The FIFA Quality Concept
A football should respond in the very same way every time it is struck, whether in the 90th minute of the match or straight from the first kick-off. Otherwise, it would be unfair on the players and frustrating for the fans.
Even the slightest flaw in the ball will influence the way it flies through the air and rolls along the ground, something that could change the result of the game.
The FIFA Quality Concept tests are to assess footballs under laboratory conditions, subjecting them to even tougher conditions than they will probably ever endure during a normal game. Only ball that pass the tests receive one of the FIFA quality marks: FIFA INSPECTED or the even higher standard of FIFA APPROVED.
The Laws of the Game demand that all balls used for international matches organized by FIFA or the confederations bear one of the FIFA quality marks or the “IMS International Matchball Standard” mark. The referee can then be sure that the matchball meets all the necessary requirements in terms of size, weight and so on, and he only needs to check the ball’s pressure.
Everyone – from the world’s most famous professionals to schoolchildren having a kick-around at playtime – can ensure that they have a top quality football by looking for the FIFA marks the next time they buy a ball.
The seven tests
that a football
has to pass to receive
a FIFA quality mark
How does a ball receive
the FIFA mark?
A ball must successfully pass the six tests to earn the FIFA INSPECTED quality mark. The tests check the ball’s circumference, size, roundness, rebound, water absorption and loss of pressure.
To gain the top FIFA APPROVED quality mark, a ball must pass these six tests under even more demanding conditions as well as a seventh test to ensure that ball also retains its shape and size for the duration of a match.