Why is my soccer ball deflating? The most common reasons are that the ball is damaged or the air temperature fluctuates.
If you play soccer regularly, you understand how frustrating it can be to find your ball deflated. The frustration can be amplified if that is your only soccer ball!
Key Takeaways From This Article:
- A soccer ball can lose air based on several factors including damage to the exterior or interior of the ball, change in air temp, or it simply not being pumped up enough.
- A soccer ball is recommended to be inflated between 8.5 and 15.6 PSI.
- Proper storage is important to keep the ball inflated.
- Don’t spend too much mind power on how to keep a ball in tip-top shape. It’s supposed to be kicked around and scuffed up.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of your soccer ball deflating. You’ll want to keep reading!
Common Causes of a Ball Being Deflated
If you’re still on the page, let’s cut to the chase and learn what makes a soccer ball deflate. Here are a few reasons why:
Damage to the Ball’s Exterior
If your soccer ball has been punctured or damaged in any way, it can cause air to leak out.
The subtle air leak can happen if the ball is kicked into a sharp object or if it’s simply been used for too long. This can cause it to become worn out.
If you squeeze the ball, you can usually hear a hissing sound which means there is a puncture somewhere.
If you notice any visible damage to your ball, it’s important to repair it (see below) or replace it as soon as possible to prevent further deflation.
Leaky Valve in a Soccer Ball
The valve is the small opening in the ball where you insert the air pump.
If the valve is damaged or not screwed in tightly, air can escape from the ball. Check the valve regularly to make sure it’s in good condition and securely fastened.
The common reason for a valve leak is from a needle not being pushed in straight. When it’s bent into the ball, the valve can bend or rip with it.
Underinflation of a Soccer Ball
If your ball is underinflated, then it is considered deflated so you’ll need to pump more air into it. That’s science for you!
Make sure to pump your ball up to the appropriate pressure before use. A ball that’s too soft can also affect its bounce and overall performance on the field.
As a rule of thumb, the ball should be inflated between 8.5 – 15.6 PSI.
It’s relatively easy to spot a ball that needs more air. There’s a certain ‘thud’ sound it makes.
Overinflation of a Soccer Ball
Conversely, if you pump too much air into your soccer ball, it can become overinflated and reverse itself to deflate quickly. With too much air inside, the air needs to escape somehow so it will seep through the seams.
Check the recommended inflation pressure for your ball and use a pressure gauge to ensure that you’re not exceeding it.
Overinflation can also cause the ball to become misshapen and affect its performance.
For an experienced player, you can trust your gut to ensure the ball is not pumped up too much. If its really hard on the touch, you may need to squeeze some air out of the ball like I did here…
How Does a Temperature Change Affect a Soccer Ball?
When the temperature drops, the air molecules inside the ball lose energy and move more slowly, causing the air pressure inside the ball to decrease. This decrease in pressure can cause the ball to deflate or become less firm.
For example, we live in New England and the weather can fluctuate by the hour. If my son plays with a ball inside and then brings it outside in early spring, the ball will lose air over time.
I’ve even seen a ball lose air a day if it’s left outside in the cold.
The rubber or plastic material used to make soccer balls can also become stiffer and less elastic in cold temperatures, which can contribute to deflation.
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How to Detect a Deflated Ball
The first step in detecting a deflated soccer ball is visually inspecting it.
Take a look at the ball and see if it appears to be fully inflated. A fully inflated ball should be round and firm, with no visible deformities.
It probably isn’t inflated properly if the ball appears to be misshapen or has a flattened appearance.
Another thing to look for during a visual inspection is the position of the valve.
If the valve appears to be pushed in or sunken into the ball, it may indicate that the ball is not fully inflated.
On the other hand, if the valve appears to be sticking out too far, it may be an indication that the ball is overinflated.
If you suspect that your soccer ball is not fully inflated, the next step is to perform a physical inspection.
First, press down on the ball with your hands to see if it feels firm. A fully inflated ball should be firm to the touch and should have just a little give.
Next, try dropping the ball from a height of about three feet. A fully inflated ball should bounce back up to almost the same height. If the ball does not bounce back up, it probably needs more air.
Lastly, try kicking the soccer ball. A fully inflated ball should be easy to kick and travel a good distance. A deflated ball will not travel as far and, again, make a noticeable noise.
A visual and physical inspection is probably all you need. 9 out of 10 times you can figure out if a ball is too deflated or inflated by feeling it and looking at it. As you play more, you’ll just naturally know if a ball is deflated, over-inflated, or just right.
Preventing Your Balls From Being Deflated
It is important to inflate the ball to the correct pressure to prevent the soccer ball from deflating.
Overinflating can sometimes cause the ball to burst, while underinflation can cause it to lose its shape and not bounce properly.
The recommended pressure range is usually printed on the ball or can be found in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Use a pressure gauge to ensure that the ball is inflated to the correct pressure before use.
How you store your soccer ball can affect the way it holds its air capacity. When you are not using your ball, it is important to store it properly.
Deflate the ball when storing it for an extended period, such as during the off-season. This will help relieve pressure on the ball and prevent it from losing air.
While actively playing with the soccer ball, store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Bringing your soccer ball inside every day will give it more years.
Maintenance & Care
Proper care of your soccer ball can not only help prevent deflation but can give it a longer life.
Avoid kicking the ball on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt, which can cause damage to the ball’s surface and valve.
Wipe the ball regularly with a damp cloth and mild soap, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. If you don’t remember this one, it’s okay. This is just a tip for those players who want to keep their ball squeaky clean.
To wrap up, a soccer ball can deflate for various reasons as mentioned above.
It is important to properly keep your soccer ball inflated at the recommended PSI, store it in a dry area away from direct sunlight, and use it on grass or turf only. If you do this, you’ll be able to play with your favorite ball for many years.
If you are a player or parent of a player, soccer balls should be a piece of equipment that just gets worn out over time. There’s no need to hold back just because you want it to look like new. Go out there and get scuff marks and grass stains on it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Science tells us that when soccer balls are left in the cold they go flat. Molecules have less energy and move slower in the cold causing the ball to deflate.
A soccer ball should be inflated between 8.5 – 15.6 PSI but it is recommended to check the manufacturer’s recommendation.