I need help finding old soccer balls that are made of synthetic rubber, and those that had been "game used".
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Synthetic rubber is very different from the more commonly found "vulcanized rubber" soccer balls that are made in China or Taiwan. Synthetic rubber soccer balls were mostly made in Japan., and sold worldwide between 1965 and 1983.
Synthetic rubber can either be polyurethane(PU) or polyvinyl(PVC), with polyvinyl being much more common. These synthetic rubber composites were known as synthetic leather or synthetic vinyl rubber.
These soccer balls are constructed exactly like a standard rubber soccer ball, molded. For reference, there are 3 types of constructed soccer balls. Stitched, also known as "hand sewn", machine glued, were the panels are either machined pressed on or machine pressed over the bladder. Heavy duty machine glued balls are pressed over, making for a very durable soccer ball. Cheaper glued balls, the panels are glue on, and tend to fall off with age. Lastly, molded constructed, exactly like rubber. All rubber composite soccer balls are molded.
Synthetic rubber soccer balls are no longer made, and can be extremely hard to find ( depending on your location ). production stopped sometime before 1984.
Most sports equipment manufacturers that made vulcanized rubber soccer balls, also made at least one synthetic rubber soccer ball in the 1970's, and most were made of polyvinyl. These types of soccer balls only required 6 psi/lbs to be fully inflated.
These types of soccer balls were extremely common in the 1970's, and used in nearly every High School soccer game at some point, along with stitched and machine glued soccer balls. If the players were going to be playing in wet and muddy conditions, these were the soccer balls they used. They were also very common in most youth and adult oriented soccer clubs, such as the YMCA and AYSO. Most of these soccer balls continued to be used up to about 1990, with some being extended into the mid 90's.
Today, they would be somewhat hard to find, but not impossible. Some are still being used in Elementary schools as retired "game balls" from the upper grades. If your local school still use old soccer balls, it's very possible they might have one of these synthetic rubber soccer balls in the mix.
I'm looking for those soccer balls that have been "game used". I don't care how beat up the ball is. It can have all sorts of wear from scuffs, scratches, a small rip in a seam, to a broken bladder valve. Even if it has a small puncture in the outer carcass, and no longer retains air, I still want it. Balls that are flat must still be very malleable though. Rigid, flaking, peeling cracking balls are trash. This is because the polyvinyl outer carcass has dried out, and can not be saved. The softer the outer carcass, the better preserved the composite is in. If you got an old synthetic rubber composite soccer ball, and its fully inflated, let some air out. If its still soft, fantastic, if its rigid or hard, its gone. The softer the composite, then that means two things. The ball was "game used' at some point, and the composite is in very good shape.
Lastly, I'm offering up $300 for each one. The older the ball, and the more it was used, the more it could be worth. Most of these soccer balls will yield around $125-$150, but a few could reach $200 and up. If you think you might have ( or know someone that does ) one of these old soccer balls, contact me ASAP. Check out my pictures, as these soccer balls were game used.