Does a soccer ball double as a makeshift volleyball? As middle-class players who just want the best out of everything, we like to change things up a bit and always go for the low-budget option. So we ask ourselves: what’s the point of spending cash on buying balls for different games? Aren’t they all the same thing? A ball is a ball, after all.
But for anyone even remotely concerned, we have listed the various differences and similarities between Soccer balls and volleyballs, and whether they can be used interchangeably. Read on, and don’t forget to check out our final conclusion.
What Sets A Ball Apart?
Why do you call it a Soccer ball? Aren’t all balls the same, just different sizes? It can be tough seeing the difference for anyone who isn’t all that into sports. The main differences are the number and type of layers, strength, size, bounce, toughness, ease-of-shooting, range, and overall playing compatibility.
For Soccer balls:
For a Soccer ball, the design and structure can be summed up as:
- A Soccer ball is made of a bladder, a lining, and a cover.
- The bladder is the pouch of rubber that contains the air. These are usually made of natural latex or butyl or even polyurethane (cheaper and lesser effective).
- The lining consists of multiple layers of polyester or cotton blend. These are what add extra features to the ball, such as air retention, bounce, and softness. Some linings use polyurethane foam to maintain bounce and reaction.
- The outer cover usually has the familiar hexagonal black and white pattern. The main covering is fashioned from hydrophobic synthetic leather made from PVC or polyurethane.
For volleyball, the designing and architecture are unique:
- Volleyball is made up of almost the same layers as a football. One exception is that most volleyball designs don’t have the intermodal layers of foam or plastic, and mostly just have a cover and a bladder.
- The bladder is very thin and lightweight, and as much most volleyballs are prone to breaking and tearing.
- The cover is similar to that of a football. This is mostly the only protection the ball has from trauma and splitting.
What Type of Performance Does a Soccer ball give?
Soccer balls aren’t very easy to design or calculate. They have the following characteristics:
- Soccer balls are better at bouncing and reacting. When you kick the ball with your feet, you want the ball to cover a very long range with the least amount of force possible. This is great for if you want to send the ball shooting through the playing
- They are also great at handling. A ball which just shoots far and wide with even the slightest touch isn’t suitable. You want to have control over the ball and keep it near yourself without letting it escape. Most Soccer balls use some form of shock absorption (such as PU foam linings or hard rubber bladders) to keep the ball from rolling too far away.
- They are durable. Footballs suffer the most traumas during the game. A football which doesn’t have enough durability won’t be able to make the game. The ball should be hard and tough, and both the bladder and the cover should be the strongest.
- Indoor Soccer balls have lesser bounce and recoil since they are played in a wall-bounded field and don’t have much space to move.
Is a Soccer ball A Good Substitute?
So the question still remains: can you use Soccer balls as volleyballs? While the exact performance may vary from brand to brand, a few things which make them suitable include:
Ø Great Bounce and Recoil:
Volleyball requires a lot of hitting and bouncing. The ball needs to have a good bouncing factor and should be easy to hit and shoot. Soccer balls are great at this. The tough layers may retard acceleration (a feature which can be considered as a downside). The bounce of footballs is great, mostly due to the cushioning foam layers underneath the cover and stitching.
Ø Wide Shooting Distance:
Since footballs were made to shoot far and wide, they make great candidates for volleyball players. These balls will surely make it across the net and toward the other player. Their weight and design give them enough deceleration to not go too far, but overall, the shooting distance is pretty fascinating.
Ø Extra Durable and Long-lasting:
Because Soccer balls are made of so many tough and hard layers of foam, PVC, polyurethane, and of course, the innermost rubber bladder, they are very durable and will last you long. Assuming you want to go for the low-budget option if the football breaks then you’ll lose both Soccer ball and volleyball. So the ball you do invest in must be very strong and sturdy. We find best soccer balls to be candidates for this, as they are made of multiple strong layers and are mostly 3 to 6 ply.
Is a Soccer ball A Bad Substitute?
As much as Soccer balls can be optimized for volleyball, there are a few reasons why they may be unsuitable. Footballs won’t suit volleyball players because:
Ø Extra Heavy and Non-Aerodynamic:
Soccer balls have a billion layers, and as such can be very heavy. Volleyball is meant to be lightweight and easy to shoot. While Soccer balls have a lot of bounce and recoil in them, they require a lot of force to shoot. So while their shooting distance is great, their shooting ease is very low. They are too heavy for use by hand.
Ø Decelerates Easily:
Soccer balls are designed to have some level of handling. Because of this, they may not be able to reach too far. Sure, they have a great range, but that requires a lot of force, and if adequate force is not applied, they will likely fall before they even reach the net.
We stated earlier that football has a main air bladder, intermodal layers of foam, PVC, and other polymers, and a cover for protection. Volleyballs only have eth bladder and the cover. So when we use Soccer balls, we add a bit of comfort and bounce to the ball through the lining layers. however, this also makes the ball slightly heavier and lesser reactive to lightweight throws.
So, to end the discussion of whether or not a Soccer ball good for playing volleyball, the answer is yes! While they may have their downsides, most volleyball players train just as hard as footballers. So adding a bit of force shouldn’t be too tedious of a task.
So save up on volleyball equipment and use your Soccer balls instead. And don’t forget to enjoy the game!