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Soccer Ball vs Volleyball: What Are The Differences?

It’s easy to confuse a soccer ball for a volleyball and vice versa as they do have some similarities.

They also have many differences which are mentioned in this article along with other important information about soccer balls and volleyballs.

Soccer ball and volleyball
Soccer ball and volleyball

Key takeaways

  • Soccer balls and volleyballs are different in size and weight
  • Soccer balls have more PSI than volleyballs
  • Both soccer balls and volleyballs can be designed in a variety of colors and design patterns
  • Both soccer balls and volleyballs are made with leather
  • Soccer balls have 32 panels while volleyballs have 18
  • Soccer balls and volleyballs are not interchangeable

Soccer Balls vs Volleyballs

Both soccer balls and volleyballs are required for playing their respective sports.

A soccer ball is used to play the sport of soccer and a volleyball is used to play the sport of volleyball.

If you live outside of North America, soccer is referred to as football.

The biggest difference between a soccer ball and volleyball is in appearance and weight.

A traditional soccer ball sits on a grass field with white stripe
Soccer ball

Design

Both soccer balls and volleyballs can be designed with a variety of shapes and colors on them.

Soccer balls are normally designed with a combination of hexagonal and pentagonal panels that fit together on the ball.

The number of panels can vary for each design but a 32 panel soccer ball is the most common.

These can be made of various colors but black and white is most common.

Depending on the soccer team, league, tournament and location, a soccer ball can be designed in multiple ways with a variety of logos, shapes, and colors.

Volleyballs differ from soccer balls as traditional volleyballs only have 18 panels arranged into 6 equal sections.

A volleyball can be a variety of colors as well, but it’s common to use a plain white ball for most games.

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Popular colors include blue, yellow, green, and red. Other colors can also be used based on personal preference.

Certain tournaments like the olympics can have logos and custom designs made for the volleyballs being used.

Beach volleyball is normally played with a bright white ball that is easier to see.

Close-up of female player holding volleyball in the court
Volleyball

Size, shape, and weight

Both soccer balls and volleyballs are spherical in shape. There are 5 sizes of soccer balls ranging in size from 18 to 28 inches circumference and depending on your age group and skill level, you can choose the proper sized ball for you.

  • Size 1 – 18 to 20 inches
  • Size 2 – 20 to 22 inches
  • Size 3 – 23 to 24 inches
  • Size 4 – 25 to 26 inches
  • Size 5 – 27 to 28 inches

Kids under 12 normally use a soccer ball that is between 18 to 26 inches in circumference while players over the age of 12 and professional players will use a soccer ball between 27 and 28 inches in circumference.

According to FIFA regulations, size 5 soccer balls must weigh between 410g and 450g before the start of a match.

Volleyballs are usually available in 2 sizes. Youth and adult. Youth volleyballs have a circumference of 25 to 26 inches and adult volleyballs have a circumference of 25.5 to 26.5 inches.

Volleyballs weigh between 260g and 280g.

Air pressure (PSI)

FIFA regulations state that a soccer ball must be filled with air to a pressure of 8.1 to 16.1 PSI.

Volley balls are normally filled with air to a pressure of 4.27 to 4.62 PSI.

Soccer BallVolleyball
Size 118 – 20 inches 25 – 26 inches
Size 220 – 22 inches25.5 – 26.5 inches
Size 323 – 24 inches
Size 425 – 26 inches
Size 527 – 28 inches
Weight410g – 450g260g – 280g
PSI8.1 – 16.14.27 – 4.62

What are soccer balls made of?

A soccer ball is made up of 2 main parts. A bladder and a cover. The cover is made with synthetic leather which can be either polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

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The bladder is what holds the air in the ball and is made of either butyl, natural latex, or carbon latex.

In between the cover and the bladder is an inner lining made of cotton or polyester. There can be several layers of the inner lining (2 – 5).

A soccer ball also has stitches which hold the panels in place. Older soccer balls can use polyester or kevlar stitching.

Newer soccer balls might use thermal bonding which is a method of using heat to form a bond between the panels.

This video shows an in depth look at how soccer balls are made.

What are volleyballs made of

Volleyballs are made from genuine or synthetic leather. There are 3 main layers of a volleyball. The bladder is the inner section that holds the air in the ball.

A cloth layer is in between the bladder and the outer layer which is made from leather and contains the panels.

Indoor volleyballs normally have panels that are glued or bonded together similar to a soccer ball.

Outdoor volleyballs normally have stitching and you can see the difference between an indoor and outdoor volleyball.

Can you use a soccer ball to play volleyball?

Technically, yes you can use a soccer ball to play volleyball and vice versa. But it’s not recommended.

If you are stuck with no other options and you want to play, it’s possible to swap one ball for the other.

Keep in mind that both soccer balls and volleyballs have a different size, weight, and PSI.

Soccer balls are meant to be kicked and volleyballs are meant to be hit with your hand.

Each ball is designed to be played with their individual sport and won’t perform the same way if used interchangeably.

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