place, against the wall. But do not apply any pressure against the ball, with the square, only very slight pressure, enough to hold the ball in place, without indenting the ball panel.

4.) Then mark a spot on the table top, where the front of the square is touching both the ball and table. The distance from the wall to this mark is the diameter of the ball.

5.) Now measure that distance with a CM rule, and then multiply that measurement times 3.14, and the result will be the circumference of the ball, in CM.

6.) Use a fine grade of rule, as a cheap rule with thick lines will give you poor readings. And do not use a tailors tape.

The first step in purchasing a soccer ball is determining the proper size for your age group. Many soccer leagues have different size requirements, so be sure to check with your coach to find out which is the proper size. Soccer balls come in three different sizes which range from size 3 to size 5. Below are the FIFA ball standards. FIFA (Federation Internationale De Football Association) is the world authority of soccer.