Youth Football Research and Recommendation

At FIFA, we have often been asked what specifications we recommend for the size and mass of youth footballs for various age groups. Until recently, there was no research upon which we could answer this question, however the Football Technology Innovation team has now collected data from confederations, member associations, youth academies, manufacturers and Erlangen University in an attempt to find these answers.

The Youth Football Specification Recommendation document outlines the conducted research and provides a recommendation of two possible development routes based on three different age groups: under-13s, under-11s and under-9s. This is based on recommendations and regulations from confederations and member associations, philosophies from youth academies, and construction possibilities from manufacturers.

In addition to this, FIFA has worked with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg to conduct a literature review on existing published research to explore “The effect of ball features on health risks in competitive children and youth football”. The aim of this research was to discover whether there are specific links between ball features and the health and safety of youth players, with the intention of acting on findings to reduce these risks.

Please find the Youth Football Specification Recommendation here, and the condensed version of the Erlangen-Nürnberg Research here.

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