Best outdoor volleyballs
Volleyball is a game loved by many people all around the world. There are multiple competitions revolving around it, but many people play as a hobby, especially on the beach. It is easy to see why. It is fun, easy to play, and you can play it as a team, which often enhances the fun. Who does not love a team sports, after all? Apart from being a beach sport, it can also be played outside, but this is beyond the point at the moment.
What you may not know is that volleyball differs according to the environment where the game is played. There may not be significant differences, but still. For example, did you know that the outdoor volleyball court is smaller? It measures 16m by 8m, while the indoor court is 18m by 9m. The number of players is also different, 2 players instead of 6. There is also the scoring system which is best-of-three with 21 points as opposed to five sets of 25 points. Last but not least, the ball itself is different. I found out recently, which is why I decide to share so that you can buy the best outdoor volleyball.
So how is the outdoor volleyball different?
It seems that only players and volleyball enthusiasts know the difference between the two kinds of volleyball. If you are one of those people who play the game at a barbecue in your backyard, chances are you have no idea. But that is about to change.
One of the differences between the two balls is the material they are made of. While the indoor volleyball is made of a hard material, like leather or synthetic leather, the outdoor volleyball is made of a softer material, like fiber composite, for example. Of course, there are outdoor leather volleyballs as well, but not everyone likes that. The reason for that difference is that when you play outdoors, you can take advantage of the weather, which is not possible indoors. Indoor volleyball is more of a power game, and heavy balls move faster.
Another difference is the way the balls are put together. The indoor volleyball is molded, while the other is stitched. If you take a closer look at two balls, one for inside and the other for outside, you will notice the difference. The panels of the indoor volleyball are glued to an inner lining. As a result, the ball is smooth and consistent. Moreover, this aspect influences the game, believe it or not. Since indoor balls do not have to withstand the elements, it does not need stitches. On the other hand, the panels of an outdoor volleyball are stitched together. That is what makes it more durable than the indoor counterpart. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. After all, it is subjected to wind, powerful sun rays, and water. It needs to be sturdier.
What to consider when looking for the best outdoor volleyball
Now that you learned the difference between indoor and outdoor volleyballs, you should probably learn how to choose the best one for you. Looking for the best outdoor volleyball is trickier than you may think, mostly because there are so many out there. However, all you need to do is follow a set of simple rules that will help you make the difference between a good and a bad ball. You have no idea what the criteria are? No problem, you will find below a list of everything you need to consider before making a purchase. As long as you follow the criteria, you will make the right decision.
- Shape – it may come as a surprise to you, but not all balls are spherical. I know, right? A non-spherical ball? They may seem that way, but a closer look and a few measurements will lead to another conclusion. That is because not all manufacturers go through the trouble of designing their balls into a perfectly round shape. As a result, the balls come out a little bit oval. That can affect the game in the end, and the contact with your hands is not the same. My recommendation is to purchase volleyball from a reputable manufacturer.
- Take a look at the material – while some people prefer leather as a material for their outdoor volleyball ball, it may not be the best choice. Look for a ball made of soft fibers, or composite leather, whichever you think is best. However, no matter what you choose, make sure that the material is flexible. Otherwise, you will hurt your hands. After all, you will be hitting that ball quite a lot. The quality of the material will also dictate the lifespan of your purchase. Last but not least, make sure that the blader is made of butyl rubber. It retains the air just fine.
- The size of the ball – you should probably know that the size of the ball is not random. It is dictated by FIVB, which stands for Federation International de Volleyball (International Federation of Volleyball.) The FIVB standards say that the ball should have a circumference between 65 and 67 centimeters (25.59 – 26.38 inches.) That is if you want an official volleyball ball. Any other size is just for children’s play.
- Weight – when it comes to weight, outdoor volleyballs should be a little bit heavier than indoor volleyballs. While indoor balls weight between 8.36 and 9 ounces, the outdoor ball should be at least 9.4 ounces and 11.2 ounces at the most.
- Bladder pressure – when it comes to pressure, FIVB dictates that as well. According to their standards, the pressure inside the ball should be between 4.26 and 4.61 psi. If it is lower, the ball will not have the same bounce, and if it is higher, it will hurt your hands pretty bad. There is such thing as an ideal pressure, which is why it is standardized.
- Age group – it makes sense that adults do not play with the same ball as children. The milestone is 12 years old. That is how balls are categorized: balls for children and 12 years old and balls for adults. Make sure that you look at the specifications. They will reveal the age group.
