Research – adidas JABULANI Official Match Ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

Research – adidas JABULANI Official Match Ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

Players can exhibit great skill when they kick
balls like this and achieve incredible shots. The outside of this ball has a fewer
number of panels, and it’s surface texture on this. And all of this is for the benefit of the players. Well it’s great to have a first feel of the ball anyway,
because as I said in the modern day, the newer the balls are, there’s always a slightly different feel to
the balls, I think they’re always improving. We’ve established a series of dynamic tests
that we will carry out in the laboratory here in Loughborough. One of these tests is the
robot that you see behind me here. This robot can kick the ball identically
time and time and time again. I think it’s one of them balls that’s gonna, when you
catch it right it’s gonna fly. It’s got a nice bounce to it I think. What we’ve tried to do here with the inclusion
of things like these aero grooves, is to make sure that the ball looks much more symetrical
in flight, and so it flies in a much more controlled way, and gives the control then
back to the player to get it to do what they want it to do. When it flies you can see clearly
that it doesn’t disrupt or disturb too much. As the ball has become more advanced we’ve
been required to develop more and more sophisticated measurement methods and apparatus in our laboratory,
in order to test the ball. So with our kicking robot we’ve been looking to mimic particular
kicks, so spin kicks, free kicks, shots, corners, all of these things have been mimicked specifically.
We’ve been tracking the flight of the ball with advanced motion tracking system. But
there are more specialist aspects of our considerations that we’ve had to engage expert colleagues.
For example in aerodynamics, to look at the surface of the ball and how it affects its
flight through the air. It’s a very strong ball, it feels very good, it’s very true
to hit, and I like the texture to the outside which I hope is gonna help with a bit of movement on
the ball and swerve, which it seems to do already. The surface texture is there to
improve other performance characteristics of the ball. So what we’ve done there is make
sure that we optimise that with the aero grooves to make sure we still get that best possible
flight characteristic. It’s nice to catch because it feels good in the hands.
I like even the way that there’s not many cuts on the ball, it’s quite solid and all together. One of the benefits we’ve found of the thermally bonded uniform construction of this ball is
when compared to a 32 panel stitched ball for example, you don’t get the differences
in stiffness, the differences of response that are a function of the material and the
stitching arrangement around the ball. This ball is very consistent. All around its circumference.
Wherever you kick it, you’re going to get a very similar response. Hopefully we can
train a lot with it, get used to playing with it, and our aspiration is to go and try and
win the World Cup with it. Jabulani celebrates diversity at FIFA World Cup.

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