When volleyball was originally invented, it was played with a heavy and big ball. Only later on the current design of the ball was introduced. Balls have evolved after this to become more durable and cheaper. In the past a lot of balls used leather but they have now evolved to use other more environmentally friendly materials. Let’s take a look at the best brands on the market and which one you should get.
What balls do professional volleyball players use?
The main four brands that are being used by volleyball players are made by Mikasa, Wilson, Molten, and Tachikara.
At the moment there are no professional volleyball competitions in the USA so let’s look at high school volleyball. The balls that can be used in high school competitions in the USA are government by NFHS. These balls have a specific mark to indicate that they can be used during these competitions and tournaments to avoid confusion. This includes balls by Mikasa, Molten, and Wilson.
For the NFHS, the balls need to meet the following requirements:
The ball shall be spherical with a laceless molded cover of 12 or
more pieces (all of which shall be white) of genuine or simulated smooth leather
(not suede). It shall measure at least 25 inches but no more than 27 inches in circumference,
with a weight of 9-10 ounces when inflated with 4.3 – 4.6 pounds
The FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) is an important organization as they organize volleyball tournaments across the globe (including the Olympics). They have only approved a limited set of volleyball.
|Brand of indoor volleyball approved by FIVB||Model|
|QUINGDAO-SYNSHEEN||Star VB 225-34|
|CAMBUCI||Penalty Pro 7.0|
|Brand of Beach volleyball approved by FIVB||Model|
|MIKASA||VLS 300 (color) Beach Exclusive game ball for all FIVB Competitions|
|MOLTEN||BV5000 (color) Beach|
Mikasa balls are the gold standard as they are being used during the Olympics and are being recognized by the FIVB. The national volleyball federations of each country where the competition is being organized can choose their own balls but they often follow the FIVB. The main professional volleyball competitions are organized in Japan, China, Turkey, South Korea, Italy, Eastern Europe, and Brazil. Each of these countries has specific requirements and the recognized balls often have a stamp so that it is very clear what balls are allowed and which ones are not. Given that some balls are produced in countries that organize a competition, they often get recognized as well. For example, MIKASA is a Japanese brand and is used as the official ball in the competition over there. The rules change all the time so check with the national federation to check what balls are allowed during the current year.
Is Mikasa a good volleyball? Which Mikasa volleyball should I buy?
Yes, the volleyballs of Mikasa are of good quality. They are often used by volleyball players as they are very durable and feel great. They offer several models, from very cheap ones to more expensive versions. The balls of Mikasa are also used during the Olympics, indicating that they are the gold standard for balls. The MIKASA V200W was used in the 2020 Olympics and has great reviews. This ball is used in a lot of tournaments and competitions. The goal is to use the same ball every time so that players are used to it. It would be annoying to play with a ball that has another weight or feel every time. Therefore it has been decided to use the same ball every time. They use special fabric so that the sweat is drained better. This results in better ball control. They also made sure that the ball is aerodynamically designed so that it floats in the air better. This allows the game to be played faster. The contrasting color scheme makes it easy to spot the ball.
In terms of construction, this ball is made out of different parts to make it more durable. There is a rubber bladder to hold the air. This is covered by nylon to keep the shape and make it a durable construction. Then a rubber layer is used to make the ball softer and easier to control. The final layer is made out of microfiber to give the players more grip. Professional players can push the ball back-and-forth very fast and they need a great ball to be able to do this.
There are cheaper balls on the market but if you plan to play often, this Mikasa ball is a great product. The ball is not completely inflated when it ships so you might need to find a pump to inflate it further.
They also create the official beach volleyball ball for the Olympics. The VLS300. It is also the official ball of the volleyball federation FIB. This means that it is used in a lot of competitions. It is not the cheapest ball but it has great water resistance, which is important for beach volleyball. Beach volleyballs are slightly bigger and heavier than indoor balls. They have to deal with fine sand and dust and therefore need to have very sturdy construction.
Mikasa has also made a special ball for newer players that reduces the sting when you dig to keep it in the air. A softer material is used on the outside to make sure that the ball is easier to touch. This can be used for pool volleyball as well as the ball floats and is able to deal with water.
To conclude, we can state that the main volleyball brands are Mikasa, Wilson, Molten, and Tachikara. Mikasa balls are the gold standard that is being used in a lot of competitions. There are also cheaper balls on the market but these are often less durable.