Can You Bring a Soccer Ball on a Plane?

Can You Bring a Soccer Ball on a Plane?

Do you have travel plans and want to bring a soccer ball on a plane? We love this and 100% encourage it!

The good news is that the majority of airlines allow passengers to bring soccer balls as part of their luggage, whether as a carry-on or checked item.

Can You Bring a Soccer Ball on a Plane

However, it’s important to be aware of size and weight restrictions, as well as take precautions to prevent potential damage to your ball during travel.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), “Thankfully, inflatable sports equipment is allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage. That includes inflatable footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, etc.”

When packing your soccer ball, it’s recommended to deflate it slightly to prevent it from bursting during changes in air pressure. Yes, it can technically burst because of the change in elevation!

Airline Policies on Sports Equipment

If bringing a ball onboard is okay with TSA, it should be with the major airlines! Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to put it inside your carry on so this is why deflating it is especially important.


As a fun experiment, I either chatted or called the different airlines and they confirmed that I could bring my soccer ball as long as it fits in my carry on. Delta and JetBlue mentioned that it should be deflated as well.

Also, if you were wondering, Southwest took the most time to get a hold of someone.

It’s important to note that these policies are subject to change, and it’s always best to check with your airline before you travel. Some airlines may have specific requirements for sports equipment, such as deflating soccer balls or packing them in a specific way.

Packing Your Soccer Ball for Travel

When traveling with your soccer ball, it’s important to pack it properly to ensure it arrives at your destination undamaged. Here are some tips for packing your soccer ball for travel:

Deflating Your Soccer Ball

Most airlines require or recommend that soccer balls be deflated before they can be packed for travel. To deflate your soccer ball, you’ll need a needle or pump adaptor. Insert the needle or adaptor into the valve of the ball and slowly release the air until the ball is fully or semi-deflated. Be careful not to puncture the ball or damage the valve.

I’ve written about this in the article ‘How to Deflate a Soccer Ball‘.

Securing the Soccer Ball

Once your soccer ball is deflated, it’s important to secure it properly to prevent it from getting damaged during travel. Here are some ways to secure your soccer ball:

  • Wrap the soccer ball in bubble wrap, clothes, or a towel to protect it from scratches and dents.
  • Place the ball in a soccer bag, backpack, or suitcase with other items that can help cushion it during travel.

Alternatives to Carrying a Soccer Ball on a Plane

If you are traveling and do not want to carry a soccer ball on the plane, there are alternatives available to you. Here are three options:

Buying a Soccer Ball at Your Destination

One option is to buy a soccer ball locally when you arrive at your destination. This is an excellent choice if you are traveling to a destination where soccer is popular (which is almost everywhere). You can easily find a store that sells soccer balls, and you can choose the one that suits your needs.

If you are traveling to a remote location where soccer is not as popular, it might be more challenging to find a store that sells soccer balls. In this case, you might want to consider bringing one.

Finding a Soccer Ball at a Field, Park, or School

Do you know how many soccer balls are just lost in the woods? So many, at least in our area! I can go into any school around here and find at least one soccer ball to play with.

Will it be in the best shape? Most likely not. But, it’s a soccer ball.

Before you ‘borrow it’, I would ensure that it doesn’t belong to anyone on the field. The last thing you want to do during your vacation is to get into a fight over a used ball.

Using a Mini Soccer Ball

If you’re looking for a smaller option to bring on your flight, a mini soccer ball might be a good choice. These balls are typically around 6 inches in diameter and can easily fit in your carry-on bag or backpack.

Mini soccer balls are also a great option if you’re traveling with children. They’re small enough for kids to handle and play with in tight spaces like an airplane cabin.

You may still want to deflate the ball but it will be much easier to carry onto a plane. Mini balls are great for any age as you can play with it outside or inside your hotel room (quietly).


To answer the question, “Can you bring a soccer ball on a plane?”, the answer is yes.

To ensure a smooth travel experience, it is recommended that you deflate your soccer ball before packing it. This will help prevent any damage to the ball during transport and make it easier to fit in your luggage.

Remember to also check with your airline for any specific regulations or restrictions on sports equipment. Some airlines may have size or weight limitations, or require additional fees for oversized baggage.

Overall, traveling with a soccer ball is possible and can be a fun addition to your trip especially if you are traveling with your teammates!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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