Do Soccer Balls Have Chips Inserted in Them?

There’s so much uncertainty present in the world at the moment.

Who knew that a virus pandemic would be able to cripple so many industries that are essential for human life and provide our species with the entertainment we crave?

Well, amidst all the variability lately there’s been countless positives.

One thing that remains undeniable is the fact that modern technology just keeps getting better and better.

The last few decades have seen advancements in machinery and automation sprinkle their way into soccer.

And this leads me nicely onto today’s topic of interest, which is…

Do soccer balls have microchips embedded into them?

For those of you reading this who are in a hurry to find out the answer, I’ll get right down to the point…

Soccer balls generally do not have chips embedded within them, as the cost of scaled implementation for such technology is very high for manufacturers who are looking to profit. However, there are a few soccer balls that do feature near-field communication chips and sensors that make performance tracking much easier.

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But as I’ve just alluded to, this sort of technology has actually been incorporated into some soccer ball designs, with mixed results.

Let’s take a closer look.


Are there chips in soccer balls?

Even though ball aerodynamics have come a long way through precision engineering, microchip use within these objects has never grown to become widescale.

But there’s a really unique example of microchip use in a soccer ball that I’d like to point out.

The Adidas Telstar 18 ball was designed using near-field communication (NFC) chip technology for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

soccer balls with chips in them - NFC tech

Players could access footage unique to the ball itself which is an interesting dimension that I never imagined that the game could be viewed from.

Take a look at this recording of what’s inside this ball:

But such technology is expensive to implement and sees production costs pushed over to the final consumer in the form of a hefty price point.

Part of what brings people together to play the sport is the fact that its all-inclusive regardless of a person’s income level.

Why would someone buy the best soccer ball with an embedded microchip that has so many sophisticated features when they can grab a budget option for a fraction of the price?

Your guess is as good as mine!

Although it must be noted that some high quality ones cost a pretty penny even without chips inserted into them.

Ultimately, soccer balls with microchips do exist but they are not as common as one would expect them to be on the marketplace.


Do soccer balls have sensors?

A standard soccer ball typically won’t have any embedded devices that detect or measure certain physical properties.

However, sensors can be placed into soccer balls to monitor participant performance.

A great case in point is the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball that measures the power, speed and curve of shots taken.

This ball is great for coaches who want to give statistical feedback and analytical direction to players on their output.

So, just like microchips, soccer balls generally don’t utilise sensor-type technology except for specific use-cases such as the ball outlined above.


What is inside a soccer ball?

If you watched the YouTube video I embedded above from start to finish, you’ll have seen what the inside of a soccer ball looks like.

I’ll just point out a few inner specifics to make things clear.


1. Bladder

Soccer balls usually contain an inner bladder made from natural or synthetic rubber.

This part gives the ball its round shape and allows it to maintain its spherical nature when kicked, as the air inside is held together by the entire bladder structure.

Ball bladders are either latex or butyl, with the latter offering better air retention over time.


2. Internal lining

The inner lining of a soccer ball is what separates the bladder I just talked about and the outer covering.

Here, the layers are comprised of cotton and/or polyester; giving the object its distinctly uniform bounce and also aiding with shape retention when kicked.


Final thoughts

Standard soccer balls that are mass produced do not contain microchips within them. It would cost way too much money for ball manufacturers to make their inclusion viable on a global scale and the chip technology would also eat into their profitability margins due to the high cost of acquisition.

Samuel Waihenya
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