Can a Soccer Ball Break a Window?

In contact sports like soccer, accidents are known to happen from time to time.

The game typically demands a lot of physicality and this can occasionally see its participants suffer from injury.

But there’s also the potential for property damage, especially when it comes to children or teenagers playing within a densely populated neighbourhood.

And the very thought of such destruction happening as a result of a simple game of soccer managed to get me thinking…

Can a soccer ball break a window?

So, after searching lots of different places and seeking out the opinions of different people on the aforementioned matter, I found the answer.

Soccer balls can break tempered glass windows, particularly those used for houses as well as the rear and side windows of vehicles. However, they cannot break car windshields that contain in-built pieces of laminate that sit in between the glass panes.

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What factors determine the likelihood of a window breaking from a soccer ball strike?

Logically speaking, there are quite a number of variables that will play a part in determining whether a window will break in reaction to a ball strike.

Some of these things include:


1. Type of window coating

can a soccer ball break a window - depends on the coating

Not all windows are created equally.

In fact, different windows feature a contrasting number of glass panes and distinct coatings on the panes which provide added benefits.

For example, safety and security films can increase window thickness and help to better anchor the glass in the frame so that it can withstand impact much more effectively.

So, what you may find is that a window with a film thickness of 2 millimetres is much more likely to crack and shatter than one that’s fitted with film that comes in at 6 millimetres of thickness.


2. Distance of the kicker relative to the window

In the academic subject of physics, a principle called Coulomb’s Law can be used to explain the inverse correlation between how far away someone is from an object or surface and the force they can ultimately generate on it.

Despite the fact that this phenomenon generally relates to electrostatic forces, it arguably implies that increasing the separation distance between two objects decreases the resulting collision force when these things come together.

So, I’ll put things in simple terms here.

The further away a person is located from the target, the less forceful the impact will be when the ball comes into contact with the window.

You’d therefore expect a window to break from a soccer ball hit if a person was in close proximity.

Because if that person is further away, the ball has to travel a greater distance before reaching its intended target, all whilst battling with the opposing force of air resistance which slows it down and reduces the severity of its final impact.


3. Angle of the ball relative to the window

can a soccer ball break a window - depends on angle relativity

One element that’s largely overlooked when it comes to windows breaking is the angle that the offending object was launched from.

If you hit a soccer ball at a 90-degree front-facing angle, you are likely to generate a much stronger force on the target than if you attempted to make the same strike at an angle of 45 or 50 degrees.

As soccer balls are spherical in shape and have no sharp or pointed corners, hitting windows from a wider position will generate less force on impact.

This is largely because the ball will skid off of the glass surface as opposed to thudding heavily against it.


Are soccer balls strong enough to break glass?

Having discussed the influencing factors of a soccer ball breaking a window without displaying any visual evidence, you may be curious as to whether these objects are even strong enough to do this in the first place!

So, I’ve managed to source two videos which illustrate the damage that soccer balls can actually do if handled irresponsibly.


Example 1: Land Rover window

After a couple of shot attempts, the glass of the Land Rover car window shattered completely.

However, if you watch the video until its completion, you will notice that the same cannot be said of the Tesla window which has a more solid construction.


Example 2: Security glass

The same video content producer – Kieran Brown – posits that this glass is 5 times as tough as normal glass.

You’ll see that the glass begins to crack after a number of accurate hits at the target and it eventually shatters after successive strikes.

Lastly, one more thing to takeaway from these videos is that you don’t need an expensive soccer ball to do some serious damage!


How do you protect your windows from footballs?

As a concerned home owner, there are a number of things you can implement to protect your windows from forceful impacts.

Basic proofing would involve double glazing but if you want peace of mind the best thing to do would be to install metal bar caging that sits right in front of the windows.

The end result will look similar to this:


Can a ball break a car window?

Although car windows are more susceptible to breakage if a soccer ball is hit at enough velocity, windshields are very unlikely to suffer the same fate.

This is because – as Aaron Auto Glass suggests – the modern glass technology used to design windshields features laminate that prevents objects completely obliterating through the surface of it and creating extensive damage.


Closing thoughts

A soccer ball is capable of shattering a tempered glass window in the event that it is well inflated and travels at a velocity fast enough to create a forceful impact upon making contact with the target surface.

Samuel Waihenya
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