Football | Difference between IMS and FIFA Quality Pro

A good ball is essential in any football match. Footballs are often marked with the IMS (International Matchball Standard), FIFA Quality or FIFA Quality Pro certification logo, which helps players to choose the right ball for their level of play or training needs.

Football sports advice IMS FIFA quality

FIFA conducts stringent quality controls on global football manufacturers and assigns different certification ratings (e.g. IMS or FIFA Quality Pro) based on the football’s specifications, such as size, elasticity and weight. This ensures that football players worldwide use footballs that are manufactured according to the same quality standards.

FIFA Quality Pro certification logo

FIFA Quality Pro is the highest football certification standard. Footballs with the FIFA Quality Pro logo are used in the World Cup, the European Football Championship and other top competitions. In order to receive the FIFA Quality Pro logo, footballs must pass 7 stringent tests:

Circumference: Size 5 FIFA Quality Pro footballs must have a circumference between 68.6 and 69.5 cm.

Roundness: When fully inflated, the roundness of the ball may not vary by more than 1.5%.

Rebound: At room temperature, the rebound should be between 135 and 155 cm when the ball is dropped 10 times from a height of 2 m on to a steel plate. At 5°C, the rebound must be at least 125 cm.

Weight: Size 5 FIFA Quality Pro footballs must weigh between 420 and 445 g.

Loss of pressure: The loss of air must not exceed 20%.

Water absorption: When immersed in a tank of water and squeezed and turned 250 times, the ball must not absorb more than 10% of its capacity in water.

Shape and size retention: This test is only used on FIFA Quality Pro footballs, and is designed to ensure the ball can keep its shape under all conditions. The ball is fired at a steel plate at 31 mph no fewer than 2,000 times. Only balls which show no signs of damage and whose circumference does not change by more than 1.5 cm can receive the certification.

Football FIFA pro qualify
Football IMS qualify

IMS certification logo

IMS certified footballs are used in international football matches (such as friendlies) and various national leagues such as the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and the Hong Kong Premier League. Although the IMS certification requirements are less stringent than FIFA Quality Pro, a number of standards must still be met, including the following:

Circumference: IMS size 5 footballs must have a circumference between 68 and 70 cm.

Roundness: When fully inflated, the roundness of the ball may not vary by more than 1.8%.

Rebound: At room temperature, the maximum rebound of IMS size 5 footballs should be between 125 and 155 cm. At 5°C, the rebound must be at least 115 cm.

Weight: IMS size 5 footballs must weigh between 410 and 450 g.

Loss of pressure: The loss of air must not exceed 25%.

IMS and FIFA Quality use very similar certification standards. However, FIFA Quality tests are conducted in a Swiss test institute, while IMS conducts its tests in 7 FIFA-designated European laboratories and does not require manufacturers to pay an accreditation fee.

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