Kicking Into Sustainability of Athletics

Life Cycle of Durham Academy Soccer Ball

In eight years DA throws away 96 soccer balls.

Durham Academy buys two bags of 12 SELECT soccer balls every two years for each varsity soccer team. The balls are labeled as practice balls. This means the quality of the ball is not as nice as a game ball.

Due to this DA ends up throwing away the balls after four years of use. The varsity team uses them for two years then JV does. This means after four years the boys and girls soccer teams throw away 48 soccer balls total. Durham Academy does not recycle their soccer balls; they are thrown away. If Durham Academy were to buy game balls they could last longer which would reduce the waste. The quality of these balls will lead to them not being damaged as much. Buying these balls would come with a price increase, but we would reduce a lot of waste. If the balls are able to last longer then we may be cutting down the amount of money we spend on them. If buying more expensive balls is not an option, we could start taking apart the balls and recycling the inside. If we are able to recycle parts of them this could help reduce the amount of trash we produce.

Here are some sources that I used that you can take a look at: 

This source shows what all the parts of a soccer ball are: Pearson, Toby. “Soccer Ball Design.” Soccer Updates –, 11 Jan. 2022, 

This shows the parts of a soccer ball and what they are actually made of: “What Is a Soccer Ball Made Of.” American Sports, Accessed 13 Nov. 2023. 

This is a flow chart of the life cycle of a soccer ball:  Lifecycle Soccerball – NC, Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.

This is another source on life of soccer ball: The Life of a Soccer Ball | US EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Accessed 14 Nov. 2023. 

This is where I got most of my info. This is the brand of the soccer ball DA buys: “About Select.” SELECT Sport International,,Denmark%20on%20our%20top%20balls. Accessed 13 Nov. 2023.