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The best size 3 footballs you can buy

10:05 PM MYT 20/01/2022
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The best size 3 footballs that are both age and wallet appropriate

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The first piece of equipment every budding footballer needs is a ball. And while finding a football might seem like an easy task, there's a surprising amount of things to take into consideration before making that purchase.

Not only do footballs come in a variety of different materials, technology and designs, they also come in different sizes. In the same way that you'd buy smaller goalposts for children playing football, it's equally important to purchase the correct sized ball. But size 3 footballs aren’t just limited to kids, of course – anyone can buy one. An adult may wish to use a smaller football to practice their techniques and skills, particularly foot speed and dribbling.

So, where to start? Whether you're looking for the perfect first ball for a future pro or simply want to improve your own talent on the pitch, this round-up is bound to help.

What is a size 3 football?

A size 3 football is the smallest sized football to be used in professional matches. They're around 100 grams lighter than a size 5 (adult regulation size) which is partly why they're perfectly suited for younger players. Beyond the weight difference, they're also much smaller in size. For comparison: a size 5 football is up to 28” in circumference, whereas a size 3 is around 24”.

What age is a size 3 football suitable for?

Size 3 balls are designed for use for children up to 9 years old, making them perfect for anyone looking to play on an under-10s team. This is not just because feet are smaller at that age, the FA actually introduced a rule in 2020 saying that they had to be used. This is really important as a smaller ball is needed to minimise the damage done when heading the ball. After all, football is supposed to be fun for all involved. 

What are the advantages of a size 3 football?

These days, footballs are much less harsh on the head than the bulky ones of the past, but there are still those who would campaign for helmets to be worn. The FA also recommends that to protect the heads of little ones, the balls should only be pumped up to the minimum requirement per ball rather than the maximum. The rule change actually means that children under 13 are not encouraged to head balls in training. But, of course, it’s unavoidable at times, so a size 3 football means that if head to ball contact is made then less force is involved.

What are the other sizes?

Players 15 and over use a size 5 football, which is the regulation size in all professional adult leagues. Between the ages of 11 and 14, a size 4 is used, and a size 3 ball is used by anyone younger. 

With all that out of the way, here are 9 of the best size 3 footballs currently available:

1. Adidas Tiro Club football

Great for: spotting the ball on darker Autumn evenings

This football from Adidas comes in bold eye-catching colours like shock pink and solar yellow. It has a butyl bladder which is super-resilient and the best choice when you need a ball for regular matches and training. It’s machine stitched which makes it preferable for younger players as they are lighter than their thermal-bonded counterparts.

Get it from Adidas for £15.00

2. Mitre Delta Replica

Great for: grass and astro, with a professional look

This ball is the Official Replica Football of the Barclay's Women's Super League, new for the 21-22 season. Inspire the next generation with this high-performance training ball, featuring a foam back lining to ensure maximum control. It's highly durable with excellent air-retention, and players will build confidence in no time.

Get it from Mitre for £10.00

3. Albion Plastic football

Great for: playing football in a sports hall

This lightweight 32-panel plastic football is hard-wearing and ideal for young ones at home and on the playground. Because it’s plastic it will be much less harsh upon impact for young football fans like toddlers. It could even be used in a pool or bath to make playtime more versatile. This football is perfect for some good old fashioned fun.

Get it from Sports Direct for £6.00 

4. Kipsta F100 First Kick football

Great for: having a proper football on a budget

Decathlon’s Kipsta football range is a fantastic alternative from the big brands. They provide top-quality football equipment at a fraction of the price - and their footballs are no different. Whether you’re playing football in the garden or with a team, these are great. When you buy Kipsta you know you're buying quality as they get put through rigorous quality checks in the lab, testing for things like sphericity and bounce height. Kipsta advises this ball is not suitable for use on tarmac.

Get it from Decathlon for £4.99

5. Mitre Impel Training football

Great for: grass and Astro surfaces

The Mitre Impel training football is a great durable all-rounder no matter which size you need. It’s Mitre’s most popular football on Amazon and has over 7,000 global 5-star reviews to boot. It has 30 panels that are padded with an EVA foam backing which cushions the strike impact. The outer surface is made from TPU, which ensures extra grip and control. 

Get it from Amazon for £10.00 

6. Mitre Ultimatch futsal football

Great for: indoor use and astroturf

This vibrant ball was uilt for optimum control and close-quarter passing, with Hyperseam tech that means it will withstand even the biggest of kicks. Tough exterior is matched with abrasion resistance, so it can put up with even the most enthusiastic player. The Dual Hyperfoam means it has maximum power and cushioning.

Get it from Mitre for £22.00 

7. Umbro Spira football

Great for: grass, court and astro surfaces

This machine-stitched football from Umbro has 16 panels. It comes in bright colours which is great for individuality and also remaining visible as the evenings get darker. It’s ideal for all weathers so it can take you through summer to autumn and winter and beyond. The ball has a patterned texture all around which helps with retaining ball control.

Get it from Sports Direct for £8.00

8. Nike Park Team 21 football

Great for: playing football in the park with friends

This 12-panel football from Nike comes in the colour ‘rage green’ with high-contrast graphics. The bright colour makes the ball easy to keep track of. It’s covered in little bumps which help both strikers and goalkeepers alike keep control of the football. The ball maintains air pressure and shape throughout gameplay.

Get it from Pro Direct Soccer for £10.50

9. iPro Hibrid Training football

Great for: those who want a professional quality ball at a budget price

The iPro Hybrid is a quality training football with a good value for money. It’s made from a textured high-quality laminate and has a latex bladder, which is actually the same material the official match balls are made from. The latex bladder makes the ball extra bouncy which is great for touch and responsiveness.

Get it from Pro:Direct Soccer for £12.00

Don’t forget to buy a football pump as most balls arrive deflated to save on delivery costs and their carbon footprint. We have hand-picked the best football pumps for any need. 

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