All the criteria mentioned above are in accordance with FIVB. However, keep in mind that a ball that complies with the regulations will be a bit more pricey than one that does not. Yet, it is better if you purchase such a ball. You invest in high quality, your hands will be grateful, and you will not have to buy another ball anytime soon. If you think about it, you save money in the long run.
What are the best volleyballs?
Once you go online and see all those models from all those manufacturers, you may feel a bit confused. It is entirely understandable, but there is no need to panic. What you should do is fairly simple. You need to follow the criteria mentioned above, and under no circumstance buy the first ball that comes in a search. Read the specifications before purchase, read some outdoor volleyball reviews, and make an informed decision. That way, you cannot fail. If you cannot handle the situation, here are three excellent suggestions.
Wilson Soft Play Outdoor Volleyball
Wilson is a reputable manufacturer that produces volleyballs in accordance with FIVB regulations. All their balls follow the standards, which is why you cannot fail if you buy a ball from them. However, do not go on thinking that their prices are high. Quite the contrary, actually. Their quality-price ratio is fantastic.
This particular ball is perfect for an outdoor game. For starters, it is designed to last and handle the elements with which it may come in contact outside, like wind, water, and sun. It is made of 18 panels that are carefully sewn together. The stitches are made with a sewing machine, so you do not have to worry that it will come apart. The bladder is made of butyl rubber, which basically translates into an ideal air retention. Once you inflate this ball, it will be a long time until you need to have a pressure check.
One of the aspects that make this ball an excellent choice is that it features a soft play technology. The cover is made of synthetic leather, but the cover is sponge-backed, which makes the ball very soft to the touch. It is ideal for beginners, and even children can play with it. It measures 8 x 8 x 8 inches and weighs 11.2 ounces. The ball comes in various colors.
Tachikara Institutional Quality Composite Leather Volleyball
Tachikara is yet another manufacturer that makes standard volleyballs. As far as the quality of their balls goes, there can be no question about it. You can ask anyone who has ever bought a ball from them, and they will all say the same thing. The manufacturer makes balls that last for a very long time, and your hands will not hurt either.
One of the best things about this ball is that it features a single unit construction. It is a patented technology that makes the ball not only affordable but extremely reliable as well. In fact, this particular ball is an economical choice. As for the material, the Tachikara ball is made of woven fiber v100 composite. The cotton reinforcement makes is very soft an consistent to touch, which means that your hands will not suffer very much.
The bladder is made of butyl rubber which ensures a good air retention. As for measurements, the circumference of the ball is just as FIVB recommends, 25.6 inches-26.4 inches. The ball weighs 9.4 ounces. This model is perfect if you want to have a fun game at the beach, but it can also be purchased by volleyball teams. It suits everyone’s needs.
Mikasa Sports Squish No-Sting Pillow Cover Volleyball
Last but not least, Mikasa Sports manufactures high-quality balls at reasonable prices as well. This model is a mid-range volleyball, but I am sure that you will be satisfied with its performance. Adults love it, but it is the children who like it the most.
One of the best features about this ball is that it is equipped with a no-sting cover. That means it is gentle on your hands, and unlike other balls, it reduces sting by a lot. That is why I think that this ball is suitable for children. They have more delicate hands than adults, and they need additional protection. This ball will do precisely that.
The ball from Mikasa Sports also features a waterproof cover. That means the cover will not soak and the ball will not become waterlogged when you play pool volleyball. That is why most people buy this model when they go on vacation (to a destination that involves beaches and water.) The bladder is made of butyl rubber so that it does not lose air easily. Overall, this is an excellent product, and I strongly recommend it.
It is challenging to make a choice when three excellent products are put in front of you. Yet, I must make a decision, and if it were up to me, I would go with the Tachikara Institutional Quality Composite Leather Volleyball. It has the official size, it has that single unit construction, and people who have already bought it declare themselves more than satisfied with their purchase. I believe it to be one of the best outdoor volleyballs in this price range.
While some people do not put too much thought when they buy a volleyball, I believe that a small effort can make a difference, from multiple points of view. If you consider the aspects that I listed above, you will get a high-quality ball that will help you with your game. Not to mention that your hands need to be taken care of, which is why you should go for the softest choice. I can guarantee that all three models above are good enough for anyone, no matter the level of skill, and whichever one you choose, you will be satisfied with your purchase. Click here to buy on Amazon
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