What is the International Match Ball Standard?
The International Match Ball Standard (IMS) is a certification program for soccer balls established by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and FIFA to ensure that soccer balls used in official matches meet certain performance standards.
The IMS certification program is an additional standard aside from the FIFA Quality program, it is a supplementary certification to the FIFA Quality program.
IMS certification is mandatory for all match balls used in international matches which is defined by IFAB, also it's mandatory for all match balls used in any matches organized by FIFA.
Similar to the FIFA Quality program, the IMS certification program has two levels of certification: IMS Pro and IMS.
The IMS Pro is the highest level of certification and is for professional match balls that are used in major international tournaments, including the World Cup. The IMS is for soccer balls that are used in training and match play at the highest levels of the game.
The tests that soccer balls must pass to be certified under the IMS program are quite similar to FIFA Quality program, they include measurements of size, weight, circumference, rebound, water absorption, and shape retention. The ball also must be tested for the amount of air pressure and the amount of air leakage.
The IMS certification program is designed to help ensure the quality of soccer balls used in international matches, and to promote fair play by making sure that all balls used in these matches meet certain performance standards.