Little has changed over the years regarding the regulation size of a soccer ball. FIFA, professional soccer's governing body, requires soccer balls to be a certain size to ensure equipment conformity in the soccer community.
Early soccer balls were made of animal bladders covered in leather. Rubber balls and inflatable rubber bladders came into use in the 1800s.
According to English Football Association rules of 1872, an official soccer ball had to be spherical with a circumference of 27 to 28 inches. This size requirement remains the same today.
The weight requirement for soccer balls was increased in 1937 from 13 to 15 ounces to 14 to 16 ounces.
Modern soccer balls are made out of leather but there is a trend toward using a synthetic, high-tech material. This will make the balls softer, more waterproof, safer for headers and more accurate in flight.
Youth soccer balls are different sizes for different age groups. Ages U-6 to U-8 use a size 3, ages U-10 to U-12 use a size 4 and those U-13 and over use a size 5.
The first rubber soccer balls were built and designed by Charles Goodyear.