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How To Deflate A Soccer Ball With or Without Needle

Deflating a soccer ball is necessary if you want to transport it in the Carry-on luggage during flight journey or fit it into your backpack.

Soccer teams carrying large numbers of them need to deflate for saving on luggage space and avoiding safety risks.

There are two ways in which you could deflate a soccer ball. The recommended method is to use a ball pump or needle.

The other method is recommended in an emergency situation. You may use a paper clip or a pen to do it.

Avoiding damage to the internal bladder is very important for protecting it from damages.

The air has to pass out gradually at an even pace to avoid the accidental blast.

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Soccer Ball Construction: Understanding The Basics

A standard soccer ball is made of a core bladder surrounded by an external cover and a panel.

The bore and the pipeline connect the valve on the external cover to the bladder.

You can release the air from the bladder by aligning it with the pipeline. It is called the open position.

When they are perpendicular to each other it is called closed position.

Want to know more about how soccer balls are made?

How To Deflate a Soccer Ball with Pump and Needle

  • Step 1

The soccer ball valve is made of silicone material that is firm and strong. It has an opening you can see at the cover. Its alignment with the bladder pipeline may go slightly off while playing, Hence, you need to shake the ball a couple of times by holding it near your ears. You can feel the alignment falling in line.

  • Step 2

You can use the inflation pump to deflate the soccer ball. Dip the adapter needle of the pump into the water and wet it. You may also use a lubricant like coconut oil.

  • Step 3

Insert the needle gradually with your right hand into the valve until it touches the bladder pipeline. Apply gentle pressure to avoid damaging the bladder. Meanwhile, you need to hold the soccer ball near the valve with your left hand. At some point, you can feel the release of air from the bladder.

  • Step 4

Ask your friend to squeeze the ball with two hands on either side of the needle. The pressure mounting should be gradual and gentle. The soccer ball will deflate completely after some time and become flat. Make sure you hold the needle at a vertical position without changing the angle.

  • Step 5

Remove the needle from the valve and store the ball in a safe place.

How To Deflate a Soccer Ball without Needle

  • Step 1

Find a paper clip or a pen. It is better to use a metallic clip since its tensile strength and endurance to pressure are high. If you are using a pen, make sure it is a ball-pen and the thickness is less than the valve diameter.

Open the outer U of the paperclip and straighten it. Make sure you don’t apply excess pressure to the breaking point.

  • Step 2

Wet the tip in a lubricant like the coconut oil. You may wear a thin glove on your right hand to get a firm grip over paperclip head.

  • Step 3

Insert the paperclip open end into the valve. Sometimes the cover around the valve will be hardened due to soil and consistent playing. You can clean the area around the valve with water use a cotton cloth to wipe after a few minutes.

Hold the ball with your left hand firmly while inserting the clip with your right hand. Push gently until the tip comes into contact with the inner pipeline of the bladder. Push further. You can feel the air rushing out through the pipeline and out of the valve.

  • Step 4

Ask your friend to squeeze the ball with both hands on either side of the valve. The increase in pressure has to be even and consistent. It will take time before the soccer ball goes flat. Now, you can remove the clip from the valve and store the ball in a safe place.

Here’s a YouTube video I found that can be helpful here in case you don’t like reading instructions and prefer visual explanations.


You can deflate a soccer ball using any of the two methods. You need to make sure the pump is connected to the adapter needle while deflating. It will ensure smooth and even flow of air. If you are using a paperclip make sure there is enough space at the top to hold it with a firm grip.

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Patrick Richardson
I am a huge soccer fanatic who created this blog to help you find the best deal for soccer equipment.

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