The first part is simple: How fast does the ball move? How does it bounce off the ground?
Pitches can be played in almost any way imaginable. The soccer pitch in the top photo (from a match in 2010) is about 90 degrees to the ground. The first goal in the second photo above was scored on the goal line. This image also shows the distance the ball travels as it bounces off the ground:
Here is more context for this: the average ball speed per goal in MLS this season (from Opta) is 29.2 meters per second (10.8 feet per second).
There’s a second part of this answer. How does the ball move? How does it bounce?
The second part depends on the shape and how the ball is positioned. The second part is a bit counterintuitive, as we talked about earlier. The second part is: how fast does the ball move? How does it bounce?
The third picture below will help you understand this a bit better. As you can see, the ball bounces and moves faster than in the second picture to the left:
The balls in this picture were from the last two matches of this season as well. The ball bounced differently in 2012. And the balls from this season was also less of a “natural” “feeler.”
Let’s see how fast the balls move here:
This is a screenshot from the 2013 match in Portland. We see a different shape of pitch, which should be faster:
This is a screenshot from the 2012 Portland game. The balls are much slower:
The ball did bounce slightly slower in 2012. And the ball also moved slower over the course of this season.
So when we talk about a speedy soccer ball, we are talking about a ball that moves quickly. But how fast is fast?
In this example, both balls were taken at the end of the second half of the 2013 match in Portland. The goalkeepers were watching as the ball was kicked from the corner of the goal. The ball left the center line. At the time, it was about the same speed as one might expect, so it was easy to notice.
What happens when we compare this shot speed with a more familiar soccer goal:
First of all, this is faster than the speed the ball was moving while it was being kicked in Portland. And secondly, this is a goal that was scored in one of the slowest soccer games