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What Happens if You Over Pump a Ball?
If you're an athlete, a coach or a sports enthusiast, you know how important it is to keep your sports balls in top-notch condition. A flat or underinflated ball can negatively impact your training or gaming performance. But have you ever thought about what happens when you over pump a ball? In this article, we'll discuss the dangers and problems associated with overinflated balls.
Understanding the Proper Inflation Level of a Ball
Before we dive into the dangers of overinflation, let's talk about the ideal inflation level of a ball. Each ball type has its own recommended psi or pounds per square inch inflation level. Typically, the inflation level is indicated on either the ball itself or in the instruction manual that comes with it. For instance, a basketball should be inflated to around 7.5 to 8.5 psi, whereas a soccer ball can be inflated to 8.5 to 15.6 psi.
There's more to knowing the correct inflation level than just looking at the recommended psi. Factors like humidity, temperature, and altitude can affect the ideal inflation level. It's best to double-check the inflation level by testing the ball's bounce and feel. If it's too soft or too hard, adjust the psi accordingly.
The Dangers of Overinflation
Overinflation might make your ball look and feel robust and fully pressurized, but it's a recipe for disaster. Here are some of the dangers and issues that come with overinflated balls.
1. Decreased Ball Control and Bounce
One of the most significant problems of overinflation is the degradation of ball control and bounce. Balls that are over-inflated bounce uncontrollably without the necessary reaction on impact. This makes it challenging to control the ball during gameplays. The ball will roll too far or too fast, making it challenging even for top athletes to keep it in play.
2. Popping and or Cracking
Overinflated balls are susceptible to popping or cracking, especially during intense gaming or training sessions. The increased air pressure puts excess stress on the ball's seams and material, which may cause it to burst at any given time. Once a ball pops or cracks, it is usually beyond repair and needs replacement.
3. Causes Injury to Players
An overinflated ball also presents a physical danger to players. If an overinflated ball bursts, it can cause serious injuries, especially to the eyes and face. Apart from that, it can cause the ball to travel fast and far beyond the safe playing area, putting both players and onlookers at risk of injury.
4. Affects Performance
As we said earlier, an overinflated ball affects ball control and bounce, which can affect a player's or a team's performance. When an athlete is playing with a ball that bounces unpredictably or travels too fast, it can affect their agility, reflexes, and endurance, leading to a substandard performance.
5. Shortens the Ball's Lifespan
Overinflating your balls may seem like the quick fix to getting the desired bounce, but it's not a long-term solution. Overinflating your ball causes excessive stress on the seams, leading to wear and tear and a shorter ball lifespan. Ultimately, an overinflated ball leads to additional costs and time spent in replacing the ball more frequently.
How to Fix an Overinflated Ball
If you over-inflated your ball, the good news is that it's not irreversible. Here's how to fix an overinflated ball:
1. Deflate the Ball
Using a pump needle or another tool, release air from the ball until it meets the recommended psi level. Remember to check for the ideal psi level before making any adjustments.
2. Test the Bounce
Once you've released enough air from the ball, give it a bounce to test its resilience. If it's still too bouncy, continue deflating in small increments until you achieve the ideal ball control and bounce.
3. Prevent Overinflation in the Future
To prevent overinflation in the future, you can invest in a ball pump with a pressure gauge. A pressure gauge accurately measures the ball's psi, ensuring that you inflate the ball to the recommended level.
Overinflation is a prevalent issue among athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts. It poses a physical risk to players, negatively affects performance, and shortens the ball's lifespan. However, it's a reversible problem that you can fix by deflating the ball to the ideal psi level. To prevent overinflation from happening in the future, invest in a ball pump with a pressure gauge for accurate pressure measurements.