Rugby is famous in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The manufacturing process of rugby balls has changed a lot since the inflated bladder of a hog was used and the casing was made of leather. Though the materials that were used are modern, the shape and the overall feel and look of the ball is similar to the original ones. Traditionally, rugby balls were made of brown leather, but synthetic materials or natural rubber is used for the modern editions made by Gilbert. As for holding the oval shape of the ball, polyester is used as its backing material.
Best Features of Rugby Balls from Gilbert
- Inflation is long-lasting.
- The bladder is made of high-quality synthetic latex.
- It can be used for training, competitive matches, and casual plays.
- The accuracy of the ball is consistent.
- Has high resistance power.
- Light in weight.
- Excellent spin performance.
- It can be used regularly.
Factors to Consider when Buying Rugby Balls
Here is a guide to help you out for buying the right kind of rugby balls.
Rugby balls are available in different sizes and you have to decide which of the sizes will be perfect for you. For age groups 7 to 9, size 3 is perfect. Size 4 is perfect for age groups from 10 to 14. There is a 4.5 size rugby ball. It is a transitional ball that is for players who will be going to size 5 from 4 that give them the chance to improve their skills and confidence. And the size 5 is for ages 15 and above.
You must always look for rugby balls that are made by well-known brands like Gilbert which is considered the best right now in the market. There are endless brands that make professional rugby balls but you should always find out the best one according to your budget.
Rugby balls can be categorized into three broad categories, training, recreational, and professional or match balls. Gilbert rugby balls have a lot more categories. Training balls are strictly used for training, while recreational balls are for those who are not professional players and as the name suggests, match balls are for professional rugby players.
You must know that the price of rugby balls depends on their type. Professional match balls are of the highest price because they have to be made for professional tournaments. They have to have a better grip, resistivity, and the right size.
Advantages of Buying Gilbert Rugby Balls
- They have the perfect oval shape.
- They have the correct air pressure.
- They are affordable.
- High-quality materials are used to make the balls.
- All the balls are approved by the International Board.
- The outer cover of the ball is made of 100% leather or approved material.
- Have the approved length, width, circumference, and weight.
- They are all air-inflated.
- They have a good grip.
- The design is officially licensed.
Maintaining the Gilbert Rugby Balls
Gilbert is the maker of the best rugby ball for competitions. All the balls are approved by both the state Rugby League and International Board for professional and training matches. Gilbert has been the exclusive and official supplier of rugby balls in the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup. There are some ways by which you can maintain Gilbert match balls easily. They are:
Correct Air Pressure
The right air pressure for rugby balls is 9.5 psi. Exceeding can result in some changes in the shape of the ball that can affect speed and performance that you intend to get from it.
Overinflating is one mistake that you should avoid while using rugby balls from Gilbert. Once overinflated, the ball cannot be taken into its original optimal shape that you intend to get for the match.
Reducing the Pressure
You should not reduce the air pressure to 9.5 psi from a higher value to get the optimum performance from Gilbert rugby balls.
Check and Adjust
You must always check and adjust the air pressure of the balls because variations may occur due to the natural materials used for making the bladder and external climate change.
Always Use Stirrup Pump
It is recommended that you always use a stirrup pump for inflating the rugby balls. This is because inflating the Gilbert rugby balls with an airline or compressor can lead to over inflation. It can change the ball’s properties.
Storing the Gilbert Rugby Balls
Here are some of the storing methods that you can adopt for your rugby balls from Gilbert.
- Always keep your ball in a dry environment.
- Store the rugby ball in optimum conditions for prolonged life.
- Always clean your ball before storing it.
- The ball must be dried out before packing.
- Use a waterproof casing to avoid water getting accumulated inside.
- Store it in airtight cases to avoid air pressure reduction.
- Check the inflation and air pressure before storing the ball.
- Try to use the same case for the ball.
- Waterproof materials will help to keep the features of the ball intact.
Cleaning the Balls for Playing Rugby
Rugby balls must be cleaned before every training session or professional match. You must always follow some steps to clean any residue or mud that is stuck to the ball. Below are ways to clean your rugby ball.
Use a dry piece of cloth and remove the residue or mud that is stuck to the ball. Always use a soft cloth to clean the ball. Using a soft cloth will help the ball to be at its best condition for the maximum time.
Water and Soap Solution
Take equal amounts of warm water and light detergent and mix them to make a solution. Dip a soft cloth into it and clean your rugby ball. It is also beneficial for ensuring that the ball’s grip is intact and it is in its most favorable condition for playing matches.
The materials that were used to make rugby balls may have changed for modern editions, but the popularity of the game is still high. Before buying rugby balls, you must always look for the best ones to play professional or casual matches and get optimum performance from them.