How to Inflate a Soccer Ball: Fast and Easy Guide (2024)

Are you wondering how to inflate a soccer ball? The soccer ball is arguably the most important piece of soccer gear and equipment in the beautiful game, and to make sure your training balls are inflated at the right air pressure you will need another essential tool, the soccer ball pump.

An air pump is one of the most essential items that you should always carry around in your soccer bag, to keep your ball at the right shape and air pressure. Whether you’re a beginner, a youth player or a professional player, knowing how to inflate a soccer ball is an essential skill to know.

Having properly inflated soccer balls will lead to better performance and training sessions compared to training with under-inflated balls. In this guide, I will be discussing everything you need to know about how to inflate a soccer ball.

how to inflate a soccer ball Image by Guillaume de Germain

FIFA’s Soccer Ball and Air Pressure Rules

Before diving into the instructions for inflating a soccer ball, it’s crucial to understand FIFA’s rules, or laws of the game, about the air pressure of soccer balls. According to FIFA, a properly inflated soccer ball has a recommended pressure of around 9 PSI to 16 PSI at sea level, however, this exact number may differ from brand to brand and from model to model.

Compared to a perfectly inflated ball, an over-inflated ball and an under-inflated ball will both be harder to control because of their unpredictable nature. This is why it is important to understand the soccer ball inflation guidelines set by FIFA and soccer ball manufacturers.

how to inflate a soccer ball Image by Cottonbro Studio

How to Check Air Pressure of a Soccer Ball

The easiest way to measure your ball’s air pressure is by using an air pressure gauge, which comes attached with some ball pumps. To measure your ball’s air pressure simply insert the air pressure gauge into the ball’s valve, or air hole.

Once the needle is inside you should get an accurate reading of the ball’s air pressure almost instantly whether you are using a traditional or digital gauge. If you do not have a gauge, there is also another way to manually test the air pressure of your soccer ball.

To do this, simply perform a drop test. Hold the ball out in front of you and drop the ball. If it is close to having the perfect air pressure and being properly inflated, the ball should bounce, but if the ball is too flat, then it will not bounce. If the ball bounces in unpredictable manners then it may be overinflated.

how to inflate a soccer ball Image by MesquitaFMS

How to Inflate a Soccer Ball Correctly

Now that you understand the importance of proper inflation and the soccer ball air pressure rules, let’s go over the steps for how to inflate a soccer ball correctly.

Gather your equipment:

Identifying the Recommended Pressure:

Once you have your materials, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or markings on the soccer ball to determine the recommended pressure. This information is often expressed in psi (pounds per square inch) or bar units.

Checking for Deflations:

Inspect the soccer ball for any signs of deflation such as small air holes, leaks, or damages

Straighten the Soccer Ball:

After inspecting your soccer ball for any holes or damages you can straighten the soccer ball as much as possible and hold it.

Add a Few Drops of Glycerin Oil to the Valve Opening

Next, add a few drops of glycerin oil to the valve opening. This step is optional but this is done to prevent the valve from drying out.

Insert the Pump Needle Tip inside the Valve

After you have added the drops of oil on the valve, you can insert the needle tip and start pumping air into the ball.

Use Pressure Gauge to Check Air Pressure

Finally, use a pressure gauge to determine when the ball reaches its recommended pressure to avoid over-inflating or under-inflating.

how to inflate a soccer ballImage by Nigel Msipa

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any pump to inflate my soccer ball?

While different pumps can be used to inflate your soccer ball, such as bike pumps, it’s recommended to use a pump specifically designed for inflating sports balls for best results.

Can I inflate a soccer ball at a gas station?

While some gas stations may have air pumps, it’s important to use caution. Gas station pumps are designed for car tires, their pressure may be too high for soccer balls, and they may lack the necessary pump needle attachments.

How to inflate a soccer ball without an air pump?

If you do not have an air pump you may be able to inflate a soccer ball with various common household items, although this is only recommended if you absolutely need to.

  • Compressed air canister
  • Paper clip
  • Thin straw
  • Small straw
  • Coffee stirrer
  • Pen

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible, analyze high level games as much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with a soccer camera. Also read soccer books, listen to podcasts and interviews watch soccer documentaries, as well as some movies, tv shows, and anime.


In conclusion, knowing how to inflate soccer balls is one of the most important parts of being a player, a parent of a youth player, a coach, or even just a fan of the game because the game has specific rules when it comes to soccer ball air pressure.

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about inflating a soccer ball, from FIFA’s specific guidelines, to how to check your ball’s air pressure, as well as provided you with tips for filling your balls with air.

One of the biggest takeaways of this article is to avoid playing with flat deflated balls by making sure you invest your money in a reliable soccer ball pump.

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