- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Hover Ball Does It Work? Any Benefits To Using It?
What Is Hover Ball?
Hover Ball is an indoor soccer ball by Wham-O. Commercials have been playing on TV showing that the ball can magically hover over the floor. It is made of soft material so it can be played with inside without the fear of damage to the floors, furniture, or walls. It is said to work on any floor surface including tile, hardwood, and carpet.
The ball itself is not really a ball, it's like half a ball, a hemisphere. The flat surface is what allows the Hover Ball to move across the floor with ease.
Does It Work?
So the commercials on TV for Hover Ball claim it "magically hovers" over the floor. Now, this is not a battery operated soccer ball so it can't actually hover. The ball itself is not a complete ball, it's like half a ball with a flat bottom. The flat bottom surface is what allows the soccer ball to appear to "hover" but is in fact just gliding across the floor. Whether it's hovering or gliding the result is the same- you get a soccer ball that you can play with inside that will not roll all over the place. The flat surface keeps it more contained in an indoor setting making it a safer option for indoor soccer play than with a traditional soccer ball.
With 2 kids, ages 4 and 7, we were very skeptical about playing soccer in the house but decided to give it a try. We have tile and hardwood floors in our house so the Hover Ball worked great but I would imagine carpet might not allow the ball to glide so easily. For some, that might be a good thing since the carpet will keep the ball from gliding too fast, especially with very young kids who can't handle a fast moving ball.
It is pretty fun to kick around the house and if you have someone who's really into soccer it's a great way to sharpen their footwork. We made a game with it and set up "goals" around the house- get the ball between chair legs or under a small table, etc. The kids had fun and we even had fun.
The Hover Ball comes in 3 different colors- blue, green, and pink. It's only 6 inches in diameter, a bit smaller than you might expect from the way it looks on TV. This seems to be a suitable size for indoor play.
All in all we like the Hover Ball and it suits our family. No, it doesn't magically hover or float over the floor but it does glide well and is fun to play with. It's a great way to keep kids active and not sitting around watching TV, so that's definitely a plus.
How Can Hover Ball Help a Soccer Player?
Fine tuning ones skills for soccer is essential to becoming a great player. Going to soccer practice is a must but when you're at home there's still plenty to do to sharpen your skills and it doesn't all have to happen with a traditional soccer ball outside. The Hover Ball can be an advantageous tool for soccer players looking to improve their footwork.
Stated in this list of Top 25 Tips To Developing Soccer Skills are a few areas in which the Hover Ball can be beneficial...
1. Play with different sized balls- Hover Ball is smaller than a traditional soccer ball so it makes the player use it differently and enhances their footwork overall. When the soccer player goes to play with a regular soccer ball they'll find it much easier because of the skills developed with a smaller ball.
2. Perfect Touch- since the Hover Ball is made to be played with indoors you'll be moving it around in tighter spaces. This teaches you how to control the ball and know exactly what you will do next. You can create obstacle courses to make it even more challenging.
3. Dribbling- again, keeping the ball under your control while changing directions quickly. Another way obstacle courses would be good to utilize.
What Age Group Is Hover Ball Good For?
Generally, we go with the age listed on a particular product. The Hover Ball states it's for ages 6+, which seems pretty reasonable. We let our 4 year old and 7 year old play with it and they both had fun. Our 7 year old definitely got the "game" we were trying to play better. That's just a difference in maturity and developmental level, not that the Hover Ball was not safe for our 4 year old. The materials used on this soccer ball are very soft so it wouldn't hurt a young child, but they might not enjoy it as much as an older child. Ages 6+ is a good guideline, the 7-16 age group would probably get the most enjoyment out of Hover Ball.
Are There Other Options?
There are other "hover" balls on the market but we haven't found one that's like a soccer ball. There is one at Toys R Us that is like an air hockey puck that you can play anywhere. This one is battery operated so it does actually get air and hover.
The Wham-O Hover Ball seems to be unique in that it's the only one designed to be used as as soccer ball.