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Not every soccer player has the luxury of being able to access a spacious grass pitch whenever they feel like.
Some people live in densely populated urban areas where soccer fields may be quite difficult to come by.
This then leads to a situation where casual players use soccer balls on concrete surfaces, and that brings me to the answer which pertains to the topic of this article.
Soccer balls can be used on different types of textured concrete surfaces like stamped concrete, stencilled concrete as well as other float, trowel and broom concrete finishes. However, the ball in question must be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that is associated with play on such a hard surface.
Therefore, it’s quite easy to decipher that you can definitely play with a soccer ball on concrete because typically, nothing that is extraordinarily dangerous would arise from such a use case.
But that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and try it out!
In fact, there are quite a few drawbacks to using a soccer ball on concrete which I’d now like to highlight.
Why shouldn’t you play with a soccer ball on concrete?
Concrete is not a surface specifically designed for playing different soccer ball games on.
It arose as a usable surface mainly due to circumstance, as country populations have grown over the last couple of centuries.
Not everyone can play on a natural grass field or astro turf court at the same time.
And that’s why why concrete gradually became a surface that could simply be termed as “acceptable” for soccer, especially as street pickup games became more commonplace.
With that said, here are some of the negatives that generally arise from using a soccer ball on concrete surfaces.
1. Damaging your soccer ball
If you want your soccer ball to last for a long time, then I would highly advise you to avoid playing with it on concrete.
Or if you have no other viable alternative for a soccer venue, at least consider taking extreme caution when doing so.
Concrete is not exactly a soccer ball deathbed, but the surface is far from ideal for it to roll and bounce on.
As I had mentioned earlier on in the article, people tend to play on concrete because of their own living circumstances which may not be favourable to them.
Sometimes, there’s simply no other place available where a kickabout can be had.
In such cases, soccer balls will come into contact with concrete textures that are coarse in nature.
The abrasiveness of such a surface will scrape the outer covering of your soccer ball over time, leaving you with a damaged play item that looks quite similar to this:
Just take one moment to think about the type of things that go into making concrete the hard surface that it is.
You have plenty of coarse or fine aggregates – the particulate materials that make up the concrete mix and give it the strength, durability, workability and ability to receive smooth or rough finishes.
To paint a better picture for you, here are some quick examples of aggregate types:
- Crushed stones;
- Sand; and
Once you get the idea of how hard concrete can be for a soccer ball to connect with, picture the other imperfections that come with such a surface.
Your average concrete surface won’t be entirely smooth.
There will be bumps and holes in certain areas – particularly if your playing location doubles as a parking lot or a side road.
All of these things can have a destructive effect on the durability and longevity of your soccer ball.
Because it only takes is one moment for your soccer ball to roll along and hit a sharp, protruding edge of concrete somewhere along the way for it to begin losing air.
At least with a grass pitch, you know that even if it has got bumps and muddy patches, the soccer ball will not deteriorate to the same degree because of the inherent softness of the surface that is built on fine soil.
2. Injury possibilities
Before you play any sport, you will do your own due diligence to make sure that the surrounding environment is safe to participate in.
Concrete doesn’t provide your body with that security, in any way whatsoever.
First of all, running on a hard surface such as this places a significant and repetitive strain on your feet, going all the way up to your lower back.
This tension on your lower body can result in aches and pains that can be difficult to manage.
Furthermore, the force at which your feet make contact with concrete when you chase after a soccer ball on it is enough to cause painful shin splints and stress fractures.
Believe me, those are not injuries that you want to experience first-hand!
Another thing about using a soccer ball on concrete is that you can’t really perform certain match actions that really distinguish the sport.
For example, you would not want to even attempt making a sliding tackle or a knee slide celebration on concrete, as the roughness of the surface will scrape your legs and knees, leaving you with deep bruises in the process.
What surfaces should a soccer ball be used on?
Concrete is far from a suitable choice of playing surface if you’re looking to be engaged with this sport on a regular basis.
I would suggest you have a read of my article that talks about the sorts of venues where soccer can be played.
Inside it, you will receive some fantastic insights with detail on the sorts of places where you can safely enjoy the game.
But if you need those answers right now, consider the following surfaces:
- Natural grass fields
- Synthetic turf pitches (i.e. 3G and 4G)
- Indoor soccer arenas (e.g. for futsal)
I’d start with the first item on that list and work your way down based on a descending order of preference.
So, first be on the lookout for grass pitches where your soccer ball will have no trouble bouncing and rolling along.
If you aren’t able to find a grass surface that you and your friends can enjoy games of soccer on, then you can start to consider synthetic turf surfaces and finally indoor soccer courts as a last resort.
Which soccer ball is best for concrete?
Now, throughout this article I’ve heavily alluded to the fact that concrete will damage both your soccer ball and your body if you’re not careful.
But not everyone has the time and resources to scope out a soccer pitch with lush green grass that they can use without a lengthy commute to get to it.
Which is why in some cases, people are left to make do with what they have, and that involves playing with soccer balls on concrete.
As the author of this blog, I always strive to make your overall soccer experience more enjoyable and long-lasting, so I’ve decided to put together a few recommendations for soccer balls that you can use on concrete and other hard ground surfaces.
Here they are:
- Rubber Tire Tread is extremely durable for rough terrain
- 4 layers cotton lining
- High tensile polyester stitching
- Love playing outside, Mitre got a ball that's right up your street
- Mitre street soccer ball is hand-stitched with rubber laminate, making it ultra-durable on tough tarmac surfaces
- With its colourful car-tire appearance, the street soccer ball is always easy to see and is an ideal gift for players.
- Microdot texture for extra grip and control
- robust, durable 100% rubber surface
- branded in Kickmaster key colours.
- Perfect ball for training your ball control
- The ball Comes with a rubber string that you attach to your wrist. This makes sure the ball always Comes back to you, so you can train both your ball control and coordination
- Made with a soft, shiny PVC cover
At the end of the day, the choice of whether you want to use a soccer ball on concrete rests in your hands.
Just as a reminder…
Soccer balls can be used on concrete, although it is not recommended as a playing surface for soccer itself. The texture of concrete is rough and abrasive enough to cause damage to any soccer balls used on it, as well as being injurious to the health of the players who choose to participate.
If you’ve read through the article until this point, I’d like to commend you for taking the time and having the willingness to understand the dangers of playing with a soccer ball on concrete.
You won’t make the wrong decision by sticking to grass surfaces!
Before you go, why not have a look at our complete buying guide on the finest soccer balls, as it provides a good starting point for any person who is looking to get involved in the sport.