Size 4 vs Size 5 Balls

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Val1, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    At what ages do your leagues play with a size 4 ball? When do they move up to a size 5? And what would be your preference?

    I'm constantly struck that we force our kids to play with too big a ball waaaay too early. I coached at the Y this spring, my son's under 8 league, and the program director handed me size 5s. I'm 5'10" and weigh 200 pounds and I play with a 5. My son is 4' and 60 pounds, and they want him to play with a size 5! I was able to flatly refuse the 5s and sort of singlehandedly got the age division down to size 4s.

    My daughter's under 10 team last year used size 5s and in retrospect, it still seems a bit early to be using a full size ball. We're playing 6 a side on a smaller field with smaller goals, because of the developmental issues, so why force kids to use a bigger ball?

    I'm thinking we should use a size 4 ball all the way to 12 and under, and then, after the kids have hit their growth spurt, give them a 5.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. lucky13dad

    lucky13dad Member

    May 16, 2006
    Region 2
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For games, both the girl's travel league and the rec leagues in our area use a size 3 ball until U10, a size 4 ball from U10 through U12, then size 5 from then on. In fact, I have heard that for training, a player can use a smaller size ball to help develop their footwork.
  3. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    My limited experience too has been size 5's are introduced at age 12. It is not just the size, a larger ball is heavier too.
  4. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Val1, this is bizarre. Tactfully suggest to your director that he/she should look into what your neighbors to the North do. Every Delaware club that I know of uses a 3 through U-8, then a 4 for U-9 through U-12, and only uses a 5 for U-13 and older.
  5. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    Starting at U13 size 5, at least around here.
  6. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    That's what central Iowa has done for years!
  7. wwdudley

    wwdudley New Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Elkhorn NE, USA
    This is what we use, and is also what is laid out by US Youth Soccer in their guidelines for Small Sided Games. You could just print out a copy of that and hand it to your league/club coordinator.
  8. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Same for SE Michigan, IIRC.
  9. Shackleton

    Shackleton New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    N. Texas
  10. junjunforever

    junjunforever Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    i think its always good to use size 4 ball during training, especially during those 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or whatever.

    As luckydad mentioned, using small ball develops player's footwork and technique. If you can juggle 10 times with tennis ball, you can juggle 100 times with the size 5 balls. Imagine players practicing volley kicks with tennis balls, you just have to be damm accurate with the ball. When i was in England, i remember playing football during breaktime with tennis balls.

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