What Size Football Should I use?

What Size Football? Read This Before You Buy

, 3 min reading time

What Size Football Do I Use?

What Size Football should you buy? On 1st June 2020, a big change happened to the sizing of footballs, that many clubs and coaches may have missed due to being in a state of lockdown. The guidance relates to changes in approach for players heading the football but this has had implications on the ball used within each age group.

What size football? Obviously it depends on the age of player that will be using the ball. As I mentioned from the 1st of June 2020 the age groups below use the following ball size:

  • Under 6 - Size 3
  • Under 7 - Size 3
  • Under 8 - Size 3
  • Under 9 - Size 3
  • Under 10 - Size 3 (Used to be Size 4)
  • Under 11 - Size 4
  • Under 12 - Size 4
  • Under 13 - Size 4
  • Under 14 - Size 4
  • Under 15 - Size 5
  • Under 16 - Size 5
  • Under 18 - Size 5
  • Adult - Size 5
Why Did The Football Size Guide Change In 2020?

An amendment to the Football size guidance came into force in 2020, but why? Following a review on heading in youth football and an increase in head injuries, change was required. Subsequently the new rules were introduced after an update to The FA's Heading Guidance. The headlines are as follows

  • No heading in training in the foundation phase (primary school children) up to U11
  • Graduated approach to heading for children in the development phase U12 to U16
  • To take into consideration the heading exposure in matches, U18 heading drills should be reduced too
  • Don't over inflate the footballs and use the lowest pressure authorised by the laws of the game.

These are interesting and sweeping developments to the football world. Presently junior players in todays modern game play on smaller pitches in smaller sized games. However, as The FA confront the fears over head injuries within the game, this development should be applauded

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What Are The New Heading Guidelines In Football?

Further information is available on The FA website but if you should follow the guidance below:

  • U7 to U11 - Heading should not be introduced in training sessions at this age
  • U12 - Heading remains a low priority only 1 session per month and a maximum of 5 headers allowed
  • U13 - Heading remains a low priority only 1 session per week and a maximum of 5 headers allowed
  • U14 to U16 - Heading remains a low priority only 1 session per week and a maximum of 10 headers allowed
  • U18 - Heading drills should be reduced as far as possible, taking into consideration the heading exposure during matches

There have been some high profile cases announcing they have developed early signs of dementia. Since then, there has been a large out cry for FIFA to do something about the amount of head injuries in the game. It is only a matter of time before they are updated and extended further. Meanwhile an additional permanent head injury substitute is being trialled in early 2021. These trials will run in the FA Cup of 20/21 and all major women's football within the UK.

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